If you are into making money online you should be aware of Adsense but when it comes to making money with Adsense there are lots of factors which can affect your earnings and one of the major factors that can affect your earnings is your Clickthrough Rate (CTR).
What is CTR?
CTR is a measure of how often users click on your ads. For example, if you receive one click on your ad after 100 people have viewed that ad, you are said to have a CTR of 1%.
Now as you can understand if you have higher CTR you make more money with any CPC based Ad Network like Adsense, Chitika or Bidvertiser and to increase your CTR you should know what factors can affect your CTR. I’ll list a few here which I have seen and experimented over the past years. Remember revealing CTR is against Adsense TOS – so don’t expect me to pepper this post with actual numbers.
One of the most important aspects about making money with CPC based advertising is your niche but there are very few people who talk about this point with respect to your CTR. The main reason they do not speak about it is lack of experience or lack of testing. I have Programming Forum and MBA Forum and have pretty much same ad placement below the navigation bar and of same size (Leaderboard) but the CTR of both of them varies a lot and the only things that I can think of is the kind of reader type.
This could be one more reason why Adsense works great for some niche but not for others. If you are ready to experiment with good Adsense alternatives you are definitely bound to make some extra bucks but the problem with webmasters is that they become lazy when it comes to experimenting.
2. Ad relevancy
The second most important of aspect of having good CTR is how relevant your ad is to what your user is looking for. I have always seen that Adsense gets better CTR than Bidvertiser but Chitika beats Adsense by a big margin. The reason Adsense gets higher CTR is they always have good matching ads to the content of the page but that’s not always the case with Bidvertiser and Chitika has championed the idea of knowing when not to show ads giving higher CTR. Read the complete Chitika Review of why they have better CTR.
3. Daily / Seasonally
On Go4Expert.com I have seen very good CTR on weekends but the same CTR is not there on weekdays. The main reason could be that I get more visitors to my site on weekdays but that’s not the case on weekends and the lesser group of people who visit Go4Expert.com are mainly home users and prefer ads. The same can be applied to holiday season when we have more discount offers which means we have more ads giving a better CTR.
4. Options to “click”
If your user have more options to click and browse on your site there are chances that your CTR would decrease. This was tested with an experiment at Go4Expert.com where we stopped displaying signature links to guests for couple of months. Guess what the CTR shot up which means when there are less links to be clicked on your pages there are more chances that your ads would be clicked.
5. Ad size and placement
When I started searching about how to increase CTR I saw that most of the expert barring few preferred to concentrate more on ad Placement and ad sizes. Better you place your ads higher the CTR. Bigger your ads higher CTR. But then I am not in the camp of changing the design for ads and so I could not experiment my ad placement and size to an extent I wanted but having an ad in header would have higher CTR than and ad in the footer. A rectangular ad after the content works great if placed rightly.
Control what you can control to increase your CTR and don’t try too much on it because everything is not under your control.
Feel free to add your own experiences of CTR (without being specific about actual numbers) in comments below.