If there is anything I have learned the most when it comes to SEO, is experiment, experiment and experiment.
The worst thing you can do is build your website and leave it at that. You could be missing out on so many potential improvements that could double or even triple your CTR. I have personally made changes to my sites where my CTR went from < 1% to > 3% just by moving an ad in a different spot, or change my background color to my site.
Do you realize what kind of impact just 1% increase can make to your income?
Alright now that I have your attention and you are ready to get your butt in gear lets go over some of the ways I use tools to help me determine where and what I should change in order to increase my CTR. I’m just going to go over the main points here to keep the post short. I will post some helpful links at the end of the post if you want to do some more research.
Google Adsense is going to be your meca of tools when it comes to see the performance of your ads. Let me touch on the ones I use the most.
Performance Reports + Ad Units
I like to set my dates for performance reports to a period of a month and for the day. I use both of these views when trying to determine if the changes I have made are helping or made things worse. The reason is many times you have to give your ads some time before you can really determine if the changes you made are helping, that is why I like to view the changes over a period of a month.
At the same time I like to set the dates for the current day or the day after I made the changes to see if even that made an impact. Sometimes I can tell right off the bat if what I did helped and if I really screwed things up. Especially when you make the changes to the high volume pages.
What you are going to want to look at is mainly your CTR and how the changes you made effect that over a long time. As an example you can see that my highest paying add has a 2.59% CTR. I made $1,069.72 that day, imagine increasing that just 1%?
You are going to use Google Analytics to see how visitors are reacting to you site. It’s using this tool that is going to help you make changes to get your CTR up. There are way to many things to show you here so lets just go over the main ones I use to help me.
Find which pages provide the most page views
Many people think that they want to focus on their content that provides the most unique traffic…WRONG
I care about page views. The more page views you can get from a single user the higher chance you will get them to click an add. It’s the basic concept that the longer you can keep a visitor at your site and view different pages over and over, the better chance your ads will engage them.
I love AJAX and JQUERY, but to be honest I avoid them for the simple reason that I want to user to have to refresh my pages. That just becomes another page view.
In your analytics go to Reporting > Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
You can see that my homepage is my highest page in unique visitors, but my second page has the highest page views so that is the page I will want to focus on. Then you can go from there looking at your second highest and so on.
Another important factor to keep in mind are mobile users. You are going to get a much higher CTR rate from a mobile site than you are from a desktop site, but this is not always the case. I have a buddy who gets an average 12% CTR from a landing page. I hate him for that.
Google Analytics Experiments
If anything can give you the most bang for your buck it’s going to be experiments. Never stop experimenting on your site, you can always make it better. These experiments allow you try different versions of your site in order to get the high CTR or conversion you are looking to get. If you do not know what experiments are then check this out first.
Google Adsense does not provide the ability for you to do this directly with ads so there is no way to track if a particular version of your page gets users to click more, but there is a trick to actually make this happen.
Let’s say you create 3 different versions of a particular page, you can create custom ads for each version so you know which ad belongs to which version. Then when the experiment is over you can see which version provided the highest CTR and made you the most money.
In your analytics go to Reporting > Behavior > Experiments to get started
This is a recent new feature provides you with the age and gender of your users. Along with that you also will know their Interests
Age and Gender
This data has been huge for me this year and this is why.
One of my websites had a horrible CTR rate on a particular page, but it had the highest page views. My average CTR was <.20%. I knew if I could find that perfect ad placement and get the CTR above 2% that I could potentially increase my income to the point that I could buy an island. OK not true, but it would definitely be a ton.
I mentioned that my friends landing page had an average 12% CTR for Adsense which I have been jealous of. I got him to get the demographics part of his site because I wanted to know the age and gender of such a high CTR rate. Well come to find out once I got the data that is closely matched my site. I am very excited and have already made the changes to my site to match his and waiting to see the results. Ill update you on this later when I get that info.
This one is HUGE.
Always experiment with your ad placement, learn how your visitors react to your ad placements and apply those same changes to other pages. I have made some ad placement changes on my sites that increased my income by $2,000.00 in one month.
Here is a picture of some prime spots to place ads, but this does not always work for everyone so please experiment with this. What’s good for Jimmy not be good for Mary.
This post already is to long so I am going to stop now. Check out these links for more in depth info.
More tips using Adsense to increase CTR
If you do not know anything about analytics
More in depth look at Analytics