Day 9: Placing Ads

Banner Ad Placement
Even if your site is bringing in plenty of traffic, impressions alone do not guarantee riches when using the CPC advertising model.

Obviously, clicks are all that matters. Of course, impressions are not limitless, so what we really are looking for when using the CPC model is a high click through ratio (CTR).

A high CTR means that the banners on your site are getting clicked on frequently and thus bringing in more revenue. Throughout this lesson, we will focus on the small details that can impact your CTR in a very positive way to earn you more money.

A variety of scientific studies have been conducted looking into the eye pattern of a person viewing a website. Google, in fact, publishes a hot-spot diagram which documents the areas of the screen user’s look at the most.

While getting users to look at your ad is important, many webmasters fail to realize that the real trick is to convince a person to actually click on your ad.

There are two trains of thought on how to approach the “appeal” factor:

1 – Ads that stand out

I’m sure that you have seen the flashy ads on websites which flash neon colors or shift back and forth to imitate movement. Having ads stand out is one strategy that has seen success in the past.

Although people may complain about their intrusiveness, it is often these people who are the ones clicking on the ads.

One caveat with making ads stand out is that this strategy worked well in the early days of internet advertising, but today’s web surfers are much more cognizant of your advertising intentions.

2 – Ads that blend in
Our current preferred strategy is to make ads blend into your site as much as possible.

The goal is to make web surfers think that your ads are actually part of the content on your site. It may sound like a deceptive tactic, but if your ads are targeted to your content, you will be doing your users a service by connecting them with products or resources they may be interested in.

The first step in making ads blend in with your site is to match the ad’s text color to the text color of your site’s content. Likewise, match the link color of the ad to the link color of your site.

In this way, your ads appear to be an extension of your content.

In addition to making ads look like your content, you can place ads in strategic points on your site to increase the odds of getting clicks. Placing ads “above the fold” is one very basic rule you should try to stick to unless you have a very strategic area at the bottom of your site.

“Above the fold” means that ads appear towards the top of the page so that a user does not need to scroll down. If a user has to scroll down to see your ad, this is considered “below the fold”.

Other strategic ad placement includes near the top “X” where you close the page or to incorporate ads near your navigation.

Again, our goal is to get clicks, so if an ad blends in with your content and appears near where users would click normally, this can lead to a higher click-through ratio and more money in your pocket.

At the end of the day, blending your ads as much as possible will earn you more money, and hopefully help your users be directed to targeted resources.

Next, we’re going to show you exactly what you need to know about the content network – and how you can start using it to your advantage.

Stay tuned for Day 10…

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