Recently, I’ve had the great fortune to help a couple of clients
redesign their money making blogs. These people are pro-bloggers; that
is, they publish information and earn money by displaying advertising on
their sites. Each time a reader clicks on an ad, the publisher earns a
small amount. In some cases, this amount can be as low as a couple of
cents. In other cases, it can be as much as a couple of dollars. With
time, patience, skill and perseverance, one can build a fairly decent
business through this form of self publishing.
In the case of both recent redesigns, the ultimate goal was to
increase traffic. The thinking went along the lines of “if more people
stick around to read my site, more people will click on my ads”. There
was no specific intent to increase the percentage of readers who clicked
on ads. Rather the hope was to increase the overall total of clicks by
increasing the number of eyeballs reading the site.
This happened. A redesign is always good for a traffic boost.
Depending on the success of the design, the boost may be short lived or a
What neither client expected though was that their click-through
percentage jumped – dramatically. Not only were more people coming to
their sites, but more (many more) were clicking on their ads. We’re
talking about significant, sustained double digit growth. One client
recouped the cost of his redesign investment in a single week.
How did this happen?
- First, the designs are very strong. They catch the eye, and give the reader a moment’s pause to take in the surroundings.
- Second, the designs incorporate the ads. The don’t work around
them, and they don’t make compromises for them. They’re also flexible
enough in their layout to allow the site owners to experiment with ad
types, sizes, and positions, all without breaking the layout.
- Third, the sites don’t insult the reader. There is balance between
all the elements. There is nothing sneaky going on, no tricking the
reader to click an ad thinking its an internal link.
Note that this is hardly a scientific survey, but it does give one
something to think about. How much would you be earning if your
click-through jumped by 400%? I’m not guaranteeing I can duplicate these