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what color

what is the best color for ads

     
4:30 pm on Sep 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Does anybody have opinions/stats on which colors generate the most click-thrus? I have experimented for the past 12 hours with a switch from green to red borders. Click-thru rates are down a bit. I was hoping the red, (my sites are a green theme) would attract more attention. Perhaps they are now just screaming "I am an ad!" and are not getting the clicks.

So, do ads that match your site do better or do ads that stand out a bit more do better? I am only going to give the red color ads 24 hours before I yank them. I guess I was hoping to reverse this lousy click-thru rate trend of the past couple weeks.

4:44 pm on Sept 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Depends on your audience, I'd say.

Start by profiling the demographics of your site visitors:
age, income bracket, level of education, reason for visiting the site, first time vs. regular visitor, internet information seeker vs. internet shopper, experienced www user vs. inexperienced www user etc.

Then you'll be in a better position to judge whether you want to make the ad panel stand out prominently from the page or whether you want it to subtly blend into the background.

5:02 pm on Sept 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You also want the colors to be complimentary, but contrasting as well, so they stand out. I have seen some, where the publisher was obviously trying to make them as noticeable as possible - they were noticeable all right, simply because the were horrendously gaudy and clashed with the color scheme of the entire site.

The success of colors will vary depending on the site's own color scheme, as well as the audience. The colors that college students find appealing will be quite different from what the 65+ crowd finds appealing.

7:23 pm on Sept 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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We use the default, primarily because that is the color scheme of our site. So our strategy is not to make Adsense stand out by using an entirely different color scheme, but to make it blend more with the content. That way, it is harder to distinguish Adsense as an ad, but merely as part of the content. And so far, this strategy has worked well with us.
8:35 pm on Sept 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Alika:

How do you know it has worked well for you, without stats from a different color scheme to compare against?

9:18 pm on Sept 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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default works pretty well for me too. i spent the last week toying with a few different combinations and saw click throughs drop alarmingly. changed back today and click throughs are up about 50 percent over 7 day rolling average.
2:06 am on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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so far today, my test of the stand-out, clashing, red color is not very helpful. The click-thru rate is a little better than yesterday, but nothing drastic. I guess if red is not hurting anything it can't hurt to contine the experiment a bit longer.
2:07 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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A few weeks back I experimented with color - I changed the ads to match the grey and orange color scheme on one of my sites (so not a perfect test, since the other main site remained in Google standard colors)

In the 14 days before the colors changed, the CTR averaged (using an index) 100.

I ran the test for 2 weeks. At the end of this time, the CTR was down to 90. I switched this site back to the standard Goodle colors. In the following 14 days, the CTR averaged 96.

Now, I think that there's a slow decline overall in CTR. In the 1st 14 days of running AdSense, my CTR (based on the same index as above) was 114.

But even taking this into account, I am concluding that blending the ads into the rest of the page decreases the CTR.

D.

3:44 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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sorry devlin, this post i hadn't seen.

we need more stats like this and that I posted in the other "hide url" thread.

as you say, there are other variables in your experiment that dirty the results, namely the other site(s) and maybe an overall drop in ctr anyway.

I have gone for a blended colour scheme today and will give it to Monday or so....unless I get two days of terrible results in which case we go back to the more conspicuous colours.

[edited by: esllou at 5:19 pm (utc) on Sep. 12, 2003]

4:45 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think you need to give it longer than a few days - CTR can fluctuate wildly, which is why I took the data over 3 separate periods of 2 weeks each.

OK, you may suffer a loss in revenue over that period, but, if you make a correct decision based on reasonable data, you will be optimising revenue in the long term.

D.

5:29 pm on Sept 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I second that. If you change to a blended colour scheme on a Friday and track the results until Monday, you're basically tracking weekend visitors only, who, in the case of most websites, have a different demographic profile from weekday visitors. It will then be difficult to interpret any changes in the statistics accurately.
4:44 pm on Sept 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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OK.

My results seem to indicate the red border did little or nothing. I have changed the color back to green (matches my site).

I may try colorless borders next, but I'd like to get some information from others on this board too.

7:39 pm on Sept 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I played around with matching the AdSense colors to colors I use on my site, using four different designs. A couple of the designs were a bit bland - that is, they blended into the background without catching the viewer's eye - and my click-through rate dropped a bit. I changed the two bland color schemes such that the borders had good contrast with the background of the site *and* the background of the ad, and the click-through rate edged up marginally over the baseline (and has remained marginally above the baseline).

A friend placed AdSense ads on his site with the background, borders, and link color all matched to his site, and has been getting what he describes as good results. I can't attest beyond that, because I can't post his link and I don't know any specifics of his stats.

I think that how choice of color relates to click-through rates ultimately depends upon the design of the rest of the site, the subject matter of the site, and what visitors are looking for when they get to the site. I don't think we'll find any hard-and-fast rules.

8:47 pm on Oct 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I tried going very stealth with my Adsense ads. I am using leaderboard format at the bottom of my content area on all of my pages. The background of my content area is white, so I changed the border of the ads to white. They now look like ordinary links on the page (for the most part), and there is just the small "Ads By Google" in the bottom right corner that is harder to notice now.

Since making this change (from using Skyscraper with stand out colors) all of my stats have essentially doubled (besides impressions). Why? I'd say because the ads look like regular links in my content now and i'm not forcing the people to look at blatent ads on the site.

The downside is that I'm assuming that lots of people are clicking the links thinking that they are actually links to content on my site. So, for the advertisers, they are propably getting a little bad traffic.

9:26 pm on Oct 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I don't have any strong opinions on color schemes, except to say that white-on-black seems like a bad idea because the ads are so hard to read.
2:23 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I edited the Adsense ads when Google first offered the feature - cant complain about the results - slight CTR increase.

The scheme was white back (site is white), Grey borders and black text. Although its a fairly dull scheme, it blends in to the overall format of the page, but at the same time is obviously an advert.

Im experimenting with a new site blending the ads right into the main content (600 wide table, column adsense on the right), with similar text colour and same back.

The main problem is that due to fluctuations in earnings / CTR it's hard to tell how big a difference changes make, unless they are major.

Scott

8:13 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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When I moved my ads to the white content area and changed the background and border to white, I saw doubled performance....and this has held steady for the past 6 days.
 

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