Friday, May 15, 2009

Google AdSense Case Study

This is a very inspiring Story how a site with many followers become successfull advertising with adsense.

Case study : Hometips :
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- nails down big revenue with Google AdSense.
Home advice website started out in a backyard clubhouse. Seeking a quiet, woodsy spot for writing home improvement books, author Don Vandervort converted the bottom floor of his sons' two-story treehouse into a small office. He launched from that office in 1997, essentially as an online portfolio to promote his books.

In the decade since, HomeTips has grown into a large and popular site, thanks to the authority Vandervort has developed and the volume of content he has collected and posted from his more than two dozen books, scores of magazine articles, and many television appearances on ABC and HGTV.


Until about three years ago, HomeTips' main source of revenue came from writing, publishing, and licensing books and content to other companies, such as Sunset Books and Microsoft. This business expanded significantly after Vandervort moved to larger offices in Glendale, California, and assembled a team of editors, writers, and artists.

Though his book and content business was thriving, the website's meager revenue came from online sales of guides and reports. When a visitor requested one of these, Vandervort would email it to them and trust them to send three dollars. "At that time, I couldn't find a good system for these small transactions," he recalls. "It was an interesting way for us to stay in touch with our visitors' needs, but a money-losing proposition. We needed advertising for the web business to be viable." But the small editorial team was far too busy working at their core business of creating content to develop an advertising program.

In 2003, Vandervort heard about the Google AdSense program and thought it might be helpful for creating incremental revenue that could work for HomeTips. As he notes, "It took about 20 minutes to set it up - and that 20 minutes completely changed our business."

He started by testing AdSense on a few pages. During the first week, he remembers that AdSense revenue paid for coffee; the second week, it paid for lunches. The model clearly worked, so he began expanding the program across the entire site. Now AdSense revenue pays for all salaries, overhead, and business development.

"Google's ability to deliver targeted ads is remarkable," says Vandervort. "In fact, because the ads are so relevant to the content on any given page, we believe that they are a very useful resource for our visitors. This is evidenced by the fact that, on many of our pages, more than 10 percent of our visitors click through to the advertisers for more information," he adds.

HomeTips now sees more than 1 million online visitors each month. "Solid content is the secret to developing a following," says Vandervort. "If you write expert content with your visitor's needs in mind, the rest will follow."

As the business has grown up, so have the sons whose backyard clubhouse Vandervort first commandeered for an office. Now they bring media experience to the business: Gabriel as a former writer/producer of shows for The History Channel and Christian as a cinematographer and film editor. HomeTips anticipates online video to be the next area of growth. "Nothing can show you how to do something as clearly and adeptly as a video," says Vandervort. "As we see the migration of advertising dollars from television to the web, we expect video content and advertising to do very well."

The HomeTips team constantly tests site design, navigation, and ad optimization to improve both the user experience and the success of advertising. Vandervort points out the fact that channel reporting and Google Analytics are a big help in this effort. "These analytics help us zero in on where we're doing the best job and where we need to do more. As a result, our performance just keeps going up."

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