2010 had been great in terms of AdSense revenue through the month of January, but once February rolled around, I noticed a huge drop in my CTR. In January 2009, my AdSense CTR for all of the sites I manage and work with was nearly double digits. I understand that this isn’t typical, but it had been like that for well over a year. Toward the end of 2o09. Over the past year, my CTR had fallen to about half of what it was, then in the past month, it’s fallen to about half of that. What gives? The site is the same, I still get the same amount off traffic, if not more, but my CTR is turning into garbage!
Update – CTR Problem Solved
If you’ve visited this site before, you may or may not have noticed ad placements in the right-hand side bar. Over time, I’ve experimented with 160×600 skyscrapers (from both Google Adsense and from other 3rd party advertisers) and I’ve also tried placing a leading 336×280 large rectangle atop the right-hand sidebar with limited success. Both the skyscraper and the large rectangle had a low click thru rate when placed in the sidebar, typically under 1%. Thought the CTR was under 1%, the placement did usually have a decent eCPM, coming in at $1.35. As a secondary placement, I didn’t ever expect too much from my sidebar advertisements, so I’d be happy with anything over $1 eCPM.
Now, I’ve decided to replace my right-hand sidebar advertisements with a 728×90 leaderboard advertisement just under the header on my site, and above the main content. In order to keep this new placement active, I’ll be looking for 2 things:
- I’d like to see the CTR increase by at least 50%.
- I’d like to see the eCPM increase by at least 75-100%.
You’re probably thinking that a 50% increase in CTR is a big leap, which it may be, but I’m not willing to compromise losing visitors, pageviews, and potentially subscriptions for less than a 50% increase in CTR. I’d also like to see a large increase in the eCPM numbers, again for the same reason – I’m not willing to lose visitors to low paying advertisers, I’d rather retain the traffic on my site, and try to gain a subscriber in the process.
How long do I plan on testing this new placement? I’ll probably give the new placement about a month or so, thought I’ll definitely be reviewing it toward the end of each week from here on out. I’ll keep updates on the placements successes and failures, and I’d love to hear from anyone who has attempted similar changes on their blog.