Inside Online Advertising
By Diggers Realm

The Ad Color Experiment And Its Effect On Clicks

The first three rules in advertising are test, test , test, so I've decided to do that with my left navbar ads over at Diggers Realm.

Rather than waiting weeks or months for results I want the answers now, as do most people.

Diggers Realm runs on the Movable Type (MT) blogging platform with a static HTML format for the output pages (I hate running PHP because when you get absolutely slammed with traffic it can take your server down).There's no way to have random ad colors inserted into the pages and channel tracking with HTML and still stay within the Google AdSense TOS, so I decided to try my hand at writing an MT plugin which I called Randomad.

Randomad basically looks in a file or module and loads all the ads it finds in there and then randomly picks one when it is generating the pages. So I went to Google and made a bunch of channels with differing color names then generated ads with those colors and put them in the file. So now when the pages are generated there's a random color ad on each page.

By using channels I'll be able to see how many of that color ad was displayed and how the Click Thru Rate was.

In the end I should be able to draw a conclusion as to which ad colors and styles perform the best in that spot and then change all the pages to that. Once I have that position tweaked I can then do other spots. This isn't entirely scientific, but over the last year or so I have remained with basically the same color ads there because they were performing "OK".

With testing you never know if you'll discover something that may double your CTR, which in essence can double your revenue in that spot! Of course there's the lost revenue you risk since that spot may go down dramatically while you are testing and all the bad schemes are in there. That's one of the reasons I'm doing one spot at a time. The other reason is that I want to leave the others "as is" so I can have a semi controlled experiment and not have other dramatic changes on the page influencing the outcome. My plan is to weed the bad spots out after day one and leave the few top performers in for another day and analyze the results.

Below are some of the colors and styles I've used for this test. The normal colors I've been using are a Dark Blue title, black text, gray URL, no border (white) and no background color (white). So unless a change is specified below it is set to these defaults.

(Note that the general color scheme of my site is purple in nature.)

Border: black
Border: bright blue
Border: green
Border: orange
Border: purple
Border: red
Background: grey
Background: grey Border: Purple
Background: Light Purple
Background: Light Purple border: Purple
Title Link: black
Title Link: bright blue
Title Link: green
Title Link: orange
Title Link: purple
Title Link: red

I'll report back on my findings. While I won't be able to disclose exact numbers, I will be able to tell you in general terms whether it performed better, worse or horrible.

See the results of Day 1

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

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Posted on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 06:30 AM | Permalink | Email This | Blogroll IOA! |


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