Google AdSense is the most popular way to earn income from blogging. Google share its revenue with bloggers when their readers click on the ads displayed on the blog. Click Through Rate (CTR) and Cost Per Click (CPC) are the two major factors that determine the income of an AdSense publisher. Publishers don’t have any control on CPC, however CTR could be modified.
CTR or Click Through Rate is the number of clicks your ads receive vs the number of time the ads are displayed. For example if your site has 100 pageviews and your ads receive 2 clicks, then your site’s CTR would be 2%. CTR can’t grow more than 20% but can’t fall lower than 0.05%. If your site gets higher CTR then you’d probably get more income. Here’s how to get higher CTR on your sites:
Finding the right place to position your ads will make a world difference of whether your site’s visitors see them, or not. Different site type would require different approach. The best place to position your ads is where the visitor’s attention is focused, different design leads to different interaction. In general, there are some areas in a web page that visitor’s eyes and attention is focused to more that the other. Over time, Google compiled and analyzed the data of visitor’s and came up with the following “heat maps”.
The best position for AdSense in Sites
The heat map suggests that the darker the area, more likely it is for visitors to look at your ads, and the better your ads will perform. From the diagram we can tell that the best performing ads are normally placed before the main content of the site, and the next place is above the fold and the left sidebar.
The best position for AdSense in Blogs
In Blogs there are more hot zones at which visitors focus their attention.
Between blog posts – on the main page or wherever the blog post snippets are displayed. Visitors who go through your posts will be reading your (banner) ads in between the posts.
Link units – you can add AdSense link units at areas where links are normally placed, such as below the blog’s title or at the sidebar.
Search form – if you run your own blog (not a free hosted one like Blogger or WordPress.org), you can replace the search form with Google’s AdSense for Search so you could earn some money from the ads displayed in the search result page.
The best position for AdSense in Forum
Forum visitors over time could develop ad-blindness. So, here are some strategies that should make repeat visitors notice the ads more.
Above or Below first post – eyes and attention of your forum regulars goes straight to the first post. So place your ad unit around the first post to be quite effective.
After last post – ad unit placed immediately after last post will whisper visitors what to do next. Don’t place ads after the footer, as visitors who the next thread will not see the ad.
Between posts – such as on the websites, placing ad units between thread posts is quite effective for forums.
The same color scheme – blending with your site’s color profile help to identify them not as ads, but as links similar to those of your site.
Blend ads – remove the borders by setting a similar color as site’s background helps to show ads as being part of your site. Be careful, don’t blend text or the ‘Ads by Goooogle’ with your background color as its against Google Rules.
Add links between posts or to related articles. A lower bounce rate means that readers must visit more pages, see more ads and therefeore are more likely to click on them. This leads to a higher CTR.
At least 60-70% of your traffic should be from search engines. Visitors that come through search engines are more likely to click on ads because they are on a quest to find information.
Chops and Changes
Let’s say you’ve made a number of regular visitors and over time they become so used to with your site’s layout that their brain will stop noticing places where you put ads. This is called ad-blindness. Usually people come to your site to read content and not to see or click your ads.
So, changing regularly the position, sizes and types of your ads could make your visitors avoid ad blindness.
Change size, colors, background of advertisements. Find out what works best for your site, not what others write based on their experiments.