I recently ran a test on this blog to see if I can confirm what I posted some time ago, about making more money with Adsense.
I actually did a pre-test months ago and then repeated it a few weeks ago, just to make sure I can actually get some conclusions out of it.
As you can see in the post linked at the beginning, I recommend removing Adsense from low performing pages, in order to raise your Click Through Rate (CTR). It worked for me before, but I wanted to make sure again.
Introduction to my Adsense tactics
I keep Adsense on one of my sites only on pages that have very high amounts of traffic and don’t have a suitable product I can be an affiliate for. I make sure I have one most wanted response per page.
That isn’t a lot of pages on the site in question, but those pages make a lot of money. I don’t even have the three allowed ad blocks on them, usually I keep one or two on each page.
That is one of the reasons why Adsense sent me an email recently (automated thing), saying I am missing on some income and that I can add more ad blocks to my pages. Which I didn’t and don’t plan to.
Every Adsense click is a lost reader, so I would rather have a higher CTR with better paying click than send them all away for 2 cents a click.
I don’t have any Adsense units in my sidebars, header or footer that display on each page of the site either.
I wanted to test the performance of Adsense on this blog by including ads in the sidebar or header, so it would display on almost every page of the blog.
In the first test, I had a unit in the sidebar, in the second one, I had it in the feature box that was placed below the header (this feature box is now only displaying on the home page, with the newsletter opt in form).
This means that pretty much every visitor to this blog would load a unit every time he loads a new page. That’s a lot of unit displays.
Another thing to take in consideration is that blogs like mine tend to perform a bit worse than niche sites (not 100% proven, just my estimate and experience) for the sole reason that the visitors here are very internet savvy and they know those are ads.
Note: when you come to my blog, you may already be signed up for an email marketing service like Aweber so although the ad for Get Response is targeted for my blog, there are not many people that will click on it here.
On the other side, if you are on a dog training site and you see an ad that says “training collars 50% off”, you may not know it is an external ad and you will go to check it out (this is what happens with regular visitors that are not in the same business as us).
OK, so to get on with the details of the second test (the results of both tests were the same). I put a 728×90 unit to the feature box of this blog, selecting image ads only. Feature box is one of the perks of Thesis theme, the theme I used on this blog for more than a year and ran this test on.
I ran the test for about two weeks, as I figured that will show me enough data and I think it did.
I had about the same number of clicks, actually a bit more since the ads on this blog were clicked too, but dividing the page views with clicks, resulted in a very low CTR.
Not only did the CTR go down, the money earned per click was lower as well. Per Adsense TOS I can’t display the numbers, but this will give you a good overview of what happened anyway.
It makes sense, if your blog/site has low CTR it means it isn’t preforming good. If it isn’t performing good, high paying Adwords users will go for the better performing blogs.
Did I make any money by displaying ads on this blog? Yes. Actually the amount of money per click was very nice. But overall, including all the sites I have Adsense on, the income went down.
After two weeks, I removed the ads from the blog and monitored the numbers. Literally the next day, my CTR went back up and after about 2-3 days, money earned per click went back up as well.
I believe we can be pretty sure that by displaying Adsense on high trafficked pages in optimal spots, is the best way to go. Remove Adsense from low performing pages. Remove them from sidebars and footers, if they are not performing, as well.
What else could I have tested
I could have tested text ads but the reason I didn’t is that they would look ugly in my feature box.
Image ads for this type of blog are actually great. I run into more image ad problems on niche blogs, because some of them don’t have great matches so you have to go with text ones (more people using them).
The blog with same ads and great performance
Lisa wrote about the same ad unit some time back (the post inspired me to test the ad in the feature box) and her ad is performing great. The reasons behind it? Here is what I think and hope she will chime in:
- A lot more traffic than I have. Traffic is essential for Adsense performance which I can see on some other sites of mine.
- A lot more of Search engine traffic.
- More targeted traffic in sense of – beginners searching for ways to make money online vs. returning blogging friends.
Test, test, and then test some more. I plan to run this same test again in the future, as my traffic, especially Search engine traffic grows. But if you are already running Adsense ads on your blog, try removing it from a few low performing pages to see how it works for you. Then come back to tell us about it :)
Have you tried this before?