Adsense Strategy: Test, Test & Test Again

Following on from my post yesterday about removing borders, some people think that’s a good idea, others don’t.

And they’re both right.

The reason Adsense “rules” work for some, and not for others, depends largely on one factor: context.

For example, John Scott mentioned that he never clicked on Adsense ads. This is probably true of many web savvy professionals, as they’re more aware of internet advertising. Therefore, any site that has an audience consisting entirely of web savvy professionals is going to have a tough time with Adsense, borders or no borders.

Say you do have an audience that is quite happy to click on ads (hint: non-savvy visitors coming via the MSN serps are an Adsense gold mine), how do you know what advice to listen to in order to get your click-thru rates up? Some people say use a particular link color, others recommend a certain creative format. Who is right?

The answer is, of course, to test.

Change one thing at a time, watch the results for a few days, then decide if that change increased your revenue. It is important that you only change one variable at a time, or it will be difficult to tell what effect each change is having.

Pretty soon, you will have your own killer Adsense strategy, suited specifically to your audience.

From testing, I’ve found that there are general principles that will work across a range of audiences. Integrating Adsense with content and removing borders will typically result in increased click-thru rates, especially when compared with Adsense creatives that look – and are placed like – banners. This is not simply my opinion. This is the result of split/run testing, designed to quantify actual – vs perceived – audience behaviour, across a wide range of sites.

  1. ChrisChris04-29-2006

    I’ve been running a few tests as well, not enough quantity yet to prove, but I agree 100% that borderless ads work better. And the 234×60 or 125×125 is better than the 468×60 and 728×90 is a whole other article entry.

  2. Peter Da VanzoPeter Da Vanzo04-30-2006

    Cool, thanks Chris. Are you seeing higher click-thru rates, Chris? Over what period? What type of audience does your site have?

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