28 April 2007

To blend or not to blend? That is the question

The choices you make about your website and AdSense colours and the positioning of your Ads are not minor matters when it comes to maximising your AdSense revenue.

The best way to approach this is to take a long cool look at your site from the point of view of the reader. Ask yourself why have come to your site and what they are likely to be looking for.

Now examine how the AdSense ads which are showing fit with this. Here are some useful questions to think about;

1) Are my AdSense Ads actually visible? If they are way down the page then a high proportion of visitors may not even see them.

2) Are the AdSense Ads too visible? The Internet is covered in Ads and Internet users are increasingly developing "ad blindness". Without even being conscious of it we all learn to mentally screen out Ads from our awareness as we browse. You have probably done that with this page!

Ad blindness can happen particularly where the colour and or positioning of an Ad makes it immediately apparent that it is an Ad. The reader unconsciously ignores the Advert.

You Ads should be positioned in visible parts of the page but you should also make sure that do not interfere with the reasonable design of your page. Some pages you will come across have been so highly "optimized" for adverts that you are hard pushed to find what you came looking for. I don't know about you but my immediate reaction is - this is just a site for Adverts and I am put off and don't hang around.

The other issue is color for your adverts. The usual advice is that you should make sure that your Adverts colours blend with the design of your site. Ideally you should use the same colours for background links and so on for your adverts that you do for your site.

I have a slight variation on this. I do like to blend the colours but I also like to tweak them slightly. That way my adverts don't blend into the background completely and they have a little more prominence. Don't however use very different or contrasting colours. What you are aiming for is that your Adverts should look like an integral part of the site, almost like part of the content.

There are also some things you should think about when using color on your site more generally and I'll cover that in a future post.

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