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Change Adsense Colors to Increase Adsense Clicks

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.

Default Adsense AdBy 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):

Adsense BeforeAdsense After

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How To: Monetize Your Blog with Adsense & Affiliate Ads

Just as there are many reasons to blog, there are many ways to monetize a blog. Today, I’ll be going over the nuts and bolts of setting up advertising on your blog. Specifically, setting up Google Adsense and Commission Junction affiliate ads on WordPress. I’ve created some helpful step-by-step videos to walk you through the whole process. Before I jump in to the technical “how-to” stuff, let’s talk very briefly about content strategy.

Developing Your Blog Monetization Strategy

Before you try to monetize your blog with ads, ask yourself a few questions. What type of relationship do you have with your blog readers? Why do they come to your blog? Do they read you because you tell them about all kinds of great resources, or because you are the great resource? Are you the intermediary between your audience and all the content your audience wants…or are you the end of the road?

If people come to you because you write 2000 word articles about your original research about your topic, why would they click on an ad? They’re seeking deep content and you’re providing it. They have no reason to go anywhere else.

If, however, you write 400 word articles about what other people are doing, it makes sense for your readers to click away. If your topic is “vegetarian restaurants in San Francisco”, and you just write reviews of different restaurants, you’re acting as an intermediary, rather than the end of the road. To monetize with ads, try to build a niche audience and train them to click on things they might find interesting.

I’ll write more about strategy in a future post. If you’re a blogger with some specific questions or ideas, don’t be shy in the comments.

Want to go through it step by step? Watch these videos full-screen for best results.

Installing Commission Junction Ads in WordPress

This is the first video in the series and covers installing the two plugins we like to use, as well as setting up Commission Junction ads.

Once you’ve finished installing the plugins featured in the above video, move on to…

Installing Google Adsense Ads in WordPress

The second video, showing how to get Adsense ads up and running on your self-hosted WordPress site.

Did I miss anything? Get stuck? Have a better way? Shout about it in the comments.

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Why have a company blog?

I sort of hate this post, so check back for an update soon.

It’s true, we’re starting a blog, and we’re starting with a question.

You might be asking the same question we are, “Why a blog?” Or, let’s back up a step and ask, “Why would any company have a blog?”

For us, the answer is easy: because the conversations we have with other businesspeople are among the best parts of our work, we may as well open that up to a bigger audience and carry those conversations into the online world.

Here are the reasons many people start a blog, even though those reasons aren’t good enough for us:

  • We’re not blogging for dollars–there won’t be any ads displaying.
  • We don’t care if our content goes viral–though feel free to share it if you like it.  🙂
  • We’re not trying to “position ourselves”–we prefer to let our actions do the talking.

So, what’s left? Like a good marketer, we could say, “It’s all about you.” And really, that’s half true. In the end, it’s about relationships and people helping each other, talking about interests and solving problems. That’s what we do with our clients, and that’s what we hope to do here too. We hope you will join us.

With that in mind, what should we talk about? Business tips, consulting case studies, strategy, SEO, email marketing,  conversion optimizing?

Let us know what’s on your mind…

“If you’ve got an opinion, you belong in the conversation.”

We want to hear from you. Don’t be shy in the comments section.

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