Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Day 36

Recently I was reading some information that might be important to anyone trying to monetize their blog. We have all heard about search engine optimization, but I was never aware there was such
a thing as blogtimization. This image on the right is an illustration of ad placement effectiveness on a typical website.

Certain locations tend to be more successful than others. This "heat map" illustrates these ideal placements on a sample page layout. The colors fade from dark orange (strongest performance) to light yellow (weakest performance). All other things being equal, ad placements above the fold (the part of the screen that the visitor can see without scrolling down the webpage) tend to perform better than those below the fold. Ads placed near rich content and navigational aids usually do well because users are focused on those areas of a page.

When working with a blog, you're facing some interesting ad implementation challenges: a predetermined page format, highly targeted content, and regular visitors, among other things. To make the most of your readership and content, here are a few suggestions:

Blend ads into your blog

To increase the likelihood that your readers will see and click on your ads, blend your ad units into the background of your blog. Choose a bold color for the ad title to help draw attention to your ads, then make sure that the background and borders of your ads are the same color as the background of the area where the ad is placed.

Experiment with multiple ad formats and locations

In general, wider ad formats tend to be more reader-friendly. Placing an ad unit after the first post will likely catch your readers' attention. Also, consider placing a Skyscraper (120x600) or vertical link unit on the right side of your blog. This being said, it is also important to keep in mind how many ads you are placeing on your site. Google will allow you to have 3 ad units on each page. Their is a danger in this, if you have too many ad units on your site, there may not be enough ads to be served in your ad units if you are monitizing a niche topic.

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