By Evan Carmichael on August 12th, 2009
It’s time for Part 4 of my series on how to make $300 / day from Google AdSense. Today I’m going to focus in on another key strategy that can increase your click through rate (CTR) from the $ = V x CTR x CPC formula. In case you missed the first three posts, here they are:
- The formula for AdSense success: $ = V x CTR x CPC
- Have other people write the content for you
- Location, Location, Location
Today’s lesson is…
Don’t Make Ads Look Like Ads!
If you think about your own experience in browsing through websites, you’ll likely not going to click on something that screams “I am an advertisement!” Most website owners who get started with AdSense use the default settings that Google provides and unfortunately those settings make the ad units look too much like ads. If you want to increase your click through rate, you need to blend your ads so they match your website and don’t stand out as advertisements. I’m going to show you a couple of ways to do this using an example:
This is an example where the website has optimized it’s two Google ad units effectively. What they have done includes:
Set the background of your ad unit to be the same background as the rest of your page. The ad unit in this example at the top left carries the same light blue background as the rest of the sidebar and the bigger ad unit in the middle of the page is not only in a great location, it also has the same white background as the rest of the article. Always make your ad background the same color as the surrounding information so it blends better and doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb.
Eliminate the Border
You might also have noticed that neither of the two ads have borders on them. Eliminating the border can have a dramatic increase on your click through rates because it again helps the ad not stand out as an ad. Removing the border is simple enough through AdSense but the default setting includes a border so you have to turn it off. To remove the border simply set the border color to be the same as the background color.
Blend Link and Regular Text
Within AdSense you also have the option to set different colors for the headline, description, and link text. Try to blend these colors so they match the rest of your site. The goal here is to make it look like part of your article so people will click through. In the example I provided the main text of the article is black so the description in the ad is black. The main links in the article are blue so the ad links are blue. Keep your colors consistent and your click through rates will continue to rise.
Make Link Text Blue
Website visitors are used to seeing links as being blue so changing the color around will often decrease the number of clicks that you get. For a normal website with a white background, blue is typically the default color that webmasters use. But what if you have an all green website where your links are green as well? The opinions are mixed here because by making the links blue it will counter my previous point about blending the link text. However people don’t always know that a link is actually a link if it’s in a different color. My recommendation would be to try and create a design where blue links are your default color choice so you can make your ad units have blue link text as well.
As is the case with any AdSense advice, the best part is that you can test test test all the results and get immediate feedback. Try a regular blue link versus a dark blue link to see which color outperforms. You can test background colors, border colors and blended text as well to gauge which combination pulls in the most money. Just make sure you only test one variable at a time so you can know which change is making the difference.
I always look forward to hearing what you have to say – have you been able to increase your click through rates by making your ads not look like ads?
Tags: AdSense, advertisement, advertisements, blends, blue background, borders, cpc, default settings, dramatic increase, Google, Google AdSense, location location location, sidebar, sore thumb, white background