Inside Online Advertising
By Diggers Realm

Ad Placement Results = Record Revenue!

I've been absolutely ecstatic at the results over the past few weeks. The changes I've implemented on Diggers Realm have really been effective.

I theorized that having more ads on a page would actually reduce revenue in my entry "Do More Ads Equal Less Revenue? Does Click Through Rate Factor Into Revenue?"

What I expect to happen is that the value of the clicks will decline and so will the revenue. I suspect that your Click Through Rate (CTR) on a spot has a lot to do with what you get paid. I noticed that when I removed a mid-level 468x60 ad -- that I used to run between the content and the comments and that was performing poorly compared to the other spots -- that my overall eCPM (Earning per thousand pages) went up.

Well, I think I was wrong on that count. Here's a look at how my revenue performed with different ad placement locations. As per terms of Google AdSense I can't post specific numbers, but there's nothing in the TOS against posting percentage gains and losses. The first row is a week of averages and therefore data isn't presented. Increases and losses are off of this average.

DateAd PosPagesCTReCPMDaily Avg RevenueTotal Revenue
Feb 13 - Feb 19H + L31,426----
Feb 20 - Feb 26H + M+1,826 (5.8%)0%-7.2%-1.6%-1.6%
Feb 27 - Mar 5H + L + M+5,846 (18.6%)+33%+12.9%+34%+34%

H = Header 468x60 | L = Left Nav 160x600 | M = Mid Ad Below Content 336x280

What we can garner from this information -- at least in terms of Diggers Realm -- is that a Left Navbar 160x600 and a Mid level ad below content of 336x280 perform almost identical, though the Left 160x600 had a slightly higher performance, but it was almost negligible.

Also the numbers don't tell the whole story. My real revenue increase over what I've been seeing the past couple of months is up nearly 100%. Also, since I really started paying attention to revenue and ad placement 6 months ago in September, 2005, my AdSense revenue alone is up over 1,057%! That's right, over a 10 times increase!

What have I been doing differently? Nothing really other than ad placement and tweaking. I also implemented section targeting about 5 months ago. In addition I modified my design so the content is higher in the code although the design look is the same. This was mainly for search optimization for Yahoo and MSN though. What it comes down to is that the same number of page views are producing 10 times the revenue. Sure page views are higher than they were as the site grows larger, but the fact is the page views in September simply weren't converting.

The most fascinating thing is the dramatic increase in revenue and eCPM with all 3 running. That is something I wouldn't have predicted because I figured more ads would lower overall CTR and therefore decrease earnings.

In my entry on adding the 336x280 James Joyner of Outside The Beltway had this comment:

Interesting. The only problem with that adstrip is that, unlike stuff in the sidebars, it really interferes visually with site content. Any reader complaints?

I agree it isn't the most lovely thing. I had a concern that my end users would find it annoying with a 336x280 below the content, but I haven't received a single complaint. So I'm leaving it for now. I have contemplated working it into the design a little more, but at this point I want to leave it as it is.

So, how has this impacted overall revenue? I had some freak day back at the end of 2004 that had a single click that's revenue was huge. The click was the equivalent of 10 days of revenue back then. Since that day I haven't been able to break that daily record. It was like some large monster hanging over me in terms of trying to hit it. There was always the thought on a good day of "Hey, I had a decent day, but it's not a record."

Since February 27, when all three ad units were running, I have broken that record 6 times in 8 days. Revenue is at an all-time high and I've been thrilled to say the least. I still have a daily revenue goal I'm shooting for that I haven't reached, but I'm getting close to it.

This entry is in the following archive(s):
Analysis Of Changes Archive

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Posted on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 07:59 AM | Permalink | Email This | Blogroll IOA! |


Dan, thanks so much for factual posts like this. It's a big, helpful shortcut to results for budding bloggers like myself.

Posted by: David Chin | March 16, 2006 10:02 PM

You're welcome David, I enjoy helping.

This isn't a competition and there is no harm in sharing what works.

Posted by: Digger | March 17, 2006 09:49 AM

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