Advertising is something I have never really done before. Although I have dabbled a bit, here and there, I have worked at getting free traffic from Google in the main. However, I have been thinking, both about offering my ad space to advertisers and also about placing my ads on other sites.
So today I thought I would get the ball rolling.
After a bit of research on the cost of advertising, I decided to offer the 300 x 250 ad space in my sidebar to advertisers for the price of just $20 per day. The ad appears on every page of the blog so I think that represents very good value. If you are interested, here are more details.
I’m not much of a graphic artist, but I don’t think my effort (top left) at a 125 x 125 ad is at all bad. I designed it, of course, for placement on other sites. What do you think?
Anyway, I’ll be placing this ad on some popular Personal Development sites and monitoring my traffic to see what happens. My thinking is that if I am abandoning the idea of increasing traffic via Google, then I just have to start trying out some of these other traffic generating ideas.
Here’s my ad on Steven Aitchison’s Blog …
As is usual for me, I don’t like hanging around so I bought my first ad placement on Steven Aitchison’s Blog. Looking at the other 5 ads on the page, I don’t think I have done a bad job though I like the ad that is immediately to the left of mine. Some of the others have tried to squeeze too much into the space in my opinion. That said, it does not matter too much what your ad looks like as long as it is getting clicks – that’s the goal after all.
How it’s Going
It’s been 5 days now and my ad has, so far, been shown almost 10,000 times. So how many visitors has this brought to my site. Well, let’s take a look at the stats …
As you can see, I have received 5 clicks from Steve’s site so far – pretty disappointing, especially when I add that one of those clicks was me testing out the ad! That means that the ad is costing me $4 per visitor – not at all good.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this is any reflection on Steve’s site. When you buy a banner ad, you are paying for impressions and Steve’s site is doing a good job of delivering them as you can also see.
My First Tweak
So naturally, I started thinking about what I could do to improve the click-through rate and the first thing I thought might be worth testing is the colour of the headline – the word ‘FREE!’ and while I was at it, I thought I would also make it flash. So here is my new banner ad (on the right). The new ad is an animated GIF.
In case you would like to make your own animated GIF, I found a very good site that makes it all very easy. In the case of my ad, I simply created two versions of the ad, one with a blue headline and one with a red headline and then use the GifMaker site to create the animation. GifMaker is a free site and here’s what it looks like …
So, it will be very interesting to see what this simple change does to conversions.
Results of My First Teak
It’s has been three days since I made the above tweak to my ad and here are the results …
My Second Tweak
Yes – we can see an improvement! It is still not good enough because visitors are costing about $2 now but – hey – it’s a good start and with that in mind, I have decided to have another go at tweaking my ad.
I decided to increase the flash-rate (just a little) and to also ad a bit of extra text, so this (on the left) is what my new ad now looks like. I still think it looks pretty classy, despite the flashing effect.
Again, I’ll let you know the results of this test!
Results of My Second Tweak
If you take a look at the graphic below you will see how I have managed to improve the click-through rate with the two tweaks outlined above.
As you can see, I have improved the click-through rate from 0.04% to 0.31% by making those two tweaks. This may not sound like a lot, but it is the difference between paying $4 and $0.60 per click so it is very important indeed.
Could I manage to improve the click-though rate even further? I am inclined to think that I am probably getting the maximum from the ad at present but, who know, it may still be possible and, as my ad still has some way to go, perhaps I’ll even try. But the main purpose of this post is to illustrate to you how important testing and tweaking really is.
You should test and tweak all of your ads and your sales pages too – everywhere you are expecting to see conversions because it is a fact that you can increase conversions by simply changing the words, colours and placement of text on a page