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Strategies in upping CTR
Spin-off from another thread
Clark




msg:1340211
 7:06 pm on Jul 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Cornwall said [webmasterworld.com]:
A decent tourist site should give you (at least) triple figures daily.
As far as I can see, apart from the small matter to getting punters to visit your own site to start with, the skill then lies in :-

1. Upping the CTR (I have been able to get a steady improvement by better ad placing on the page), toyng with banner v skyscraper relative to page layout, ...

2. Getting a higher value of ad clicked on. Again better targeting by Google (and I would like to think myself) have given a marked improvement.

If you have just started, then aim at doubling your present CTR and doubling your average CPC. Both targets are perfectly achievable and turn what would have been $25 into $100

I thought it was an excellent post and wanted to spin it off to ask people to share their tricks for upping the CTR.

I've been able to up CTR from 0.7% to 1.1% by changing ad placement from totally hidden to totally obvious, but to get a huge jump? No idea. Other than some text saying,
Hey Dear Visitor, Look at this cool new feature we've implemented, it's called AdSense from Google.
But on how many pages can you put that?

 

Zygoot




msg:1340212
 7:09 pm on Jul 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey Dear Visitor, Look at this cool new feature we've implemented, it's called AdSense from Google

I thought that putting something like that on your pages was against Google his TOS for AdSense?

Clark




msg:1340213
 7:20 pm on Jul 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think it depends how you do it. For example this [google.blogspace.com] would probably result in this [google.blogspace.com] happening. What they probably don't want is for you to call attention to the ad with a technique like PLEASE CLICK ON MY ADS TO HELP SUPPORT THIS SITE! But if you mention that you have added AdSense in an "honest" way, they probably wouldn't have a problem with it.

P.S. Reading the first link is definitely worthwhile for techies who haven't "reverse-engineered" the adsense code. It is interesting how he did that. I'm surprised they didn't kick him out of adsense altogether.

chiyo




msg:1340214
 7:22 pm on Jul 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

To me its all about embracing Adsence in the page - making it an integral part of the page and a benefit you are giving your readers that you are proud of. Major mistake is to make it look like an "add-on", or something that is just there to make you money or pay expenses. Excude confident with where you put it, and as long as it is REALLY providing relevant ads, your readers will also feel confident in clicking.

Clark




msg:1340215
 7:24 pm on Jul 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Intriguing idea! You make the ad even sound exciting! I wish I could understand how to do that. If you're ok with stickying me the url I'd love to look at an example (if not, that's ok too). Thanks.

chiyo




msg:1340216
 7:28 pm on Jul 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well luckily the default tower color scheme matches our site, so that helps. Nothing special in the design apart from putting it always starting well above the fold, and always in the same place on the page, (in our case on the extreme right column all to itself)..

No need to tell people to click on it. Your design should speak a thousand words.

Made In Sheffield




msg:1340217
 7:37 pm on Jul 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Where does it say you can't say "Please support this site by visiting our advertisers?".

I didn't see that in the FAQ or the TOS (I didn't read every word)

Cheers,
Nigel

xunker




msg:1340218
 8:07 pm on Jul 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

For me, I've found pretty reasonable returns placing the banners/sscrapers on so called "exit pages", which is to say pages that the user, if they don't find what they're looking for, are likely to go to a different site from. And since I run an entertainment site, people are very likely to see the banner and say "Hey, that link says it'll lead me to funny pictures of Cows!" After all, if you're going to leave the site anyway...

My exit pages are, by and large, lists of users' content -- and this itself can cause some pretty amusing ads to be served, too.

cpnmm




msg:1340219
 12:26 am on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

How about putting a message above the ads saying 'links related to this page' or 'google search links for this page'.

Would this be against the TandCs?

I recently removed my graphical banner ads to see if that would affect the click rate on the google ads but didn't notice any difference. Anyone else experimented with this?

europeforvisitors




msg:1340220
 2:25 am on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

How about putting a message above the ads saying 'links related to this page' or 'google search links for this page'.

Don't. They aren't "links related to this page" or "Google search links." They're ads, and they're clearly labeled as such. Doing anything that could be construed as encouraging clickthroughs might easily get you tossed from the program. Why risk it? Just concentrate on building a quality information site and let the ads speak for themselves.

Clark




msg:1340221
 5:12 am on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

In my experience, if you write the peeps at Google, they will tell you if something is ok or not. Ask them first with the exact terminilogy you want then do it if you get the ok.

Imaster




msg:1340222
 5:49 am on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

What is working better in general? The skyscraper or the 468 banner?

Clark




msg:1340223
 5:56 am on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think skyscraper

Jenstar




msg:1340224
 6:20 am on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

What is working better in general? The skyscraper or the 468 banner?

There is quite a long discussion on banner versus skyscraper here:
[webmasterworld.com...]

Skyscraper wins :)

TravelQuest




msg:1340225
 2:18 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)


How about putting a message above the ads saying 'links related to this page' or 'google search links for this page'.

Don't. They aren't "links related to this page" or "Google search links." They're ads, and they're clearly labeled as such. Doing anything that could be construed as encouraging clickthroughs might easily get you tossed from the program. Why risk it? Just concentrate on building a quality information site and let the ads speak for themselves.

They will drop you like a rock,, they have their head in the clouds, and they will not tell you why, or reply to email.

Commission King




msg:1340226
 2:38 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I heard the same thing too. If you improve your click through rate, Google will nuke you for fraud. Now if google nukes someone who didn't cheat and google refuses to pay them, then who is the fraudulent party in this senario?

Food for Thought.....

Jenstar




msg:1340227
 2:51 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you improve your click through rate, Google will nuke you for fraud.

From the couple people who have posted (I am pretty sure it is in the Fraudulent Clicks thread [webmasterworld.com]) it seems that Google is flagging those with very high CTR rates, particularly 30% and higher.

I don't think anyone has posted about being targeted for fraudulent clicks that had a low CTR, at least that I can recall.

cornwall




msg:1340228
 7:27 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>it seems that Google is flagging those with very high CTR rates, particularly 30% and higher.

If you think about it logically, they have to.

In the UK the Inland Revenue (income tax people) have for each industry a figure for the "norm". If your tax return is outside that, they look at your in more detail.

Google know by now what the CTR is for each industry, and flag that if it is way out.

As has been said in the other thread, the unfair thing would be if you were flagged then eliminated because of fraud by competitor, bored student on the other side of the world, or whatever.

At least with our Inland Revenu, there is a way to fight "flagging"

Zygoot




msg:1340229
 7:52 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>it seems that Google is flagging those with very high CTR rates, particularly 30% and higher.
>>If you think about it logically, they have to.

Yes 30% and more would be a VERY high CTR for me. My CTR is way lower. But unfortunately I can't tell any details because of Googles TOS :(

ap_Rhys




msg:1340230
 9:36 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

30% and more would be a VERY high CTR for me. My CTR is way lower

I have some difficulty in believing that a GENUINE CTR of 30% is possible over sufficient pages to generate a reasonable return from Adsense. I've seen a few (rare) ads achieve double figures in the last 4 years but never anything like 30%.

Zygoot




msg:1340231
 10:41 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Something between 0.1% and 2% is more normal I think.

Poweroid




msg:1340232
 11:41 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> Something between 0.1% and 2% is more normal I think.

Trust me, 10 x your max figure is achieveable on some sites with no cheating whatsoever, no "support our sponsors" or similar encitements and no change of text or links or ANYTHING on the page apart from adding the Adsense code. It's being achieved genuinely on more than one site I know.

Perhaps Google doesn't want high CTR sites, even if that high CTR is genuine. Also, they definitely don't like CTR variations or small jumps. Be warned.

cornwall




msg:1340233
 11:43 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Something between 0.1% and 2% is more normal I think.

"Normallity" is a function of which field you are in to start with. Within that "type" of web site there is a range of normal values. All Google have to do is set an upper limit, and flag sites above that (presumably for human perusal before firing off the email suspending your account)

Clark




msg:1340234
 11:47 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Poweroid: Please share. Because I just don't see it on a legit site. But I could be wrong. If you have a url of a type of site I'd love to see it. You can sticky me, or give some examples of how to achieve even 5%. Thanks.

Imaster




msg:1340235
 12:07 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Poweroid, even I would be interested in learning more.

ap_Rhys




msg:1340236
 12:15 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

High CTRs

Let's speculate about how it could be achieved.

Are we talking about individual web pages or websites?
If individual web pages:

a) Eliminate all other exit points such as links, navigation, and other ads so that the user only has two alternatives to leave the page - through Adsense or the back button on the browser.

b) Get perfect targeting so that ads are 100% relevant.

Fine, for a few pages. But to get a decent return in total dollar terms you are likely to need many pages like this.

In practice, can you have a viable (in the long-term) website without navigation on content pages? Surely this would have a negative impact on PR and would lose you any possibility of return visitors. And putting all one's eggs in the Adsense basket sounds risky to me.

In my experience, the targeting is still a bit 'hit and miss' - great on some pages, so-so on many and positively loopy on a few. Plus for my sites, over a 24-hour period, it is clear that there are periods when visitors don't click. American PSA's being served? Number of ads down to, perhaps, one?

Like Clark, I remain sceptical.

Poweroid




msg:1340237
 12:30 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Clarke, Imaster

I'm sure the Adsense's confidentiality clause extends to Stickys as well.

But I think we all missed an important point. This was explained by Cornwall.

>> "Normallity" is a function of which field you are in to start with. Within that "type" of web site there is a range of normal values.

I can assure you that I didn't expect more than 1-2% myself and would not have believed even 10% CTRs possible (even as late as a couple of months ago). But here's an example of how it could be possible:

You have a site selling new Porsche Boxster Cars (fictitious example). As a big Porsche fan you have a lot of info on Porsche, you have pages of gifs, pages with links to fan clubs, pages with engine info, repair info, body design discussions... you get the picture. You therefore get traffic for all manner of Porsche searches. But you only sell NEW Porsche cars. No second hand ones, no parts, no user manuals, no accessories, nothing else, and no other makes of cars, and no other model of Porsche car. You post Adsense on all your pure "info" pages. I suspect you'll see an above 10% CTR as visitors enter your site on a variety of pages, see the content as useful, but see the Google Ads as a route to fulfilling their current requirement of buying the stuff you don't sell.

Clark




msg:1340238
 12:41 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Power,

I'm not doubting you, just maintaining a healthy skepticism. Are you saying that you personally are getting a much higher rate? (I'm sure generalities are ok for the TOS)

Anyways, I don't think stickies are a violation of TOS, I thought the TOS meant you can't post something publicly. If you tell your wife, buddy (even Internet Buddy), I don't think even the google toolbar will catch it. Just kidding with you. But in seriousness, I wasn't expecting you to share your own site by sticky, but just wondering if you knew of any url that used the same concept.

I still don't see your example making sense. 10 visits to a page, 1 click. That's a HUGE number that would require immensely unique situations. If you are saying you achieve that personally, good for you. Consider yourself supremely lucky. But on a "normal" site, I just don't see it unless it's the only link out and placed VERY carefully and on-topic, as suggested above. Then maybe.

cornwall




msg:1340239
 1:12 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>You have a site selling new Porsche Boxster Cars ....I suspect you'll see an above 10% CTR as visitors enter your site on a variety of pages <<

I would agree that the "odd" page can get that CTR, however...

...the number of pages will be small, and the impressions served on those pages small as well (niche, niche, niche)

...so the total number of clicks will be small in absolute terms

...and the CTR will be subsumed into the average CTR for the site which will be an aweful lot lower, hence average CTR will be smaller and more in whatever Google terms to be "normal" range

QED ;)

Poweroid




msg:1340240
 1:14 pm on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> 10 visits to a page, 1 click.

While Adsense is new to most visitors 10 visits to the page and 2-3 clicks is entirely possible AND hapenning.I have modest figures compared with some experienced webmasters on here.

Let's say you're a mathematician. Search Google for poweroid + Bernoulli numbers. You'll get results of pages that are pretty much all text. Put a skyscraper on any of those pages and you may even get a 50% CTR.

(none of those pages are mine or have anything to do with me)

This 48 message thread spans 2 pages: 48 ( [1] 2 > >
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