In the past, I have been a big user of Google Adsense. But lately (for obvious reasons) I have been trying a few more experiments with the Amazon Associates program among other things.
Both can be great ways to monetize your site, they just serve slightly different segments. The Amazon associates program tends to work well on product based sites; while Google Adsense tends to work well with information based sites.
However, the reality is that the topic of many niche sites can be a blend of both information and product based information. So what should you use, Amazon or Adsense?
The answer is that you can use both if you want to. I have been asked several times by people wondering: “Can I have Amazon and Adsense on my sites?” Yes, yes you can.
I have found nothing in either the Google Adsense policies or the Amazon Associates program that states that you cannot combine the 2 ad networks on the same site. This can be a boost to your income. You can see sites that do this all over the web. In particular, if you want to see it in action visit Hubpages.com – lots of different “hubs” have both Amazon and Adsense placed on them (along with eBay affiliate links and others).
How to Implement Amazon and Adsense
Here are some guidelines of how I would recommend implementing the 2 ad networks if you decide to try this out. First, Amazon tends to work better as text links within your content rather than banner ads. So, don't put a big 300×250 Amazon Associates banner ad in your content – its less effective (typically).
Instead, link the text within your content to Amazon any time you mention the product or product related phrases. Also have a call to action near the end asking the reader to read more about the product, or check out the pricing of the product, or any other call to action that will encourage them to click on the link and view the product in Amazon.
Google Adsense on the other hand does work well as Ad units. I have discussed a few times in the past some of the best Google Adsense ad placements here. In general, the ads that are in the content and above the fold will perform the best. I usually recommend a medium or large rectangle unit just below the title either right or left justified. This is going to be your highest click through rate unit most likely.
2017 Update: I now use a free ad tester called Ezoic which makes testing different Adsense placements very simple. Click here to try it out.
How to Increase Earnings
You will need to monitor your earnings to make sure that adding Amazon or Adsense does not decrease your overall revenue. If having Amazon on your site takes away more from your Adsense earnings than it adds, then don't do it. Obviously, you will need to test and monitor your earnings over a few months to determine what works best. In addition, you should always be willing to test out different layouts to see what gives you the highest click through rate and earnings.
This is how you can increase your earnings. I've personally found that for the most part, its niche specific as mentioned before. Some keywords will just earn more with Adsense and some may perform better with Amazon.
Overall, there is no reason why you can have both Google Adsense and Amazon on your site at the same time. You may find that it increases your overall earnings, so test it out!
What are you thoughts? Have you tested using both ad networks on your sites before? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.