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Chitika eMiniMalls – How to Increase CTR

One of the common comments that I’m reading in discussion forums about Chitika eMiniMalls is that they are not converting well in terms of CTR. There are a number of threads recently about how publishers have very large levels of traffic but are seeing very very few click throughs – especially when comparing their figures with other Ad programs.

This was something I spent a bit of time talking about in my initial review of eMiniMalls – my own Chitika CTR is running at a bit under half of my Asense CTR (keep in mind you’re not allowed to reveal specific CTR of either program). Disappointing to say the least.

Of course when comparing click values the shoe is on the other foot for me with Chitika out performing Adsense (it’s paying me about 3-4 times higher on most of my blogs per click).

While it would be easy to get down and depressed about the CTR I decided to do something positive about it and surfed through some of the sites that I saw in forums reporting low CTR this morning. My conclusion is that while eMiniMalls definately have room for improvement with CTR that in some cases, publishers could make improvements also in the way they are using Chitika ads.

The following are some of the suggestions I would make to the publishers I saw today that might be helpful to other Chitika publishers also. Please note that these are suggestions only and I can’t guarantee anything – but since playing around with some of these elements I’ve seen my own CTR on the rise a little since starting my own use of eMiniMalls.

1. Poorly positioned Ads

Tangent time – on our recent weekend away we were passing through a small country town and as we were coming out the end of it I noticed a small sign off on the side of the road in the middle of a field that was advertising a motel. The ad had some things going for it – it was in the vicinity of the motel, it advertised their very reasonable price and it managed to get my attention – however there was one thing that was not it the ads favor. The way it was positioned was so that only people leaving town would ever see it and it was actually on a pretty small and lonely road which few cars used. The positioning seemed all wrong and I wondered what it’s conversion rate would be.

As I surfed around eMiniMall publishers sites this morning I noticed a very similar problem – poorly positioned ads. Some of the main mistakes that I saw included:

• ads too low on the page – this is a positioning that that many publishers using all kinds of ad systems have trouble with. When the only ad you have on your page is at the bottom of your page where few people ever look you’ll generally find that your CTR is going to be pretty low. Don’t hear me as saying ads towards the bottom of pages NEVER convert well – there are exceptions to every rule – however studies show that in general design element above the fold (the part of your site that people view without having to scroll down) get people’s attention a lot more than those below the fold.

• ads cluttering each other – a trend I noticed this morning was people using multiple chitika ads all in a row next to each other at the top of a page. On one site I saw 10 eMiniMall ads – all above the fold! While I don’t mind the eMiniMalls design – it’s not designed to be used 10 times in a small space. The effect is clutter and in the case of the site in question – dizziness on my part! Chitika recommends 3 ads per page as a maximum. In most cases I would agree. I am experimenting with a few ways of using more than this – but only on large/long pages. I’d encourage people to experiment with more than one ad per page – but be open to the idea that one or two well positioned, well designed and relevant ads can actually be much more effective in terms of earnings than lots of ads.

I wrote extensively about ad positioning in my previous tips post so I won’t go over it all again now – but I would identify positioning as being the biggest mistake that publishers are making.

As an example of this – I spoke a few days back with one of the publishers that I referred to the program who had previously had only one ads on his pages – at the bottom of each article. He added a second ad towards the top of each page and saw his earnings almost triple overnight.

2. Using default keywords:

Chitika has a default setting where they load eMiniMalls with the following keywords/phrases:

• digital cameras
• ipod mini
• sony playstation
• dell laptop

I was surprised how many pink ipod, dell laptop, canon powershot and playstation ads I saw around the web this morning. Obviously a lot of people are just going with the default setting and in doing so are probably decreasing their potential CTR.

While these are probably reasonably high paying keywords per click – unless your site is a gadget blog that talks about these topics you’ll find that they will not perform as well for you in terms of CTR as the ads are just not relevant.

3. Other Irrelevant Ads

I was quite puzzled by some of the choices of keywords that some publishers were targeting on their sites. Perhaps they were trying to find the most bizarre ads known to humankind in the hope of attracting curiosity clicks – but in many cases the ads had little (if any) relevance to the site at hand. I won’t pretend that finding relevant ads for every site topic is easy (it can be a challenge) but I would highly recommend you put some serious time into at least attempting to find ads that are on a related topic to your site.

I’d rather 4% of readers on my site click on a 0.35 cent ad than 0.01% clicking on a $1.50 ad.

One of the traps I see many publishers falling into is searching for the highest paying keywords. There are many discussion threads in forums that start with a question about this. I think asking about keyword value is starting with the wrong question. Rather start by asking questions about who your readers are, what they’ve come to your site looking for, what you’re writing about etc and you’ll be on a better path. Once you’ve answered these questions and identified your niche then you can begin to look at the different values of ad options within that niche.

How do you get relevant eMiniMall ads for your blog?

There are a number of ways – most of which I’ve written about previously in my eMiniMall tips post. But let me highlight a few that you might like to experiment with (please note that not all of these tips work on every site or with every ad unit on a blog. Try a variety of things and see what works well for you):

• use titles as keywords – my best converting blogs use this principle. I use the blog title tags to trigger the keywords on these blogs. This works especially well on product related blogs where the title of your post is predominantly the name of a product. This strategy would NOT work well on a blog like ProBlogger where I’m writing about ideas, concepts and bigger topics than product.

• use categories as keywords – I’ve seen a number of publishers deciding against using titles as their keywords but instead using the categories of their blogs to do the same job. Once again this will be most effective when your category names are product related or happen to trigger relevant ads. Test this out simply by going to the Chitika home page and putting your cursor over the ‘search’ tab in the eMiniMall they have there and typing in the name of one of your blog categories. Do this with a number of your categories. Are the results relevant? If so this might be an option for you.

• manually insert keywords using plugins – there are a number of plugins being developed for blog systems that allow publishers to insert eMiniMalls into individual posts and to specify keywords for those ads. This is perhaps a bit more of a time consuming option (although I suspect in time it would speed up) but could well be the most accurate way of getting highly relevant ads to appear where you want them in posts.

manually insert keywords in sidebar/banner position ads – this is the approach I’m taking here at ProBlogger at present. I’ve got just the one ad unit on this site at present (positioned above comments at the end of articles) and its rotating through some keywords that have some relevance to the topic of this blog. I’m still not satisfied with the keywords I’m targeting but am narrowing in on some that are better than what I started with. The key is to not just assume that because my readers are techy that they’ll be into gadgets – but to find a more specifically related topic (so at present I’ve got some ads on laptops, podcasting equipment and a blogging/podcasting book). As I say I’m still testing on this blog and rotate new keywords through from day to day to help combat ad blindness.

• consider contextual mode – eMiniMalls started out as a contextual advertising system (like Adsense, YPN etc). Of course in more recent times they’ve switched off contextual mode as the default to allow publishers to use it in conjunction with Adsense who don’t allow publishers to use two contextual systems on the one page. While most Chitika publishers do use another system like Adsense on the same page – I’ve talked to a number of publishers who have made the decision to run solely with eMiniMalls in contextual mode because the results of doing so out performed their previous contextual system. This is not something I will be doing in a hurry but it might be an option for some.

4. Poorly designed ads

Most publishers seem to design their ads reasonably well in terms of colors however I have noticed quite a few making a couple of mistakes:

1. Default Settings – once again Chitika give you a default setting that will be served to your blog unless you change it. It’s got blue text and white background. While this is not an offensive color scheme, unless you happen to have this color mix on your blog it might be in your best interests to change it to something that matches and looks more integrated with your site. Once again studies show that blended ads tend to perform better than non blended ads.

2. Outlandish Ads – my ‘blended theory’ is one that there is of course another school of thought for and I see that some publishers are doing there best to design the most ugly ads in the universe in an attempt to draw their readers eyes to the ad. My own personal experience with bright, contrasting ads is that they just don’t work on most sites and that in using them you run the risk of annoying readers more than anything else.

5. Not using Channel Tracking

I was quite surprised by the large numbers of publishers that were not tracking their eMiniMall ad units with channels (I can tell this by looking at a page’s source code). I won’t go into how to set them up here (I’ve done that previously) but would highly recommend that publishers consider using them. I’ve been tracking my blogs with channels since they went live last week and have used them to identify a number of under performing ad units that I’ve now reformatted in terms of keywords and positioning in attempt to increase CTR and click value. The results have been very encouraging. Channels enable you to take out a lot of the guess work about which ads perform best and worst.

6. Stale Ads

One of the things I’ve noticed on some publishers sites is that their ads never change. They’ve chosen one keywords and in the month or two that they’ve run eMiniMalls on their site they’ve never changed it. This means that if someone surfs into your site every day and/or views multiple pages on your site in a session that they’ll just see the same ad served over and over again over time. The result of this is most definitely ad blindness. More innovative Chitika publishers are experimenting with a variety of ways of keeping their ads fresh which include:

• using the rotation (I talked a little about this in my tips post

• manually changing ads every few days

• rotating Chitika ads with other types of ads (ie every second ad might be a fastclick ad – this is what the big blog networks do using ad server technology).

• triggering different ads for different days of the week (I saw a plugin for this somewhere)

This is more important for publishers with sites that have a lot of repeat readers. If your site is more reliant upon search engine traffic it might be better for you to find the keywords that work best for you and to stick to them – perhaps just having a light keyword rotation so that every second or third impression shows a different ad.

There’s no doubt that eMiniMalls do have a lower CTR than Adsense on most sites that I’ve seen. Disappointing but not the end of the road in my opinion. Since working on some of these areas my own figures have continued to make eMiniMalls work on most of my sites to an degree that makes them my primary earner. I wouldn’t argue that it’s the ideal ad system for every blog – but it’s definately worth experimenting with.

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. vivek says:

    You are right! I made all of those mistakes but I learned quickly that changing the keyword every week gives best result and white background is very important as it will display images very nicely. Different keyword related to wine or food also does good business. So i’m not gonna use ipod and dell laptop

  2. Bob says:

    Darren, after your $10,000 hour post the other day, I decided to get serious about the Chitika ads and see if I couldn’t make some money. I had the Chitika ads on my sites already, but had not really dug in and played with positioning, keywords, etc. to maximize their potential. After doing optimization, the next day my CTR was 5 times my previous average (and more than triple my previous high). The keywords that I had chosen were of a lower value, but they got a lot more clicks and made me more money than I had previously.

    Thanks for the little push!

  3. Cassie says:

    Thank you for this enlightening post Darren. I have been reading the same things as you have in forums about people being unsatisfied with their CTR and ultimately dropping their Chitika ads altogether.

    I would have liked to tell them that they should consider looking at what they could do to increase their CTR by better ad placement and design, but I’m not one to talk. I haven’t really put in much time or effort into my own Chitika ads yet.

    However, I am not blaming my low CTR on Chitika and their policies, I blame it on myself for not taking the time to tweak my ads. I hope other people will realize that before giving up on Chitika.

    Cassie

  4. Good post.

    another tip- set the border color the same as your page background much like you would with AdSense.

  5. OnGadget.com says:

    Very nice post, I particuarly like the keyword part, I think good keyword generates good product, and users would probably be more interested in those relevant ads than an irrelevant ones. Also, channel tracking surely helps know more of what’s going on and the secrets. Thanks Darren!

  6. bull says:

    You are so full of it. The only reason you click through is so high is that your loyal readers are clicking your ads just to kiss your butt. You bring so much undue attention to your ads. You should be banned from google.

  7. Dee says:

    This week my chitika CTR increased after trying many things(some of them came from Problogger.net, of course.) But what seems to be working for me on my most popular blog is a combination of trigger ads that deal specifically with the contents on my blog and ads that match what my readers are currently concerned about. Every day this week I’ve checked my comments and visited my commentor sites or emailed them. I’ve checked my stats and followed where these readers were coming from, sent emails to my email subscribers just to touch base with them And I found that many of my readers were talking about the same things, so I added target adds to address those concerns also. And my CTR has increased. My concern is that starting next week I will be building my own website and I won’t have time to do that again until the end of the year.

  8. Another excellent post ! Darren, you give nice suggestions. The relevent ads are more useful than costly ads. No doubt about this. Follow this and you will get higher CTR.

  9. IO ERROR says:

    This bit of WordPress/Chitika code will use the post’s categories as keywords for Chitika eMiniMalls. When I started doing this, I finally got relevant items showing, and clicks! Insert this into your Chitika code in the appropriate place. Enjoy!

    var ch_queries = new Array( "<?php $c = get_the_category(); foreach ($c as $ca) { $cc[] = $ca->category_nicename; } echo join(" ", $cc); ?>" );
    var ch_selected=Math.floor((Math.random()*ch_queries.length));
  10. Cary says:

    Wow…I just checked my stats from yesterday (after Chitika made their changes,) and my CTR plummeted. Of course, it’s only one day, but it was the lowest CTR I’ve had in weeks :(

  11. pcunix says:

    Well, I run Chitika in exactly the same positions I run Google and Yahoo, and at the same sizes when they are skyscrapers. I rotate Google, Yahoo, Chitika, Amazon and some direct ads. I can control the percentage of how often each appears so it’s easy for me to give Chitika a big boost for a day etc. I also randomly throw in banner ads instead of the skyscrapers I normally run.

    I run about half the Chitika ads contextually and half with random keywords selected to match the types of things I write about. Again, I can change that percentage quickly and test, which I have done.

    I have run Chitika up and down the flagpole and have never seen it do more than a tenth of what my Google or Yahoo would do on the same number of pageviews. My pageviews run about a half million monthly for comparison purposes.

    Again: I don’t understand why. I believe you when you say it has been good for you, but it’s sure not worth much to me. I believe that it may be very very good for some sites, but if you are new at this, you really need to use all the options you can and test, test, test. Maybe Chitika will be your best bet, maybe it won’t. It is definitely not the be-all and end-all (even though *I* love their ads!)

  12. pcunix .. how do u rotate ads between chitika and adsense. do u do it manually or u use some automated process. Is there a script that will do this automatically.

  13. Jenny says:

    Well, on my blogs Chitika has – fully tweaked – run at roughly 10% of Adsense on both revenue and ctr. However, it appears where Adsense may not have an ad so I was content.

    Until today. Hello, Chitika, curiousity is what gets people into stores. There is no such thing as a “curiousity click”. There are legitimate clicks triggered by interest on the part of surfers and there are fraud clicks of the various sorts.

    I am not going to violate the TOS – yet – with the specific numbers because I am pretty sure Chitika is going to realize its filtering of “curiosity” clicks basically puts paid to the entire pay per click model. However, yesterdays results were 1/50th of Googles. At that price Chitika no longer can have my real estate; Adbrite pays more an has a better CTR than Chitika with this insane filter.

  14. Sorry for double post.
    how do u use channels.
    based on layout position like ‘skyscraper’, to identify which layout position is working
    based on keywords like ‘digital cameras’, if your using a site with other gadgets
    or based on products like ‘canon’, to figure out what product people are interested.

    Any suggestions

  15. pcunix says:

    MySchizoBuddy: I write all my own code, so can do whatever I want with rotation.

    Most of my pages actually don’t have much in them except for a call to a cgi script that goes out and gets the content, decides what ads to run and where to run them, and spits it all out. It’s not all that hard to do, but I’ve spent a lot of time over the years getting the features I want.

    You use channels by assigning a channel to the ad when you run it. For Chitika, it’s “ch_sid”. Set it to whatever you like, which is much more convenient than Google’s unnecessarily complex system.

  16. MySchizoBuddy – I think all those options you mention are valid, but you need to take the time to trial changes in each one serially.

    I would think you try position, then keyword types, to see how best people respond to yor ads.

    If you change the position and keyword together it become harder to figure out why the CTR has changed!

    @Darren – great post! Thanks for your time and effort in looking into this for yourself, and therefore for us. :-)

  17. Cary says:

    Jenny, I sure hope Chitika is still playing with these changes…considering how drastically my CTR fell yesterday, I have a hard time believing that their advertisers are going to be very happy seeing their traffic take such a huge nosedive.

    BTW, I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but I guess you have them turned off :(

  18. Do a keyword analysis to see what keywords get your visitors to your site. I’ve found that changing my ads to match my top two or three keywords significantly increases my CTR.

    Also, I find I have to change my ads every three days or so (maybe even sooner). The CTR goes up when new keyword targeted items are featured and drop after a day or two. This is especially important if using Adsense since the search tab needs to be disabled. Does anyone ever use the search feature anyway?

    Also, “idea blogs” seem to have low CTR compared with celebrity or product blogs. It’s easy to forget this and get frustrated. The same people probably visit your “idea blog” day in and day out and probably are “ad blind.” However, other types of blogs, i.e. celebrity or product blogs, attract new people daily via search engines.

  19. Darren Rowse says:

    I notice that they have made a few more changes to ads today – moving links to the top of the ads, removing prices from them etc. I think these will help CTR. I suspect they are tweaking and making changes each day and that hopefully things will improve a little more.

  20. Lindsay says:

    I use them on my highest traffic blog and put the ads between the bottom of the post and the comments. It’s below the fold, but because Chitika doesn’t pay as much (in my industry) as Adsense, I didn’t want to jeapordize losing Adsense revenue by having them compete. Instead, it gave me a chance to add $3-6 dollars a day without hurting my other income, which isn’t bad considering how poorly they’re usually targeted (I don’t think there’s a lot of inventory for my non-techy non-gadgety topics yet… hoping it will improve in the future though). It’s peanuts compared to my Adsense earnings, but hey, an extra hundred dollars a month is an extra hundred dollars :)

  21. UsedMac says:

    Having a row of ads actually works well for my site.

    Very good article though Darren. Some great tips were listed and I will be testing some of them over the next couple of weeks and will see if I can increase CTR a little bit more.

    Keep on posting.

  22. Bob says:

    Yes, Darren, I also noticed that they have made some changes, and I also felt that the changes they made will help with CTR.

    I have a question for you. On a lot of the products that are being served up by Chitika for my keywords, there is no picture of the item, just a white box. How do you feel this will affect CTR?

  23. Darren Rowse says:

    Bob – I suspect it wouldn’t help CTR too much. I try to choose products that serve pictures as I think they draw the eye.

  24. Bob says:

    Thanks, Darren. I feel the same way. The problem is that I am blogging in a category where the number of very relevant keywords is limited. So, even with no pictures in the ads, I am still getting much higher CTR than when I was using the default iPods and Cameras. So, for now, I will stick with the probably 25% of pictureless ads that I get, and hope that they add pictures to them soon!

    Thanks again.

  25. Supa says:

    If I rotate both Adsense & Chitika in my adspace (via a skyscraper script), does that mean they can both stay in contextual mode? I ask, because I’d prefer to not have to change the keywords every few days on the frontpage.

  26. nitro says:

    I have question is 30$ from chitika oke on 50 cliks from 150k impresons of ads.. btw sometimes ads show on 2-3 places on same page so basicly its aboutk 60k unique impresons
    I would realy like to know am i geting to low click rate .. of 0.5% ..

  27. a reader - name edited by Darren says:

    I’m reading this article at a time of extreme distrust of Chitika due to their lack of notification about their recent changes involving the curiosity clicks and subsequent reduction in earnings. There is no reason for me to promote Chitika anymore.

  28. Darren Rowse says:

    To comment number 29:

    I’ve edited your link/name because I am afraid I don’t allow linking to pages that could be seen as offensive/adult in nature.

    With regards to your comment – I hear your frustration but I would suggest you subscribe to the chitika blog where they announced the recent changes publically and forwarned publishers that they would have reductions in earnings.

    It is frustrating to lose income – but from what I can see – the first day’s reductions in income seem to have rebounded a bit in the last stats. For me they are not as high as they were before the changes but a lot better than the reduced day.

  29. ElvisFan says:

    Although I understand to motive behind the “curiosity clicks” adjustment however, in my particular case this has led to culling my clicks down by 75% despite the fact that my impressions have doubled in the same period of time.

    As my site is a fan news site… I do have repeat fans, sometimes more than once a day if I post an earth-shattering news item (lol)

    At the moment Chitika does have a prime position (top left hand column) position… culling my repeat clicks or my international visitors means I will have to re-think my situation after the end of this month.

  30. TimeThis.com says:

    I don’t know how you can say that stats went down some and rebounded when it’s only been two days and you can’t even see today’s stats yet! Two days of sub 25% income for myself made up my mind! Chitika is gone! BTW, they posted on their blog, but there was no forewarning. Either you read their blog, or you find out a couple days later on webmaster forums. They did not contact their members. That would be the first step to good communication, of which there was very little. I completely agree w/ post 29…

  31. Darren Rowse says:

    TimeThis.com – This is what I said:

    ‘but from what I can see – the first day’s reductions in income seem to have rebounded a bit in the last stats. For me they are not as high as they were before the changes but a lot better than the reduced days.’

    I never said they have completely rebounded. I think I was pretty tentative in my statment and made sure that I was referring to my own experience.

    I also never said that I was referring to today’s stats but the latest ones that I can see.

    Here’s how my stats went:

    15th – slightly less than the day before which was my record day
    16th – considerable downturn in earnings (around 40% less than the day before)
    17th – an increase in stats from the 16th (still around 15% less than 15th)

    I accessed those last figures this morning when I got up.

    In terms of them giving notice – I’m not sure what you’d prefer they did. I’ve never had Adsense, Amazon, Fastclick or any other major affiliate company email me to give me advance warning of a downturn in earnings because of a change. Most of the time changes in these programs are without warning, at best they tell you a day or so after the changes on a website or discussion forum.

  32. Darren Rowse says:

    I should add TimeThis.com – it doesn’t surprise me that you agree completely with comment 29 – your sites seem to share a lot in common with each other – same wording on a lot of pages, same hidden whois but most interestingly the same paypal payment address.

  33. Cary says:

    hehe, good detective work Darren :) and I’d like to add that Chitika is still in Beta, so it goes without saying that there will be tweaking until they get it worked out….

    I have experienced the same thing as Darren – a drastic drop in CTR for one day, and then this most recent report showing a very nice bounce back.

  34. Jim says:

    If someone could walk me through how to position Chitika Ads so they appear to be part of a Blogger post I would be grateful. I’m a beginner at HTML and have tried to follow the instructions on:

    http://www.feedbuzzard.com/blog/2005/10/24/chitika-blogger-how-to/

    but I can’t get it to work, I’ve asked Chitika support and they referred me to that site. If someone experienced in html could give me a hand I’d be happy to post the solution here.

  35. Larry says:

    You can actually make Chitika show different ads on different days by using the codes shown here:

    http://www.chitikatips.net/tips2.htm

  36. Matt says:

    I went through and followed all the tips and links to more tips in this post (http://www.chitikatips.net/tips2.htm) – earnings are actually nearly back to what they were before the “no curiousity clicks” feature was implemented.

    You might think you know everything and that these tips are really basic, but read them carefully and make that extra effort and I am sure you will notice more cash.

  37. DjVj says:

    I started using adsense first. I noticed quite a few pages with a lot of traffic, getting PSAs no matter how I re-wrote the words, phrases, & layouts, I could not make the PSAs go away. In some cases, adsense would run fine a few days, then run PSAs for week, then run fine a few days even though nothing had changed on the page the whole time. There was plenty of original content to trigger the ads. The pages were very clean, & family friendly.

    Surely if it was their software alone doing it, the functionality or PSAs would remain the same over the weeks if nothing changed. I now believe google humans check the site & decide click through rates, or if PSAs run sometimes… it is not all automated, or keyword dependant. esp. on sites that get thousands of daily page views. They get regularly reviewed by real adsense people.

    I tested this by running adsense on a non-porn site where no obscene words were allowed, but was an over 18 forum discussing very adult topics. Adsense has been running properly for months at it, with very related adult ads. The click through rate is very good too. So their claim that their bots only
    decide if something works, PSAs, & the ads used is a line of bull.

    How well your ads do will depend a lot on who from google personally reviewed your site, & how well they like it or want to cut you a break, or if they hate it. I track all my traffic. I track google isps clicking on some links, threads, posts, & links, entirely skipping over others. Surely if it was just bot controlled they’d be clicking on everything equally. Also the most interesting or contoversial sites, posts, & sites, the google isps stay on for a long time clicking on stuff within that section… long enough for a real person to actually reads them, where a bot would quickly scan right through them, taking longer on pages with the most on them & less time on sections with the least on them.

    I also run galleries where the only text was “next page” & the images are named something im001387.jpg & not named real words. To my surprise after a week or so google correctly ran ads related to the pix with no text descibing the pix.

    But after a few weeks using adsense at all my pages, I could only make $30-$60 a day, & the constant problem of PSAs appearing & disappearing on very clean, original-content pages.

    I started using Chitika on pages with PSA problems, or didn’t make much, even though they may have getting 25,000 visitors & hundreds of legitimate ad-clicks.

    Chitika made as much as with adsense for the first few weeks, & after a little tweaking 25%-50% more than adsense. But I do have to change the 50 more so Chitika ads at all my pages 1-2 times a week… very time consuming. But at least most days they’re paying $40-$70 a day for my effort.

    If I worked harder at it I could have got adsense, & Chitika to pay more, but in a little under 2 days Yahoo! Publishing approved my application & I started running their ads.

    At first I was making $30-$50 a day on yahoo with much less ad clicks. I found most of the ads were rarely even vaguely related to the context of the sites, but for that much extra per day, at much fewer ad clicks, I decided not to screw with it at first.

    But my sites are a labor of love, not built for maximum premium ad clicks. The ads where installed much later after a site’s creation to pay bandwidth costs & my time. I noticed the pages with yahoo ads started getting less visitors. My best & favorite page went for over 25,000 daily visits to 8,000. I don’t care how much they pay, I didn’t want the ads ruining my sites & scaring away my following.

    The yahoo ads were constantly running attorney, ambulance-chaser legal aid, court or divorice services, loans, & banks, even though none of my sites mention or even hint of such things. They were running ads on just about everything most of my people hate a lot.

    I started filtering the yahoo ads, blocking all ads from the legal, & finance industry. Whoa! They immediately started making $85-$150 a day with yahoo. The ads are still totally unrelated or only vaguely related, but are no longer from industries that annoy my people. They’re ads for flowers, support stockings, camping equipment, uniforms, & corperate logos… none of which are related or hinted about at my sites. They’re lower paying ads now but get more clicks. It is possible to get $85 with only a dozen yahoo lower paying ad-clicks.

    My goal for October was to make $1200 with ads. I made a little over $1300. My goal for November was to make $1600, & hoped to make $2000/mo. by Jan. or Feb. with ads.

    It looks like if things continue like they have for the rest of November, I’ll make over $4000 this month… maybe even $5000, with much more than half of it just coming from Yahoo, & much more coming from Chitika than adsense.

    The bottom line is potentially you can make much more from adsense than anybody else, if you design a page around generating lots of clicks on decent paying ads, it’s something adsense really likes, or possibly cheat a little.

    But if you’re like me where your sites are a labor of love or a work of art, & your visitors are like thousands of friends, adsense may not pay much or may not like you. I frequently pull all-nighters typing out 50-100 pages about something I’m passionate about, post hundreds of pix of my travels & adventures, or even compressed videos of them. But I don’t want ads all over the pages, get hundreds of clicks on the ads, only to find out adsense only paid $5-$20 for all those clicks.

    If you want to make pages that you & your visitors love, get high ratings, everyone links to, that gets rave reviews from major news & internet networks, adsense won’t be very profitable. Yahoo & Chitika will be many times more profitable for you.

  38. DjVj says:

    Sorry for the typos, I guess I typed to fast. I’m not as pro-typer, using 2-3 fingers on each hand at 50-60wpm.

    I forgot to mention, I used adbrite for a few weeks. Best day it made 48 cents no matter what I tried so I dumped them. Did I miss something?

  39. Thats a good post it works amazingly well on my blog.

  40. dan says:

    great tips. old article and still stands 100% today. I just started using chitika these past few weeks. my problem is I dont want to clutter my site at all but Im in 3 great ad networks and I cant decide which to use and which to drop.

    I only want 3 advertisements on mysite .. 1 above fold .. 1 mid and 1 bottom.. tough deicision where to put stuff.

    I also completely skipped over the fact that you cn add keywords.. i remember reading it but never bothered with it.. on my way to take care of that now.

    keep it up!

  41. Mo says:

    I recently started putting chitika ads on my new blog and your tips helped me out a lot. Ive noticed a good increase in ctr.

    http://cameraphoneblog.blogspot.com
    http://www.mopedia.co.uk

Trackbacks

  1. Chtika eMiniMalls: how to increase CTR

    Darren at ProBlogger has written one of the most useful articles I’ve read there: Chitika eMiniMalls: how to increase CTR. CTR is, of course, Click-Through Rate, that is, how often people click on an ad.
    (BTW: anything above 1% is usually OK …

  2. Hobnobblog says:

    The Ins and Outs of Blogs and Blogging

    These are the materials that accompanied our telephone seminar, The Ins and Outs of Blogs and Blogging, held November 10, 2005. An Audio CD is available. The faculty member for this course was Jeff Faria, of Jeff Faria Communications, Hoboken,…

  3. [...] Some Chitika Mini Malls affilaite received an email recommending them to visit ProBlogger.net for improvement on their CTR. One of the common comments that I’m reading in discussion forums about Chitika eMiniMalls is that they are not converting well in terms of CTR. There are a number of threads recently about how publishers have very large levels of traffic but are seeing very very few click throughs – especially when comparing their figures with other Ad programs. [...]

  4. [...] Jen at Jensense points to threads on DigitalPoint and WebMasterWorld where Chitika users talk about leaving the program all together. Darren at Problogger is providing advice as to how to increase CTR rates with Chitika to balance any downturn. [...]

  5. [...] How to Increase CTR for Chitika eMiniMalls [...]

  6. [...] Here are some thoughts that come to mind: 1. Firstly keep working on your optimization of your eMiniMall ads – I continue to see publishers using all the default settings which would be limiting performance. I’ve written about optimization techniques here and here. [...]

  7. [...] Chitika’s eMiniMalls was seen by many to be the real deal in it’s competition for Pay-Pay-Click advertising on blogs, none more so that Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger – Here, Here, Here and Here, who has been a fervent admirer of Chitika and has been pushing them endlessly. [...]

  8. [...] Was muss man machen um die Klickrate zu erhöhen [...]