Aug
18
2008

Double CTR In 5 Minutes – Random Advertising Prevents Banner Blindness

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If you’re not a hardcore advertisers because you feel banners clutter up your site then I’ve got something that you might be more interested which will still net you a few bucks. Randomized banner placement! That is, banners that have spots on your site, but only showing up 25%, 50%, or 75% of the time.

My main point in testing this out was to see if the reducing ad frequency would prevent banner blindness of visitors coming to two of the sites I run.

Some Quick Stats:

  • Both get at least 1000 unique hits for their daily traffic.
  • Site one has a top banner CTR of 1.8% and site two has 1.6% in the same place.
  • Sites were tested over a period of two weeks.
  • Page views per visitor for site one is 3.4 and site two’s is 3.1.
  • Both sites are information based sites

All of these stats were gathered from Google Analytics.

After Experiment Results
Click thru rates increased to 3.2% in the first case and 2.4% in case two when I had the top banner displaying 75% of the time.

Theoretical Reasoning
Banner blindness for visitors causes them to ignore banners when they see it in the same place too many times. Therefore I also assuming there is a “hot spot” setting in which some sites will get the best CTR from anywhere between 40-95 percentage displays.

The reason why I feel this worked so well for me, is because an average visitor to either site typically views about three pages. If the typical user only viewed one or two pages, I’m sure my results would not have been so great. Also the higher my page views per user are, the more likely I could get away with a lower display number percentage.

You might also see variations with different designs than I have, or different banner placements. I would also assume that the most extreme difference in results that anyone would see is with top banners or banners in the top/body of their content. Furthermore, a different kind of site (like a forum) might produce entirely different results. That’s why I’m going to give you the simple code I used to let you test it on your own site.

HowTo Randomize Banners

  1. <?php
  2. //For 75% Display Chance
  3. //Create random number between 1 and 4
  4. $number = mt_rand(1, 4);
  5. $remainder = $number % 4;
  6. //The Math:
  7. //If $number is 1 then remainder is 3 (25% of the time - Do Nothing)
  8. //If $number is 2 remainder is 2 (runs code below - 25%)
  9. //If $number is 3 remainder is 1 (runs code below - 25%)
  10. //If $number is 4 remainder is 0 (runs code below - 25%)
  11. //last 3 cases add up to 75% chance of code running
  12. if ($remainder !== 3) { ?>
  13. PUT AD CODE HERE
  14. <?php } ?>
  15.  
  16. <?php
  17. //For 50% Display Chance
  18. //Create random number between 1 and 2
  19. $number = mt_rand(1, 2);
  20. $remainder = $number % 2;
  21. //The Math:
  22. //If $number is 1 then remainder is 1 (50% of the time - Do Nothing)
  23. //If $number is 2 then remainder is 0 (runs code below - 50%)
  24. if ($remainder == 0) { ?>
  25. PUT AD CODE HERE
  26. <?php } ?>
  27.  
  28. <?php
  29. //For 25% Display Chance
  30. //Create random number between 1 and 2
  31. $number = mt_rand(1, 4);
  32. $remainder = $number % 4;
  33. //The Math:
  34. //If $number is 4 then remainder is 0 (runs code below - 50%)
  35. if ($remainder == 0) { ?>
  36. PUT AD CODE HERE
  37. <?php } ?>

You can change the percentage by changing the equation using some simple math. I gave you examples for 75%, 50% and 25%. Good god, my HS math teacher was right. You DO use fractions in real life.

Notes
Bear in mind, if you don’t get much traffic to your website its going to be very hard to tell what your results are after a week even. Let it run for a while. Typically if your site is getting 50 visitors a day it ads up to $10 of CPC ad click revenue at the end of a good month. At least in my experience. To me that’s not worth monetizing a website yet and you’re almost sure to have a hard time in seeing any kind of results from this.

Reports
If you try this, give it a go and report back in the comments below. Be sure to include the stats of your site, what percentage you used, and what your results were like.

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One Response to Double CTR In 5 Minutes – Random Advertising Prevents Banner Blindness

  1. Nicely Explained, Great work
    Thankyou

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