Sunday, November 26, 2006

Don't Get Sucked in By the AdSense Hype

When we began updating our company's Internet marketing strategy, we figured - based on all the hype, that we should consider integrating Google's AdSense contextual advertising into it.After all we've got a lot of original content, some of which has been getting a fair amount or traffic since 1999. Would AdSense help us further monitize that?

We are business coaches and consultants with over a century of experience helping business owners redesign their companies for the future. Our web site was established to help us do that and it has been advertiser supported since it was launched in 1999.

What we heard about AdSense made it sound like the perfect solution for us. The ads displayed are supposed to be relevant to the content on the page. We swap in the code - they do the rest, sell the ads, collect the money and send us a check. What could be better than that?

There was a catch however. In order to learn about AdSense, more than the bare bones explanation available on Google, we had to do online research, which connected us to the AdSense Internet marketers selling every sort of secret process and system anyone could imagine. The results were overwhelming.

Once I clicked on a link for more information - it all goes back to that single click, I was bombarded by the "make a fortune", "generate massive traffic", "explode your AdSense revenue", "capture high paying keywords", and the rest of the "unlimited profit from AdSense" brigade. What a bunch of baloney!

What I found out, with that first click, was if you request information from one of the AdSense "make a fortune" people, you end up getting email from them 24/7/365 and from all of their joint venture partners as well. If the get out the vote people were as effective as these marketers we'd have a 90% turnout at the polls. But I digress.

During the six months or so that we went through this I spoke to numerous business coaches and others who have been seduced by the hype and wasted their time optimizing their web sites for Google’s AdSense, which only served to get people they wanted to do business with to leave them for their competitors. They were optimizing their web sites so that people who would otherwise pay them hundreds or thousands of dollars in fees, would click on a well placed AdSense link and they'd receive thirty cents instead.

Last night, when I was thinking about this article, I received another seductive AdSense guru's email. I found myself rethinking what we are doing - that is working very well than you very much, listening and watching the video he sent and saying to myself, "Hey, it's only a hundred and thirty seven bucks, what if it works?"

Fortunately the ball game came on before I could buy it, which would have resulted in me losing my focus on what's already working. I deleted the email and put this guy on my junk mail filter's list.

So be smart, don't you get on the "make a fortune with AdSense" bandwagon. You won't make a fortune and you'll undermine everything else you're doing.

I am not saying that AdSense is a bad thing. We now have AdSense code on 3,000 pages of stories, articles, and resources for business owners and professionals - it's free money from people we are never going to do business with anyway. But it is not our focus. If you visit our web site you'll see how we integrate it, hopefully making it attractive to the people who are not our ideal prospects.

We created and continually develop our web site with the primary objective of connecting with people who'll contact us about our services. Everything we do is to cast our net in a wider and wider circle to connect with people who have never heard of us, so they'll contact us when they are ready to buy our services.

If, after seeing what we're offering, they don't want to contact us - well they're going to leave and go somewhere else. What AdSense does is create a logical place for them to go next, and we get paid for it.

It’s like getting all the people who don't buy from us to pay us. Not that’s profit! The better job we do with all the search engine stuff the more relevant the AdSense adds are so not only do the right people (potentially) visit our web site to do business with us AND the more likely the other are to leave via an AdSense ad when they don't think we have what they are looking for. Last month we had a click through rate of 8.53%. We'd have been nuts to overlook AdSense.

Just don't be seduced down the hype-filled path toward disillusionment. Focus your efforts on building your business, not the business of the Internet marketers who want to sell you their so-called "insider secrets".

When you do sign up for AdSense and this is a must, use it wisely - to get paid by the people who will never be your customers anyway. You won't make a zillion dollars in AdSense riches like the hucksters say you will, but that would never have happened anyway.

However, your total revenues will grow as your Internet marketing strategy becomes more effective.

And you'll have put a turnstile on the door many of your non-prospects will be using when they leave your site forever. Those people you were never going to meet or do business with will be dropping those nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars in your pocket as they leave. A perfect strategy!

Wayne Messick, is the author of dozens of articles for mainstream businesses, emerging professionals and association executives. If you are a small business advisor and want to maximize your Internet marketing potential like he and his company has, here is a step by step outline of how they are using the Internet to generate seventy-five percent of their new coaching, consulting, and speaking business.

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