There have been many discussions on Adsense placement, with the two extremes being make them really stand out so that your visitors can’t fail but see them or blend them in making them look like they are part of the content on your site. This is my take on the two extremes.
There are various ways to draw attention to your ads (without breaking Google TOS):
- Google heat map
Bt positioning your ads where your visitors eyes are naturally drawn they are obviously going to get attention and if relevant, clicks
- Using color can make them stand out from the rest of your content (though maybe not in a good way)
- Multiple units, I often see this on low quality sites where they are splattered with Adsense units and you often have to scroll to see the actual content. Whenever I see two vertical rectangles next to each other it’s the first and last time I’ll visit that site.
- Link Color
Making the links on your ad units the same color as your regular links. I generally like this approach as it adds to the aesthetics of the site.
- Making your content look like an Ad unit
This is when a site is laid out so that the actual content, or navigation uses the same layout as an advert.
Both of these methods can work, but it should never be just about the clicks, it’s also about quality. If you trick a visitor into clicking an ad by excessive blending you’re going to suffer in two ways. First you’ve lost and likely upset your visitor and second they are unlikely to convert for the advertiser which will upset Google, if traffic from your site has a poor conversion rate you are likely to be hit by smart pricing, meaning you get paid less per click.
What I find works best is to use adsense but not give it too much prominence to my regular visitors or visitors to new content, readers like this I want to make feel welcome and encourage them to come back (I’ll make money from these using affiliates and CPM ads) whilst with search engine traffic and older pages I’ll give Adsense more emphasis by both blending and optimal position, without I hope degrading the look of the site. I’ve been trialling this for the last couple of months and while Adsense income is down I’m finding affiliate income on the rise and I personally feel happier by the look of the site.
On the advertising theme I received the following great example of an offline advert in the post. It was a product I had no interest in but the way they’d done it certainly got me to read it.
If you don’t recognise the layout, in the UK you receive very similar looking slips when you miss a parcel delivery (something I do a lot) so I thought this was very cleverly done, if it was on your door mat would you of picked it up and read it?