Most of bloggers want to attract more and more visitors to their blogs on which advertising units play very important roles in increasing CTR or earnings. In fact, it is not easy for them to find out a postion that Adsense ads work best. This article will help you analize this issue based on a shared experience of Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School.
The theory is pretty simple (and logical) really – if you increase the number of people who see an ad you increase it’s chances of converting (note that position isn’t the only factor). A good question to ask yourself as you consider ad placement on your blog is ‘where are people looking?’ Some of the factors to keep in mind when answering this question include:
1. Above the ‘fold’
The only way you can see everything on a page is to scroll down. If you were to draw an imaginary line across a website’s front page at the point where you had to start scrolling this line is known in web circles as ‘the fold’.
Research shows us that elements of a website below the fold are seen by significantly less readers than elements above the fold.
The content of your blog is hopefully the place where most of your readers are drawn to. This is the case whether your content is text, video or image and as a result one of the best converting positions on a blog in terms of advertising is within or close to content.
- Between Posts: perhaps one of the most common ad placements running on commercial blogs at present is to place a rectangle or small banner ad between posts when running ads on the front page and/or category pages.
AdSense has recommended this position in a diagram that they produced to show which positions work best (below):
- Before Content – Placing an ad unit slightly above a post can be an effective placement, especially if using an ad with a smaller height. One warning however with these ads – if you use an ad that is too large you can actually push your content too far down the page and actually end up with a page that has little content above the fold.
- In Content – While readers do scan content – their eyes are generally in it’s vicinity and to have ads in this position means they naturally see it and if the ads are relevant to the content itself they are much more likely to click.
Another hotspot on many blogs is in the vicinity of the comments section. There are a number of reasons for this position converting well. For starters, comments are at the end of a post and at a point where a certain percentage of your readers are looking for something else to do. They’ve consumed your content and will either be looking for more of the same or wanting to take some action as a result of what they’ve read. As a result – an ad that is contextually relevant is sometimes quite clickable. The other reason ads near comments do well is because they are a place that draws the eye of your reader. The discussion that happens on a post can be just as valuable to readers as the post itself and so they become hotspots.
Darren Rowse places a rectangle ad at the end of his posts and a bit above comments. He found that these ads can some days get a higher CTR than any other ad on the blog.
A strategy that some bloggers use is to draw the eye of their readers towards their ads by using images or other visual aids.
5. Left Hand Side
In more recent times the research and expert opinion on the matter is that the left hand side is best. Perhaps this is because those of us from countries which read from left to right are wired to look left when viewing a page – or perhaps there is some other reason.
AdSense published the following ‘heat map’ to illustrate where they found ‘hot spots’ to be on web pages. As you’ll see – ads positioned to the left tend to do better than those on the right.
Best position in shared experience of Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse said that one afternoon he decided to move his ad unit from the banner position to a spot at the top left hand side of his post area and that night he logged into AdSense to see what the results were like after a few hours before going to bed he saw his CTR 40% and the CTR was up by just under 50% in the following morning. That means 50% increase in his earnings for the change.
Ad positioning is vitally important to the performance of ad units like AdSense. It has a very significant impact upon the amount of money that they are able to earn.
In general – the positions that are ‘hot’ can be seen on the heatmap to the right (this is the official AdSense heatmap which they put together from their own research and observations of where ads work best. You can see how anywhere at the top of content can work best but that in general above the fold and to the left seems to be the ‘hotter areas’.
This does vary from blog to blog and there are some specific spots that work best on blogs. The key is to try different things and to find what works best on your blog.
Ad Units “Targeted”
Make sure your best-performing ad units have ad channels associated with them. It’s a great way keep track of the styles and placements that work best on your site. You can now also connect your AdSense account with your Google Analytics account to see exactly which pages generate the most revenue.
When you create your channel, make sure you select the Targeting option. This allows advertisers to more easily find your site when they’re setting up their campaign in AdWords.