Low Adsense CTR on My Blog -- Help Me With Experiment

7 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Well, I finally got my first blog up (Moving to China Blog: Internships, Apartments, Fake Markets, Credit Cards, Mandarin Studies, Shanghai, and More) that pulls in over 100 page views per day, but unfortunately, my CTR is horrendous. 0.2%. On the positive side, my clicks tend to be high volume. I had one recently that gave out $3.

What I'd like to do is to seek your advice on improving my Adsense CTR without having to do a lot of wordpress programming that I don't know much about.

With the advice that I get here, I will document my changes and my CTRs on a daily basis.

Day 0:
  • CTR: 0.2%
  • Adsense Placement: 1 on main page and 2 in articles (top and middle)
  • Adsense Color: Similar to blog
  • No other advertisements
#adsense #blog #ctr #experiment #low
  • Profile picture of the author Dave d
    Hi I had a look at your blog and I can see why you have such a low CTR. There are way too many distractions. If your main monetization method is Adsense then you need to build your site around Adsense.

    I would completely change the theme. There are too many tags under each picture. You need a cleaner tidy theme with a non animated header and directly below that I would have 336 x 280 adblock (Apologies if thats not the exact dimensions). Then underneath that your content.

    To summarise you need to completely tidy this up as there are too many distractions which stop the Adsense blocks from standing out.

    Dave
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    I agree with Dave about the distractions.

    The idea is to have enough keyword rich content to get the search engine listing but when the visitors get on your page you want it to bore them enough to see the Adsense links as more desirable than staying on your site.

    Also, this should probably be in the SEO section of the forum.
    Speaking of that section, you would do better to visit the SEO section and read up on good ad block placement.
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    • Profile picture of the author Stephen Crooks
      I have got to disagree with this to an extent. Of course the goal for Adsense publishers is to have your visitors leave your site by an Adsense click.

      It takes a lot more to get a good search engine ranking than having enough keyword rich content on your site. By concentrating everything on getting that Adsense click you are effectively throwing the baby out with the bath water.

      If the strategy is all about boring your visitors into submission and their only escape from your site is via Adsense you are missing out on a hell of a lot. For starters, I have never followed this theory that a visitor will leave by Adsense and not the back or close buttons. Okay, sometimes they will, but I have never seen any increased CTR from the boring sites I have had in the past..

      A far far better strategy is to create great, interesting content that the people in your niche will love. Your pages will benefit from being potential link bait and also the social buzz factor which will all help to get your pages ranked highly even for decent keywords.

      You also get more chance of a click as visitors like to stay on your site and click around various links because they like what they see.

      As for your site, play around with placement and style of your Adsense blocks. It also needs more whitespace and the red background is quite distracting. I would use a cleaner looking template and have less exit points via various other outbound links on your site.

      Originally Posted by Matt M View Post

      I agree with Dave about the distractions.

      The idea is to have enough keyword rich content to get the search engine listing but when the visitors get on your page you want it to bore them enough to see the Adsense links as more desirable than staying on your site.

      Also, this should probably be in the SEO section of the forum.
      Speaking of that section, you would do better to visit the SEO section and read up on good ad block placement.
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      • Profile picture of the author NBaller
        Originally Posted by Steve Crooks View Post

        If the strategy is all about boring your visitors into submission and their only escape from your site is via Adsense you are missing out on a hell of a lot. For starters, I have never followed this theory that a visitor will leave by Adsense and not the back or close buttons. Okay, sometimes they will, but I have never seen any increased CTR from the boring sites I have had in the past..

        ...

        As for your site, play around with placement and style of your Adsense blocks. It also needs more whitespace and the red background is quite distracting. I would use a cleaner looking template and have less exit points via various other outbound links on your site.
        After changing my theme completely to one that was too boring and disorganized, I opted to change back to my original theme based on a combination of the quote above and my SEO rankings tanking (per Market Samurai's rank tracker feature). However, I did change the template theme color to gray to pop out the adsense ads.

        Unfortunately, my ads are still rarely clicked. My click through rate remains relatively similar (about 0.5%). My traffic is beginning to bump up and my feedback is good, but the adsense revenue isn't following.

        I've thought about switching themes again (especially since mine isn't 100% good in IE), but I can't think of a good one to go to that is as visually appealing and strong from an SEO standpoint.

        At the end of the day, however, I think I will need to give up on the idea of having an adsense clickthrough rate of above 1%. My monetary gains from my China site will need to come through a list build, increased views per visitor, product sales, banner sales and possibly amazon sales. My primary focus is to ensure that this website provides informative content for my visitors and I want to keep my reputation and brand at the highest level.

        If anyone has any quick ideas to monetize my site beyond the above (including additional adsense suggestions), I would greatly appreciate it.

        Otherwise, I will update this thread only if I find out some technique to bump adsense revenue above 1%.

        Thanks for the above thoughts and suggestions. They were all very smart ideas and opened my mind to ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author NBaller
    Thanks. As an aside for anyone who is confused. I just got done adjusting the template per the above suggestions to something a lot more basic. I am also throwing up amazon affiliate links (although, this is rather useless for the majority of my visitors who are from China).

    I am working on a newsletter as well using mailchimp. It should be up in a few days. However, per this thread, I will only focus on my adsense CTR.

    As an aside, how do I move this thread to the SEO board?
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  • Profile picture of the author Eidolon
    That flash header image is terrible - makes my eyes wander all over - especially off the screen. No adsense as the page opens. Replace that flash thing with a decent adsense banner across the page and watch your clicks go to 2%
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    • Profile picture of the author inter123
      Adsense is still hidden way on the right in the middle of the page. Perhpas you should place it where the featured article is: right at the top, a huge 330 x 280 block.
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