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December 27, 2006

How I Increased My AdSense Click Thru Rate By 30%

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 12/27/2006 04:40:00 AM
Since I started blogging, I have learned that improving the conversion rate of my AdSense ads can make a big difference to my income from blogging. If you blog for a living, then you live and die by the performance of your contextual ads. The top providers of contextual ads are Google AdSense (Nasdaq GOOG), Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN) (Nasdaq YHOO), and Adbrite. I have used all three of them in the past and as a blogger, I've been doing various tests to improve and increase the performance of my ads. One way I improved my click thru rate was to place ads in a prominent place. Another way I improved my click thru rate was to choose the right colors for the ads.

Blending the colors of my AdSense ads improved my conversion rate by over 30%.

I first found out about the importance of choosing the right colors when I read the AdSense blog . AdSense recommends blending the color of your ads with the color palette of your webpage so I tested it. Let me show you what I did.

How I improved the CTR of my leaderboard by 36%

Before I started this test, the conversion rate of my leaderboard was 0.23% which meant that for every 1000 page views, 2 people clicked on it - a very low conversion rate. My A/B test was very simple. I took a regular leaderboard (728x90) and I changed the color of the URL link. The standard palette has a URL link color of #999999 which is gray. My custom palette had a URL link color of #FFFFCC which is yellow. That one simple change improved my click thru rate by 36%. For every 1000 page views, 3 people clicked on my leaderboard.

How I improved the click thru rate of my large rectangle by 31%.

I took a large rectangle (336x280) and I did the same thing. The standard palette has a URL link color of #999999. My custom palette had a URL link color of #FFFFCC. That one simple change improved my click thru rate by 31%. With the standard palette, 4 people clicked on the large rectangle per thousand page views. With the test palette, 5 people clicked on the large rectangle for every thousand page views.

Explaining the Results
Since the only thing I changed was the color of the URL, color clearly plays a very big role in explaining the improvement in click thru rate. My big conclusion is this:

Less is more. Readers like white space and yellow looks white. By choosing yellow as the color of the url, perhaps some of the readers saw white space. If this is the case, then my experiment suggests that readers are more likely to click on an ad that gives them less detail about a product or service than an ad that bombards them with information. People like things to be simple - think Google.

I was very surprised when I crunched the numbers and found that changing the color of my ads could increase the click thru rate so dramatically. If you're reading this and don't believe me, go ahead and try it yourself.

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