One of the most basic ways of monetizing your efforts on your blog or website would be through the display of ads. The placement of ads have a significant impact on your clickthrough rates and consequently your advertising revenue. Clickthrough rates are also affected by the nature and theme of your website – for e.g. a tech website would have a proportionately larger tech savvy audience, one of the problems faced by these sites is ad-blocker, case in point, Ars Technica.
I’ve been working on several niche websites designed to get the visitors to clickthrough on the ads, and I would like to kindly share with you what I’ve learnt about effective ad implementation, alongside ad relevance in a website.
Blend your Ads
As much as possible, you’d want your ads to look like they’re part of your content. People who overlook this stand to lose a significant number of clicks on their ads. One example of poor ad blending is SEOChat.com – their use of Google’s default adsense colors make their ad stick out like a sore thumb and it only serves to warn people against clicking on it.
The right way to blend your ads would be making sure their colour scheme is consistent with your website. The ad’s ‘title’ should be similar to your post title, your ad ‘text’ should match the text of your post content, and the ad ‘URL’ should be subtle – grey is a good choice.
When implemented properly, you can make the ads look like headlines on your website, as demonstrated on GreatDealsSingapore.
You can take a extra step to make your ads indistinguishable for real content by adjusting the hover colour of the links on your website.
I actively practice this on my niche sites, and as you can see, the post title (top), ads (middle), and post content (bottom) are almost indistinguishable. If you’d like to, you can visit Courses in Singapore to see how it’s implemented.
Making tweaks and adjustments to your Google ads can be done within your adsense account – My Ads > + New Ad Unit.
Ads within Content
One of the most prominent spots you can place your ad in would be just below your post title. This method of ad placement counteracts the tendency of visitors being ‘blind’ to your ads that are placed on your sidebars and columns.
Generally speaking, ads placed in such a manner are intrusive and detracts from the visitors’ site experience, but skillful blending will help to remedy this issue. If your ads are well blended and highly relevant to the article, they may even value add to your content. The 3 things you want to look out for when blending your ads are 1) colour, 2) font type, and 3) font size.
To a significant extent, it’s not about how many ads you put on your site, but how well you implement them and how closely related they are to the site content. If you would like to nest ads within your content, here’s a really helpful tutorial.
Sites with high traffic and low clickthrough rates might hint a significant level of irrelevance. Your website’s most susceptible to this when there aren’t many advertisers related to the categories or topics that you cover. The best way to assess this is through 1) Google Websmaster Tools (GWMT) and 2) Google’s Keyword Tool (GKWT).
On GWMT, assess which search queries you’re ranking for, then enter them on GKWT to see the level of competition for the keyword. A high level of competition means that a significant number of advertisers are bidding for their ads to appear alongside that keyword and its content. On the flip side, low competition keywords are supplemented with categorically unrelated ads to help fill up the ad space. A positive example of ad relevance can be seen on Avgjoegeek.net -
The effectiveness of your ad placement depends on 2 important factors – 1) Ad Implementation and 2) Ad Relevance. Effective ad implementation will help you increase the visibility of your ad and make it look harmonious with your content. Ad relevance affects the likelihood of visitors clicking on your ad, the better the fit between your content and ads, the higher your clickthroughs.
Work towards getting both of these factors right and you’ll enjoy a significant boost in ad revenue (independent of your site traffic and number of ads displayed.)