Tuesday: 29.March.2005

Tweaking style & format of ads

Been tinkering with the style & format of the ads. (Refer to the home page.) Was hoping to simply use one of Google's pre-designed styles (color schemes), since they offer a dozen varieties. But it looks like I'm going to have to play designer, which is not my strong suit.

The biggest change is adding a vertical tower (Google calls it a "skyscraper"). Took me while to figure out how to do that. I went to other site's that displayed this style of ad & noticed (view source) they coded in a separate "table" around the ad. So I ripped off (copied) their code & did likewise.

My goal is to maximize clicks with minimal intrusiveness. Note that I didn't use the "wide skyscraper", which hosts 5 ads instead of the 4 you see. Trying to avoid getting greedy.

Google only pays for clicks, so clicks, not number, or prominence, of ads is the goal. I had originally devised my own design, but trashed that and decided to use Google's optimization guide. I figure they're the experts & know what's best. No sense in re-inventing the wheel. What you see now conforms to their suggested guidelines:

continued

Show your ads above the fold (section of your page visible without scrolling). It will make the ads more readily visible & increase opportunity for clicks
Make the background color of the ad the same as or similar to the background color of your page.
Make the border of the ad similar to a color that is prominent on your page.
Make the title of the ad a color that is similar to the text on your page.
Make the URL of the ad a color similar to other link colors on your page.

With the *white* background pages however, I'm breaking with convention. See the Ghost guide, for example, the site's most popular feature. There the background of the ads match not the page, but the negative space bordering the page. (The home page has no such negative space.) What do you think? Too different?

UPDATE: After running these ads, which go contrary to Google's advice, I noticed the "click-thru rate" plummeted. Maybe I shouldn't re-invent the wheel. So I am returning them to a color-scheme that conforms to Google's guidelines. I still think they *look* better the other way, but Google's way bring more clicks. [end update]

I don't want the ads to be distracting. I want them to complement the page, yet be distinguishable from regular content in a tasteful manner.

Still playing around with the design. Like with the rest of the site, it may take some time before I arrive at a design that feels right for Radified (clean, clear). There's something therapeutic about the creativity of design. All my education is in math/science/physics. Not much room for creativity there.

I appreciate your feedback (& clicks). Probably shoulda done this long ago. Surprising how many people click the ads. Who'd a-thunk it?

More about my foray into the world of ads posted here:> Google's AdSense, and here:> Your AdSense Application has been approved and here:> Pasting AdSense code into web pages.

[Comments closed due to problems with blog-s*p*a*m*m*i*n*g.]





Posted by Rad at March 29, 2005 10:23 AM

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