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Too Much Blending is Scaaaaary.
What pleases your own eye might not work for AdSense
netmeg




msg:3745759
 4:47 pm on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ok, I've heard this over and over about not having ads too blended, and for the most part I've always went that way, but I got a real wakeup call this morning and I thought I would share it with the class.

I have a number of Halloween themed sites, which have an ectoplasmic green on black theme to them. They've been that way for years. I alternate some AdSense ads and affiliate ads, and have a single link unit on 'em.

I created the ads and link units in the same ghostly green shades of the site, and boy, they looked great. Fit right in. I also created ads and links in orange, just to kind of mix it up a little, even though I didn't really like the way it looked nearly as well as the blended green ones.

I also found an affiliate that had a way cool animated banner in the same general green color scheme - it was a perfect match for the site. They had a couple other ads that weren't the same color, but were scary/gory (and I like that kind of thing) so I put them up too - everything rotating evenly with some PHP scripts.

Anyway, last night I went to look at the performance of the affiliate ads. To my surprised, I got clicks on everything BUT the way cool animated green banner.

That made me go check my AdSense stats for the last 30 days, because Halloween traffic is starting to pick up. Guess what? The orange ads were outperforming the green ads on CTR, eCPM and EPC by a factor of 2 to 1. Checked the links - there, the orange ones were doing FOUR to ONE times better, with a very high three figure eCPM!

I wouldn't have called that one, but the proof is in the stats. The green ads and links are simply *too* blended, even though there's plenty of space around them and they still say "Ads by Google"

It pays to experiment. And check up on your stats, to see what's really working, as opposed to what you think will work.

 

jdmjayden




msg:3745791
 5:48 pm on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Very interesting. I too just unblended a few ads just a few days ago. I'm also seeing a better CTR and better eCPM.

Hopefully it will stay that way :)

Best of luck.

wheelie34




msg:3745796
 5:51 pm on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ive always believed and used a 'third' colour to 'highlight' the ads as blending too much makes them look like the rest of the 'content' that gets skimmed rather than read, the third colour stands out, I tested it a while ago using CTR as a benchmark, the results were as you found netmeg.

buckworks




msg:3745811
 6:07 pm on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

check up on your stats, to see what's really working, as opposed to what you think will work.

That is the golden rule for everything in web development.

surfer67




msg:3745999
 12:59 am on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

a very high three figure eCPM

An ecpm that high would worry me.

Atomic




msg:3746040
 2:54 am on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

An ecpm that high would worry me.

Really? I've had several channels with 3 figure eCPM's for a long, long time. My reaction is nothing less than delight.

farmboy




msg:3746293
 1:55 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Really? I've had several channels with 3 figure eCPM's for a long, long time. My reaction is nothing less than delight.

Where are you guys putting the decimal point when calling something "3 figures?"

Do you consider $329.38 to be 3 figures? If Yes, then I have some 4 figure eCPM's.

FarmBoy

farmboy




msg:3746294
 1:56 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't have called that one, but the proof is in the stats.

If you have lots of repeat visitors, using the alternating colors feature is a plus also.

FarmBoy

netmeg




msg:3746316
 2:18 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yah, I've had 4 figure eCPMs too, but not on ad links.

potentialgeek




msg:3746355
 2:45 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

> The orange ads were outperforming the green ads on CTR, eCPM and EPC by a factor of 2 to 1. . . . the orange ones were doing FOUR to ONE times better, with a very high three figure eCPM!

Dunno. Orange is a traditional Halloween color (jack-o-lantern). It might just be the color. I'd click on orange, too, if I was on a Halloween site. I like color themes that match seasons. I do the same thing at Christmas with red and white.

p/g

netmeg




msg:3746541
 5:54 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Dunno. Orange is a traditional Halloween color (jack-o-lantern). It might just be the color. I'd click on orange, too, if I was on a Halloween site. I like color themes that match seasons. I do the same thing at Christmas with red and white.

That makes absolutely perfect sense, except that for the past two years on my 4th of July site, my highest performing colors were anything BUT red, white or blue (and I am always testing *something* so I swap ad backgrounds and link colors all the time) The across the board best numbers came when I used a godawful yellow background on the ad. Maybe people found it so ugly they were in a hurry to click out, ork ork.

Actually, I read once where that was a fast food marketing strategy - make the inside dining ugly and uncomfortable enough that people would want to leave as soon as they could - more turnover that way.

vertigo72




msg:3747311
 5:33 pm on Sep 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

My ads are very blended, so I tried for two days to "unblend" them by adding a colored background. It still looks pretty, but is different from others elements on the page. Only result so far: CTR is 50% down...

koan




msg:3747781
 10:59 am on Sep 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Actually, I read once where that was a fast food marketing strategy - make the inside dining ugly and uncomfortable enough that people would want to leave as soon as they could - more turnover that way.

It also makes me never want to eat there in the first place... which in the online world would translate to bookmarking.

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