Conclusions from tracking blog ads!

by Duncan Riley

1. New ads work. You will always get a higher CTR on new ads, both text and graphical (but not Adsense). Think of it like a honeymoon for ads. New ads are good for probably 2 to 3 days in terms of decent CTR, then they drop off to lower levels. I've tracked the ads from the BlogAds Advertising service for a period as well. My advice if you're advertising using BlogAds over a period of time: rotate your ad graphics maybe once a week.

2. Regular readers tend to be ad blind. Regular readers will click on ad spots but the CTR is much lower than for new readers, particularly on Adsense ads. I've had lots of different traffic in the last four weeks on a variety of different subjects and its the posts bringing in completely new traffic that have the high CTR's, and I'm talking at times four to five times higher rates on the same ad spot as per a post that would attract a regular reader

3. Old posts = revenue. It really, really surprised me how many days I'd look at the stats and see clickthrus from Adsense ads that are so old I don't even remember writing them! And sometimes the CTR is higher on these pages as well. Perhaps the Adsense ad was more relevant that the 2 year old content? who knows!

4. Niche topics deliver better ad results. Statistically its niche topics that do best in terms of CTR, perhaps in part because they bring in new traffic. Topics that relate to specific occupations, geographic areas or types of people seem to work better than general topics relevant to your broader readership collectively.

5. Top banners aren't very good. I've been playing with the my top banner space, and it doesn't work overly well, but it can with rotation. If you're going to do a banner see if you can rotate it with a number of ads, alternatively if you've signed the one advertiser see if they've got a variety of ads for you to rotate, your CTR rates will be better if you do.

6. Text Links work. Some people might think that text links are all about Google juice, and although they might be partially right, they'd also be partially wrong, because I was amazed to see some text links in the nav bars doing reasonable CTR rates. Sure, not amazingly high, but when people attack O'Reilly and others on the basis of relevance I'd argue that if one person clicks on it, it must be relevant to them. In the case on my tracking, it was a lot more than one person.

About the Author: Duncan Riley is the Editor of The Blog Herald, more blog news more often, the webs leading source of blogging news.

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