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At what point do you stop testing?
brokenbricks




msg:1429303
 2:03 pm on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Read around and everyone will tell you to 'test test test' and experiment with ad placement, ad colors, ad types and so on.

Let's say you reach a max click through of x% after testing testing and testing different things for several months. You just can't seem to get much higher than x% on a consistent basis and all those tests don't deviate too far from x% anyway.

At what point do you say testing is now just a waste of time? When can you say "this type of traffic on this type of site will never convert higher than this percentage."

Maybe it's time to leave it be and use the time to focus on other things like traffic generation or other sites.

Any 'testers' find themselves in that situation before? When is it okay to give up on testing?

Has anyone found themselves in a lengthy stagnant period and then one last magical test doubled your CTR? Or is it ok to accept/settle for x% and use that time for other things?

 

david_uk




msg:1429304
 2:46 pm on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

To be honest, there is a limitation on the permutations of banners and placement positions on a page. Once you have tried out all the banners and positions and found out what works for you it's logically time to stop. I've been at that point for probably the last 18 months. I know what pages adsense will work on, what the best positions are, so there haven't been any major changes for a long time.

I think the last change I made was when people here reported good results with adlinks. I tried them briefly when they first appeared, and the recent addition of them has been sucessfull. Other than that I've tried putting a banner on the top of the page in preparation to selling ads direct just to see if it affects adsense earnings (doesn't appear to).

Basically I agree that there is only so far you can go with experimentation, but where that point is has to be down to the individual. I would suggest the odd foray into new layouts occasionally though, but once you have found what works you can concentrate on other things.

As regards minor changes that have made a big difference, in the last year or so I would have to say that the following three were my big ones.

1, blocking MFA's and Ebay

2, adding adlinks units on selected pages

3, moving my webhost from a slow UK providor to a fast one in the US, where most of my visitors are from.

annej




msg:1429305
 6:39 pm on Mar 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't think it's worth constantly testing but you have to watch out for new information.

I also tried adlinks when it came out and it looked like it did poorly. Later after reading about successes here I tried them again and find they have really added to earnings.

I'd avoided putting ads at the bottom of pages because the click through rate is so poor. For a while there was a lot of phobia on this forum about putting too many ads on a page.

I was reading some of the adsense info a couple of weeks ago and they seemed to be encouraging putting an ad at the bottom of long pages so I tried it. Putting a short banner at the end of each article has brought a nice little increase in earnings. That little increase will add up over a year.

birdstuff




msg:1429306
 3:27 am on Mar 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

A smart businessperson NEVER stops testing...

hunderdown




msg:1429307
 3:41 am on Mar 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

annej, thanks for mentioning the tip about long pages. I briefly tried banners at the end of pages, but dropped it when results were poor. Well, nonexistent, really. I wasn't even getting ads in many cases.

How do you define a "long" page? By words. by the amount of scrolling one has to do to reach the bottom, or?

I also want to chime in that I have also found that one does reach a point beyond which further tweaking is useless. As the OP suggested, if you've tried a few things that you thought might increase CTR or earnings, and nothing happened, you're at or near that point. But do keep your eyes open for new ideas or new AdSense features, and don't be afraid to go back and revisit a page or set of pages you'd given up on.

annej




msg:1429308
 5:48 am on Mar 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

The pages where I put the ad at the bottom has articles about 700 tp 1,000 words long. Actually I put the ads below the article and above the references. I figure most people don't read through the references.

I have never had a problem getting enough ads though. Since my site is hobby related I get ads on both materials to make the objects and ads selling the finished objects.

When smart pricing first came out there was discussion here that ads with low CTR could hurt you in terms of your smart pricing level. After giving it some thought it seems to me what they are interested in there is conversions not click through rates. Obviously anything at the bottom of a page will get lower CTR yet they still recommended putting ads there.

Maybe the results are different though if you have a topic that is short on ads. But why not try on a couple of pages and see if you get enough ads.

photo200




msg:1429309
 7:21 am on Mar 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was experimenting for more than 6 month
( after smart pricing struck me )-
trying to squeese every single dime and every single click. I squeesed a maximum CTR and no surprisingly - lowest EPC (and total earnings too).

I was disapointed. Stopped experimenting and
after 2 month discovered that my earnigs skyroketed.
Now my policiy - "touch nothing"

But of course everything already optimized at maximum.

jetteroheller




msg:1429310
 9:49 am on Mar 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

I made much optimization February to May 2005.

I stoped when I thought there is nothing more to improve.

m0thman




msg:1429311
 12:42 pm on Mar 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Anyone else get a little bit jittery just before making a change and testing something new out? Will it work, or will it see my income dive.

It's very much like sitting in the doorway of the plane before the jump master shouts "GO..." in your ear! Not quite the same adrenaline rush, but scary all the same.

Noticed in the post David_uk suggests blocking eBay as well as MFA's. I know its slightly off topic, but anyone care to comment on that?

Sleights




msg:1429312
 1:18 pm on Mar 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Noticed in the post David_uk suggests blocking eBay as well as MFA's. I know its slightly off topic, but anyone care to comment on that?

There's a four page thread on the merits or otherwise of blocking eBay - it's slipped back on to page two but it's still a current thread if you care to resurrect it.

P.S. Not trying to be a smartypants - just trying to be helpful while I'm sitting here reading and learning.

[webmasterworld.com...]

johnblack




msg:1429313
 1:26 pm on Mar 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

OK birdstuff is right

To be at the leading edge, you have to ride the wave. Tomorrow is a new customer and a new sales option.

But then again tomorrow is another great day at the beach .

Testing is finished when you think it is, not when someone else may think it is. It's your site.

JB

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