If you’re a blogger, and you’ve decided to monetize your blog with Google Adsense, you’re in the right place. I’m going to outline a quick tip you can use to increase your click-through rate or “CTR” in web-speak.
By default, your Adsense ads look a lot like the ads on Google’s search results pages. Blue links, black text–pretty standard stuff. Like this —–>
“Hey, that’s great, right?” Well, maybe, but…
In our experience, people tend to click more on ads that look like they’re part of the content of the site.
Here’s a fun analogy to illustrate my thinking:
Let’s say you’d like to advertise your product on some traditional outdoor advertising, like a billboard. OK, sure, maybe 50,000 people a day drive by your billboard, and some of them look at it. They look at it and because they know it’s a billboard, they know it’s an ad, and some of them absorb your message.
That’s what the default Adsense ads are like. People look at them through the lens of “this is an ad, so someone is trying to sell me something here.” For a lot of people, that puts a wall up. They don’t pay attention, and they don’t click (even if the ad is for something totally relevant to their needs).
Now, let’s say you have a chance to re-design that billboard.
Instead of making a billboard that looks like a billboard, make it look like a regular highway sign.
You might be thinking, “Hey that makes total sense! People pay more attention to regular highway signs than they do to billboards. If our ads can look like they’re a regular (and important) part of the environment, they’ll get more attention!”
I couldn’t agree more. So, how do you do it?
Standing Out by Blending In
If you followed our Guide to Installing Adsense, this will be super easy for you.
In your WordPress admin panel, under Settings, click on Adsense. This will open up the configuration options for the All in One Adsense and YPN plugin.
Scroll about half-way down the page to the section called “Colors”.
Here you can enter your HTML color codes and tweak your ad borders, background, links, text and URL so they blend in with your site. It usually takes a little trial-and-error to get the colors right (for me anyway, because I’m not a design genius), but give it a shot.
Now, the fun part is trying it for yourself. Let me know how it impacts your Adsense earnings. Or if you’ve tried a strategy that works better, shout about it in the comments.
Here’s a before and after (click each image to enlarge it):