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Stephen Discovers the Power of Blended Adsense Ads

Inspiring comments from Stephen in the last post:

‘Up until last weekend, my adsense in-page banners used my site colors, but had a complimentary color border to make them stand out more against the content. My daily average for October was just over $2 a day – I had good traffic, but an awful CTR. I was getting far more cash from Chitika.

Last weekend, I followed a tip I read here to make the border the same color as the background color so they blend in better, as Darren does here on the site. I also implemented channels to track better what was going on

In the last seven days, my adsense revenue alone has jumped to over $220 – an average of over $30 a day. HUGE difference. And my channel data has suggested which type of banner dramatically outperforms the other, so now I can optimize even more.

So let’s see, I spent an hour doing it, it brought me an extra $200 a week in revenue. I guess in a year’s time, I might well look back and call that a $10k hour.’

Wow – that’s an increase from just over $2 per day to over $31 per day! That was a pretty worthwhile hour of work!

PS: I talk about blending your ads in part 7 of my Adsense tips - the same principle applies for all types of contextual ads that I’ve come across.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Sean Fallon says:

    I started doing the same thing with my websites as a result of doing research on ProBlogger. I also noticed a big difference right away – even though my sites are brand new.

    I still hear people defend the use of “stand out” ads – but honestly, I don’t know how they are making any money.

  2. Stuart says:

    Sean iIn some areas of online marketing you do need ads that will jump off the page and smack the surfer in the eyes – but blogs are all about reading and it looks as though the subtle text links is what works here.

  3. Sean Fallon says:

    Actually, I tend to respond visually to flash ads more often than I do any other type of ad – but in this case I was talking about adsense specifically.

    What type of sites does “stand out” adsense work on anyway?

  4. Stuart says:

    While I haven’t done any experiments with Adsense I would think that any page where the surfer was really skimming over the page looking for a specific link would be a good place for an ad like that.

    You want to break the flow of his eyes down the page and make him stop and look at it.

  5. Darren Rowse says:

    You’d think that making your ad stand out would work – but in my experience and on most other sites that I’ve had anything to do with it doesn’t.

    Most Adsense publishers will tell you that if you blend your ads to look like they fit in with the rest of your site in terms of design, colors etc that you’ll get a lot higher click through rate.

  6. DrDel says:

    blending ads into one’s site is a form of trickery…

    this novelty is wearing thinner as more and more bloggers are complaining…

    after all, who likes to be tricked?

    sorry Steve.. I visited your site and never will I visit it again. I don’t appreciate what I call guerilla advertising

  7. Darren Rowse says:

    I should say – that the ‘stephen’ I mention here is not the Steve that I mentioned in the main part of the last post. Rather it’s the ‘stephen’ that leaves a comment in the last post. Two different people.

  8. Dave says:

    I think there is a fine line between blending and tricking. Nobody should want to trick thir visitors into clicking an advert, but I see nothing wrong with blending adverts into a site to make them more pleasing to the eye.

    Most people label their advertising as such.

  9. DWB says:

    I have to say that I prefer blended adverts because ads that do not fit with the aeshetics of a page stand out and give the impression that the more focus isgiven on pushing adverts than on delivering content.

    How many visitors a day would you say are required for Adsense to be (slightly) profitable?

    DWB

  10. Darren Rowse says:

    slightly? hmmmm – all it would take is 1 :-)

    seriously – it’s a very difficult question as there are so many factors including your topic, position/design of ads, type of readership etc etc etc

  11. Dave says:

    DWB – depends on how you define “profitable” for you personally.

    For some, profitable is the moment someone clicks on that ad and you see a return. For others, profitable is only a factor once you work out hosting/bandwidth costs, hardware costs, man hours and such like.

    Factor in the price google pay per click for different adverts (this is where your niche plays a part) and the answer is one that no one can give you except yourself.

    Love the web first, love the money second.

  12. DWB says:

    hey guys,
    thanks for your advice, although the old saying ‘ask a stupid question…etc’ springs to mind. Perhaps I should rephrase the question.

    What percentage of traffic clicks on ads (those arriving from search engine and those arriving via links)?

    As for it depending on my niche, my site covers a variety of topics, so the types of ads will inevitably vary from post to post. I know that ads would be more profitable if I mentioned words such as casino, blackjack and gambling in every article.. but thats not going to be happening!

    Making money is pretty low on my agenda at the moment, with my main concern being building up a steady readership. Hopefully actively posting and being part of discussions on problogger.net will help me with that.

    Cheers Darren & Dave, and keep up the good work!

    all the best

    DWB

  13. Darren Rowse says:

    DWB – have a read of this

  14. I’ve been experimenting with blended ads on Myomancy [ http://www.Myomancy.com ] and publishing the results on Mice Life [ http://www.MiceLife.com ]. After one week I’ve noticed a very slight improvement in click-through that the change is well within the normal fluctations.
    You can read the details here [ http://tregenza.typepad.com/mice_life/2005/11/one_week_of_ble.html ].

  15. I’ve got a three month follow up on the difference blended ads make on MiceLife [ http://www.micelife.com/2006/02/blended_ads_a_t.html ]. The short answer is that it makes little or no difference. The longer answer is that it depends on the day of the week.

    Chris