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I suspect that the lower CTR is due to the fact that the news site gets more repeat visitors than the informational site, but I don't know what can be done to counteract this.
About two months ago I changed the ads on this site from blended to having a darkly colored border. CTR went up slightly, temporarily, but is back down even more now.
The site currently has two ad units, 1 120x600 at the top of the leftnav, and 1 468x60 within the content (between "today" and "yesterday" in the listings).
What would you do to try to increase the CTR? Less ad units? Different placements? Might varying the placement on the page help, or make it worse? Perhaps one placement arrangement for new visitors and a different ad placement arrangement for return visitors?
I am open to suggestion, I don't know what to try next! Thanks!
Perhaps one placement arrangement for new visitors and a different ad placement arrangement for return visitors?
Display only to new visitors.
Return visitors come back for your content, NOT your adsense ads. I can only speak for myself. When I revisit a site, it's for the content. If it's a news aggregator, then I estimate my click to pageview ratio would be something like 1 : 200. That's 200 (maybe even 300 or 400) pageviews before I click on something. In other words, when I revisit a site for the content, I am blind to ads. Wasted impressions that just bring down your CTR and eCPM.
If it were me, I'd find some other ad network that works better on a CPM model.
ps. how about Adsense for new visitors and other ad networks (CPM) for return visitors?
Previously I had a 468x60 banner in a brighter color in the spot that displayed ads horizontally. Wow, what a difference it made by changing an ad type in a couple dozen pages.
Most sites had a white banner with black text and a square corners border with the same dark color for Headline URL and border. Mostly dark blue or dark red, a very stark and plain appearance.
If that is any help.