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Split Testing: How To Increase Your Adsense Earnings 94% Overnight

In this post Brian Armstrong from StartBreakingFree.com shares some tips on using Split Testing to increase his AdSense earnings.

Long time readers of ProBlogger know that Darren is a big fan of split testing ads to improve your earnings. I took this advice to heart, and wanted to show you some real world results that I got on my own blog.

Feel free to take these results and apply them to your own site. Or better yet, do some of our own testing and improve on them even more!

I split tested 3 separate regions of my site and looked mostly at eCPM to compare them. If you aren’t sure what eCPM is click here. I think it’s better to use eCPM than click through rate (CTR) because it incorporates not just how often it’s clicked, but also how much you make per click.

Right Aligned vs. Left Aligned Ad In Post Body

post_body.png

This ad region makes the most money for me, and was smack dab at the top of each individual post page (but not on the homepage).

  • The right aligned ad got a 0.78% CTR and $1.41 eCPM
  • The left aligned ad got a 1.30% CTR and $5.31 eCPM

Clear winner: left aligned (276% improvement)

It’s hard to say why this is exactly. Maybe the left aligned ad looks more like it’s actual content instead of an ad. Whatever the reason, the difference was substantial.

Top Right: image vs. text

top.png

This ad resides at the very top right of every page. I had been running it with image ads for a while and decided to test it against text ads (with some appropriate color choices).

  • The image ads got a 0.35% CTR and $1.74 eCPM
  • The text ads got a 0.33% CTR and $2.15 eCPM

Interesting to note here that although the CTR went down slightly, the eCPM went up. This seems to indicate that the text ads were paying more per click. So even though it was clicked slightly less often it still made more money overall.

Winner: text ads (narrowly)

Under Posts: image vs. text

bottom.png

This ad was placed at the bottom of each post page and also on the homepage under the excerpts. I again decided to test some text ads against the incumbent image ads.

  • The image ads got a 0.58% CTR and $1.86 eCPM
  • The text ads got a 0.43% CTR and $2.27 eCPM

Again here the CTR went down and the eCPM went up. Also worth noting is that the color scheme I used on the text ad block is consistent with my site. “Blockquote” tags on my site use a similar color scheme.

Winner: text ads

Conclusions & Next Steps

For those who are curious, here is the actual data from an excel spreadsheet. You can pull this out of Adsense under the “reports” tab if you use different channels to compare different ads.

data.png

Overall these results were impressive. The site-wide eCPM from these three ads went up overall from $5.01 to $9.73 which is a 94% improvement.

I could just convert all ads to the better performing version and call it a day, but what I’ll do instead is continue testing….forever.

There are plenty of other things to test, such as…

  • Trying text ads in the post body (since they performed better elsewhere)
  • Left aligning ads under the posts
  • Trying different color schemes
  • Trying other types of ads (Amazon, Performancing Ads, Text-Link-Ads, etc)

Most people focus on growing their blog’s readership to boost earnings. This is a critical component, but don’t forget about the other major tool in your arsenal: split testing.

What ad formats and placements have worked best for you? Leave us a comment below.

To get more tips like these, check out my blog at StartBreakingFree.com. It’s is a blog for people who’d like to quit their 9-to-5 jobs, start their own business, and achieve financial freedom. I’ll even give you 3 of the top 10 books on building wealth for FREE when you subscribe, instantly delivered to your inbox! Check it out.

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. Great … this is most useful tips i ever read… i will implement it on my blog. Thanks

  2. Mitch says:

    Text ads do better for the most part, but sometimes an image ad will start appearing on my site that gets a lot of clicks. For example, if one appears for the iPhone, people just love to click on those things ads. People also seem to flip over anything to do with music.

  3. Siaar Group says:

    Really you write very interesting blogs – after repeating my ads by reading this blog I got amazing results – thanks a lot.

  4. dm2 says:

    good job….by doing trial and testing more than once, we can make conclution the best ways to place adsense to be more productive…… very good idea…..

  5. ipanks says:

    i want to try in my adsense website and look the different.thank you for your sharing

  6. I thought that text ads brought in more revenue than pictorial ads. Thank you for confirming.
    Andy

  7. Jim says:

    Thanks for showing your test results. You focus exclusively with 250X300 text and 125X125 image ads, correct?

  8. Hi Jim,

    I did 468×60 as well.

    I don’t use Google’s 125×125 ads since they are too small and you only get 3 blocks on a page total.

    For those I started out using affiliate programs through cj.com (which paid hardly anything but at least filled the spots so they don’t look empty) and I’m now transitioning the 125×125 spots over to private ad sales.

    Thanks!
    Brian
    StartBreakingFree.com

  9. John says:

    This is pretty deceptive!! Look at the page impressions!
    The only reason there’s such a difference between them is because the “clear winners” were exposed to much more traffic, especially the ads used at the bottom of the page, one got 16k impressions while the other only got 8k.

    Not particularly scientific.

  10. You’re right it pays to be careful here John. Although, eCPM takes this into account, it does not depend on # of impressions so it is still a valid comparison.

  11. gout says:

    hello….I am very happy cause following your advice, trial and trial ……I can increase my earning from adsense….your methode is very great, thanks

  12. panca says:

    Nice idea…just little change and creativity with great result, thanks for tips

  13. Papa Razzi says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how to wrap the content around the add instead of just above or below it.

  14. Hi Papa,

    Use a Div tag with a “float:left;” style applied.

    Sort of like this (it may strip the tags):

    <div style=”float: left;”>
    Adsense code here
    </div>

  15. It worked (wordpress didn’t strip the tags). You can copy that code and it should work.

  16. gendut says:

    nice strategy….with simple step will increase the earning,thanks

  17. Jim says:

    Hi Brian,

    It seems that image ad should only be used if it’s a sponsored ad (Not AdSense).

    Just curious…if I go from a 250×300 image ad showing 1 to text showing 4, that makes clicks/impressions measurement go down by 75%. Does AdSense penalize for that?

    Thanks!
    Jim

  18. uwak says:

    I already use the strategy above according your suggestion…. with 50 different page trial on 2 months ago…., with different position (post body) only google ads…..with various result….. the earning increase…. not too much till 2-3 x than before, next I will try with different color and other ads sources….thanks

  19. Wow … good analysis. Thanks for your guide

  20. ethan says:

    Thanks for the analysis!

    Some things for the other commentators to keep in mind – his findings worked for his site! So before you just follow his results and findings, remember to do your own split testing because what worked for him might not work for all of us!

  21. Ken says:

    Thanks for the research and insight Darren.

    This was posted in August. How well have these tips worked for those of you who adapted the above changes? Did you see an increase in AdSense revenue? Thanks.

  22. Thanks for this post its really very rare for new publishers as well as old ones.

  23. Thanks I but i have tried with align my ads left but no any impressive result any way still trying thanks

  24. John McCall says:

    Hi,
    I’ve got thousands of pages,all indexed, with google adsense ads and making little money. Traffic is low to medium 200,000 per month.
    check it out.
    http://www.net-ebooks.com
    http://www.ebooks-downloads.com

  25. tommy says:

    Nice idea. I never thought that placement of google ads also bring us the better revenue on adsense. Thanks buddy.

  26. humm, Very interesting, thanks for sharing

  27. acer netbook says:

    how about the ad placement here?
    http://acernetbook.net/

    any comments would be greatly appreciated and thanks for such a great share!

  28. Jessica says:

    Making money with Adsense it’s becoming harder and harder. Couple of years ago, Adsense program was really hot

    Nowdays, affiliate earnings are much more rewarding. More and more publishers go into CPA networks everyday. Adsense is paying penny per clicks .. Too bad .. I actually enjoyed it while it lasted.