When you think about optimizing the placement of advertisements on a site, most people will consider where an advertisement appears in relation to other page elements such as a header, navigation links, or within the body of the article. Not as many people consider the context or content of the advertisement. However what the advertisement says, and the way the information is presented can be as important to click-ability as the placement itself. Ideally you need to match good placement, with good ad content. Thankfully the Chitika advertisements allow for the necessary customization.
The idea is to consider what your reader has in mind, or what they are looking for, when their eyes strike each point on the page. Take these common advertising placements and think about what the user might expect to see in that location, and then which ad formats deliver the best content for that location.
Leaderboard – If you have a leaderboard at the top of your site and a reader’s eyes glance over that position, what are they expecting to see? Generally they have come to that page on your site seeking an answer to some sort of question. However at this point they know little about what this page is about. Here their mind is most open to a wide variety of ideas, so consider a Multi Product Unit that shows several different products they could be interested in. This is also a good place for a Google text ad where multiple ads are often displayed.
Sidebar – Sidebars can be tricky to optimize for. A user is either looking into a sidebar for their initial navigation as a menu, because they didn’t find exactly what they were looking for and want to search your site elsewhere, or because they just want to explore your site more. This can be a good place to highlight an ad unit that incorporates or highlights the search tab, offering users more opportunities to explore on their own. This can also be a great place to put a RPU (Related Product Unit) as it gives them options they might have been looking for. Likewise, the Google Link Units will typically work well here as they give lots of different options in a style that resembles site navigation.
Top of the Post – If the reader is starting to read the top of your article, chances are they think they will find what they are looking for in your article, but they have not yet answered the question they had which caused them to be on that page. They are still gathering information in hopes of finding their answer. Content is the key at this stage in the game, so units that highlight or default to the ‘Description’ tag are most likely to succeed. Likewise the Half Banner, Banner, and Button formats from AdSense often work well in these positions as you tend to get text ads in this format that offer good descriptions below the links.
Below the Post – If the reader has reached the bottom of your post, hopefully they have found the answers to their question in your spectacular content. Now that you have satisfied the reader you need to keep them hooked by providing plenty of “what’s next?” opportunities. This is a good time to encourage them to post a comment, or buy something! Many people are afraid to show people prices thinking the user will back away. However if they have read your post they might have found all of the information they need to make a buying decision. Now is the time to hook them by showing stores and prices where they can take action. The ad units which highlight multiple store offers such as the Blog Banner, Medium Rectangle, and Square often work best in these positions. On the G side, I like the Medium Rectangle and Large Rectangle units setup for image ads in this position. The advertiser is typically good about utilizing a “What’s Next” strategy to entice your users who just finished your article. When mixing Chitika and AdSense ads together, I tend to use AdSense ads more often at the top of the site since you don’t have as finite control over the specific product or service the ad is offering. The further down the page the visitor scans the more likely it is they are interested in the topic of that page, so you can target them with laser quality by using eMiniMalls closer to and below the article body. Optimization involves more than just placement; in addition to getting the ad in the right space, it also needs have the right content. Realize that visitors don’t see your page in just the dimensions of length and width– they also incorporate the element of time. Think about how the motives and objectives of your readers will change as they scan different pages of your site and match what they are looking for with advertisements of similar context.
Tip By: Tim Flight, GPS Review
What do you think of this implementation? Got a Chitika/Adsense combo of your own? Comment with your own tip & it may be picked to be part of this series!