Vbulletin Adsense placements

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 in AdsenseAdvertisingFeatured
Many people working together with Adsense and blogs are of course as well running a forum. Forums are always a good source of income because the users generate the content on their own. Not to forget, forums are like cigarettes, users get addicted and will always only use your forum. But, forums have one big disadvantage – they have low CTRs and usually low CPCs. The reason for that is that your users got used to their ads and will most likely not click them. In some cases they even just accidently missclick, resulting in firstly a low Click-Through-Rate and secondly low Cost per Click ads.

Upping your vBulletin’s CTR

I have been running several Vbulletin forums and would love to share some tips for you. This article focuses more on the placement of advertisements to attract more clicks. This means this article focuses on CTR optimization for your Vbulletin forum (and other forum software as well, but I am using Vbulletin examples).Before we start discussing the placements I would recommend you to read some articles I have written before: Now you should have learned that #000080 as link color is a good choice and that large-rectangles will pay you out most. You will want to make your ads look as content of your site. Keep that in Mind and you will understand the reason for the following ad-placements. Replace my background and border color (EAEBEC) with the colors of the background where you place your advertisements.I am using both Image and Text ads in my forum. Some content pages might target lower-paying ads which are then often shown as image ads. Image-ads are of course a lot more disturbing but in some cases might yield a little more money. Test it and decide yourself.

The best vBulletin AdSense placings

You will need to edit the templates, to do so, open your Vbulletin options, then go to “Styles & Templates” and then to “Edit Templates”. Replace “your_channel_id” with your channel id, “your_publisher_id” with your publisher id and “alternate_ad_url” with an URL pointing to your alternate ads. If you have no alternate URL then leave it blank and put no value between the “.
Large Rectangles

Large Rectangles

A navbar advertisement is definitely the way to go because it is right in the center and will attract a lot of attention. With the right link color and with 2 large rectangle units you will experience a click-bomb. If you are using a fixed style then I recommend you to align the ad units more to the left. If your design is fluid then use centered ads. To center them replace the “left” with “center”.I increased my CTR using this tip from 0.6 percent (large-banner ad) to almost 2 percent on my Vb forums. Your CTR will be higher as long as you are not running a website about computer games. Gamers rarely click on advertisements. That’s one of my biggest problems as well, I am not getting a lot of clicks and good conversion rates with my gaming site.Edit: Navigation / Breadcrumb Templates –> navbar. -Go to the end of the file and paste at the very far buttom:
<div align="left"> <table> <td> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "your_publisher_id"; google_ad_width = 336; google_ad_height = 280; google_ad_format = "336x280_as"; google_ad_type = "text_image"; google_ad_channel = "your_channel_id"; google_alternate_ad_url = "alternate_ad_url"; google_color_border = "EAECEE"; google_color_bg = "EAECEE"; google_color_link = "000080"; google_color_text = "000000"; google_color_url = "808080"; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </td> <td> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "your_publisher_id"; google_ad_width = 336; google_ad_height = 280; google_ad_format = "336x280_as"; google_ad_type = "text_image"; google_ad_channel = "your_channel_id"; google_alternate_ad_url = "alternate_ad_url"; google_color_border = "EAECEE"; google_color_bg = "EAECEE"; google_color_link = "000080"; google_color_text = "000000"; google_color_url = "808080"; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </td> </table> </div>
Link Unit

Link Unit

You might already have noticed my link-unit on top of the navigation-bar. That’s a very tricky location because users will think that the ads are part of your navigation bar. In fact, I once made the ads look exactly the same as my navigation bar but then quickly received a message from google telling me I should remove advertisement from inproper locations (I am not sure whether they were talking about the link unit because I had ads that looked like threads…). The link-unit had a CTR of 0.75-1.5 percent which is quite a lot. Anyways, I made them look a little more normal again. and still get very good results. Note: the following code can vary a little depending on your forum’s navbar.Edit: Navigation / Breadcrumb Templates –> navbar. -Search for: <!– nav buttons bar –> and paste below:
<div align="left"> <script type="text/javascript"> google_ad_client = "your-publisher-id"; google_ad_width = 728; google_ad_height = 15; google_ad_format = "728x15_0ads_al_s"; google_color_border = "E8E9EA"; google_color_bg = "E8E9EA"; google_color_link = "000080"; google_color_url = "E8E9EA"; google_color_text = "E8E9EA"; google_ad_channel ="your_channel_id"; google_alternate_ad_url = "alternate_ad_url"; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </div>
Postbit

Postbit

The thought of the next ad is the following: What are users looking at when browsing through a forum? Of course – they are looking at the content within the threads. That means placing an advertisement there would be ideal. I have not yet found a code to wrap text around the advertisement. That is quite difficult because when someone starts a thread with a quote or code then the layout of that is usually destroyed. A good design is very important so unless someone provides a better code that will not break the design I highly suggest you to just place your advertisement above the post.Edit: Postbit templates –> postbit. -Search for <!– / icon and title –> and paste after the </if> the following:
<div align="left"> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "your_pub_id"; google_ad_width = 336; google_ad_height = 280; google_ad_format = "336x280_as"; google_ad_type = "text_image"; //2007-11-29: D3scene_Header, D3Scene google_ad_channel = "your_channel_id"; google_alternate_ad_url = "alternate_ad_url"; google_color_border = "EAEBEC"; google_color_bg = "EAEBEC"; google_color_link = "000080"; google_color_text = "000000"; google_color_url = "000000"; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </div>
To show the postbit ad on every page only in front of the first post use the following code:
<if condition="($post[postcount] % $vboptions[maxposts] == 1)">the postbit code</if>
Link Units

Link Units

You now have 3 content-ads on your website and reached your maximum, but you can still place more link units. Some of you might say now, oh, less ads equals more money, but that is not the case. I can strongly recommend you to make use of your 2 remaining link units. You should place the remaining adsense advertisements as second post in your forum board.Users read through the content of your thread and then continue reading below with the replies. The first thing they will see are the advertisements which they will then eventually click.You could modify my code to show an avatar and look more like a user. That will increase your CTR even further but might be a little too tricky for Adsense. They ban you for everything, so I can only recommend you to go 100 percent white hat. Replace the “Your-Website-name” with a desired name of your choice. I recommend you to simply put the name of the site there.Edit: Postbit templates –> postbit. -Go to the end of the file and paste the following:
<if condition="($post[postcount] % $vboptions[maxposts] == 1)"><div style="padding:6px 0px 0px 0px;margin-top:4px;"> <table class="tborder" cellpadding="$stylevar[cellpadding]" cellspacing="$stylevar[cellspacing]" border="0" width="100%" align="center"> <tr> <td class="thead" align="left">Your-Website-Name</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alt1" align="center"> <div align="left"> <table> <tr> <td width="200"> <script type="text/javascript"> google_ad_client = "your_pub_id"; google_alternate_color = "FFFFFF"; google_ad_width = 200; google_ad_height = 90; google_ad_format = "200x90_0ads_al"; google_color_border = "EAEBEC"; google_color_bg = "EAEBEC"; google_color_link = "000080"; google_color_text = "000000"; google_color_url = "008000"; google_ad_channel = "your_channel_id"; </script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"></script> </td> <td width="200"> <script type="text/javascript"> google_ad_client = "your_pub_id"; google_alternate_color = "FFFFFF"; google_ad_width = 200; google_ad_height = 90; google_ad_format = "200x90_0ads_al"; google_color_border = "EAEBEC"; google_color_bg = "EAEBEC"; google_color_link = "000089"; google_color_text = "000000"; google_color_url = "008000"; google_ad_channel = "your_channel_id"; </script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"></script> </td></tr></table></div></td></tr></table></div></if>

Using popunders to monetize your traffic

Last thing you might be interested in using is a popunder advertisement. They are somehow like popups and payout most. Go for a Valueclickmedia popup, cpxinteractive or tribalfusion popup. I am making most money with the valueclick popup in my VB forum.

Showing ads to guests only

Keep in mind that too many advertisements are really disturbing for your users. They are not gonna stay on your website if everything is spammed with advertisements. As a result I am showing ads exclusively to guests. People that register will not see a single advertisement at all. That will make them return to my website and perhaps start participating in discussions which will on the long term benefit me because of their added content. You could also show large-ads to guests and tiny ad units to users but that depends on your philosophy :-).To do so simply wrap another if condition around your whole ad tag. If you want to do that with a posbit advertisement wrap the new if condition around your other if condition (bad coding, but easy to do).
<if condition="$show['guest']">your-ad-code</if>
Let me know if my tips worked out on your forum and if you have any other thoughts. If none of the above works out for you then please feel free to contact me or try CPM ads. You might also wanna open a thread in our forums and we will help you with any questions you might have.