Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How to get a higher CTR

There are many options you can choose to get a higher click ratio.For instance, you have the possibility to change the ads themselves.

Ad Colors

In general you have two kinds of ad colors to choose from: ads that stand out and ads that blend in.Both may have their positives and negatives, but all in all you need to experiment with those types of color palettes to see which works best with your site. In my personal experience (and what I have been told from most webmasters I have talked to) colors that blend in perform better. Others have experienced better click ratios from outstanding ad colors though, so this is something you really should try out yourself. Whatever option you choose, you should at least try your ads to fit to the website's design and color scheme though.My personal tip is: Match the ad's text color with the color of your Web site's content's text color and match the link color of the ad with your site's link color.

Ad Placement

Another factor incluencing the CTR is the placement of your ad. AdSense ads should not be hidden from your visitors, but they should be visible at first sight. Again, there are still several places you can choose for your ads to appear.Text ads seem to attract most clicks at the top or in the center of a website's content area. Especially on websites with much text content.Do you already know the so-called “heat map” by Google? It illustrates profitable ad placements on an example site layout. The fields which are colored dark orange experience the best performance while those fields with a brighter color do not perform that well.Anyway, the heat map is only a tip for you. It's based on Google's researches from many different websites with AdSense ads, but the heat map possibly does not show the perfect ad placement area for your own site. So - again - it's up to you to try where on your website ads work best.To give you a direction: On sites with an article, ads which are placed directly below the article seem to do quite well. In addition, you should also place an ad above the article, so people can click on it at the top and at the bottom of the page.Important is that ads are placed where the user's eyes are likely to focus on them. You should also try to place the ads throughout your whole site, because this adds variety across your site and users have more selection. Also, more ads mean more revenue, in my experience.In case you're running a forum please pay attention to the “AdSense on Forums” section below. There I will discuss the specific placement criteria for forums.

Ad Format

The third way to improve ad performance is to choose another ad format. AdSense provides you with many different ad formats.
In general, wide formats seem to perform better than narrow formats. This is because people can read more words at a time without having to skip a line. I've experienced that the 336x280 large rectangle, the 250x250 square and the 160x600 wide skyscraper have done best on my sites. These are quite big ad formats, of course, so they need lots of space, but if they're placed well they usually generate more income than the smaller and narrow ad formats.
Another good format is the wide 728x90 leaderboard, which does best under the editorial content of a web page or directly under the page header, in my experience. The 468x60 banner format does not convert that well, but it can still be placed in areas where there isn't much space available, i.e. directly in the page header (next to the logo) or within articles.


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