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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Designing your layout to maximize ad revenue

So you've followed my advice in my previous posts and ended up with a site that gets traffic and is a quality site. Now you need to make sure that you keep your visitors.

Common things that scare aware potential customers and visitors include:

-Bad layout, your site is some crazy maze where the visitors can't find what they're looking for.

-Wrong colors, colors that are too bright drive visitors away. The text should contrast with the background so that it is easy to read.

-Bad navigation, there should be some kind of navigation bar that doesn't change so that the visitor can easily see all your pages instead of finding them.

-Wrong management of ads, don't clutter you site with ads so that it looks like the ads are the only content you have.

How to successfully place ads on your site to increase click through rate:

-Blend the ads in. Most advertising programs such as Adsense allow you to customize the ad that you place so that you can match the font and colors with your site. Some people will disagree and say that you should make your ad with contrasting colors to make it more noticeable but this just annoys most visitors. It might catch the attention for a short period of time but long term it will probably scare away visitors.

-Change the ads around once in a while. If you have used the internet for long enough, your mind develops some kind of ad block that automatically just ignores what looks like ads. Usually flashing banners and similar images are filtered automatically by your mind. If you blend the ads, the reader is more likely to notice them. This only works if you have quality content to blend it with.

-Keep the ads scattered around your site. If you condense all your ads into one area, not only does your click rate suffer, your traffic will also decrease. Condensed ads all in one area make it look like your site is full of spam and ads. While your visitor is looking at your content, he/she will look around and if there are ads related to your content, your click rate is bound to increase.

-Test out different forms of ads. You never know when a different size of an ad might increase click rate. Change from wide skyscraper ads to horizontal ads and see if it makes a difference. You also might want to test out different ad forms from time to time such as switching to text only to image ads. There are also new ads offered by Adsense that are videos . You should avoid ads that pop over your site or take up the whole page.

-Most importantly, MAKE SURE THE ADS ARE RELATED TO YOUR CONTENT. No one is going to click the ads if your site is about politics and you have ads about auto insurance or financing. This is obviously the most crucial part in earning revenue from your ads. Seeing ads that aren't related will drive people away while seeing related ads will increase their chances of returning.

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