Improve Adsense CTR

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 in Advertising
Today I was contacted by Kiraly Zoltan – he asked for some tips to improve the Click-Through Rate of his Adsense ads on his website. I opened the website and noticed 2 major mistakes in the layout of his adsense units.
Bad Adsense layout

Bad Adsense layout

Do you notice what he is doing wrong? If not then make sure to read my post about the best Adsense colors and the hot-spot ad positons.The first problem is that he is using a 728*90 banner. Banners are Web 1.0 – nobody clicks them anymore. They suffer from the problem known as “banner-blindness”. We got used to normal horizontal banners and do not click them anymore. Leaderboard and banner ads are out! Don’t even think about using them if you have alternatives.If you want to get a decent CTR and not one click per year then you must work with the large rectangles. They attract a lot more attention and look less like banners as long as they are not showing an image. Replace them on your website and I am almost 100 percent certain that your CTR will improve by 1-2 percent. I have been using the banners before as well and no, they did not work for me neither!So how do you place two large rectangles next to each other? The answer is simple, use html to create a table for your Adsense units. The code to do so is:
<table> <tr> <td>Code 1</td> <td>Code 2</td> </tr> </table>
That will place your Ads next to each other drawing more of the visitors attention and as a result improve your CTR. Really, whenever you make a website – this code will get you a decent amount of clicks!The next problem with his Ads is the color. He is using #FEA20F as the link and URL color. What kind of color is that? Have you ever seen someone using it before? Don’t invent new Adsense improvement strategies! Use that what works! Blending Ads with bright URL color has never worked for me and won’t do for you as well. Choose a dark blue as link color. #000080 is definately my favorite and most successful one. The reason for choosing the blue is simple: people are used to blue hyperlinks and will consequently click them more often. #0000FF is the color almost all websites use for ad-links – that’s also a problem, people got used to it and do not click ad-units in that color that often anymore! Take a darker blue as link color!You also don’t want the readers to have a look at the URL – you want them to look on the link and click that one right away. If they look too long on the URL they will notice that it is an advertisement and probably not click which means that you do not get any money at all. Make the link color a grey like #cccccc or the same color as the text in your advertisements. So if your text is black, then make the URL black, or grey.
2 Large Rectangles

2 Large Rectangles

That’s what gets you the highest CTR with Adsense in my opinion. Let’s have a look what Kiraly changed. He implemented my suggestions and is now using a #021588 as link color which is almost the same as the navy-blue #000080. But what the heck? Why is he using a #21588E as URL color? That’s not the best solution if you ask me. You should make it the same color as the text-color of your Adsense unit. In his case the text-color of his Adsense unit is #424242 which means that he should make the URL look the same. That way the people tend to look and click the Link of your ad more often.One last thing which I would suggest in case of his website is to place the Adsense units not in the middle, but more to the left. People look at the top-left corner of a website when loading the website. That is in fact the best position for advertisements. Try to allocate your Ads more to the left by adding a <div align=”left”>(your table with the adsense ads)</div> around your table. That will move them right into the so called “hot-zone” and result in a higher CTR, too.Embed all those changes and I am more than sure that you will experience a CTR-boom. I did the same on all of my websites and believe me – my click through rate is way better now. It is like in your local shopping-center. The people arrange their products psychologically to make you buy products more often. Same applies to the Adsense ads – you want to magically make users click them! Let me know if you need assistance with the placement and look of your ads.