Todays task in the 31 Day project is to do an Advertising Audit on Your Blog. I know that not everyone doing this project is making money through advertising – be there are enough tasks from other days in the project that you can always go back and redo one of the others.
It’s easy to set up advertising on your blog and to spend time optimizing it but then let it run the same way without ever giving it much more thought.
Take some time out to think strategically about the design and placement of your ads.
- What could you do differently?
- Would using a different size ad make them perform better?
- Would changing the colors have an impact?
- Could a different position increase CTR?
Pick one aspect of your blog’s ads to change and watch what happens to your ads performance once you have. I did this last week and increased the ad unit size of my AdSense ads on this blog from 300 x 250 to 336 x 280 and saw a jump in CTR without losing much in the way of readability. It’d been a year since I tweaked those ad sizes – just think about how much money I’ve lost in that time!
A few basic and fairly general principles to keep in mind as you run your eye over the advertising on your blog.
- Generally ads above ‘the fold’ do best (ie ads that can be seen without having to scroll)
- Ads close to content tend to do better than ads in sidebars (see the AdSense heatmap for hints)
- Ads above and below comments are other spots which can work quite well on a blog
- Blogs generally have fairly loyal readers so to rotate the colors, size and position of your ads can be effective at combatting ad blindness
- If you’re using ads like AdSense or Chitika try blending ads (ie making the colors similar or the same as colors on the rest of the blog)
I’ll finish by saying that every blog is different. The ads that perform best will vary a lot from blog to blog – the key is to test, track and then test and track some more!