I decided to spend about $20.00 to buy some banner advertising on BlogExplosion and BlogClicker and you can see the results below.
I created seven banners and put identical copies of each on both BlogExplosion and BlogClicker to see how well I could push internet readers to this blog. I wanted to test the success of my banner designs in the real world. The test ran for a week.
I played around with BlogExplosion a bit before I decided to officially
write this article so some of the impression rates are not equalized
over all the banners. That isn’t terribly important because
BlogExplosion provides Clik thru % that determines ad impression
success. BlogClicker, on the other hand, does not provide Click thru %
based on an algorithm so I was more careful in trying to give those
banner ads more uniform impression equalization.
A Note on Banner Design: I am not a banner advertising fan.
I don’t like animation. I don’t like giant ideas crammed into a “468×60
standard banner image size” rectangle. I live for AdBlock in Firefox. I
despise how some bloggers misuse or over-use Google Adsense by paving
the radical, untamed, plains with coin.
I do, however, enjoy designing
banners. I like quiet banners that let the viewer “finish” the
advertisement in their head in sort of a puzzle-solving way. So here
are the seven, plain, black and white, banner ads I created. I was
surprised how well some of them did and I was disappointed in how
poorly some of them performed. All the banner ads took readers directly
to the category page they were advertising and all the statistics were
generated by the ad banner server system.
Shown = 2572; Clicks = 20; Clik thru % = 0.78%
Impressions = 1056; Clicks = 1
This banner ad did really went over the
first 500 impressions on BlogExplosion with over a 90% Click thru
return then it slowed down a bit. On BlogClicker the banner died.
Shown = 4478; Clicks = 27; Clik thru % = 0.60%
Impressions = 1050; Clicks = 3
I created this ad first and ran it a lot on
BlogExplosion where it delivered 95% Click thru rates over the first
2,000 impressions. This was the second-best performing ad on
BlogClicker which isn’t saying much. I guess having a name — my name — can help sell a site because there is a personal ring of authenticity inspiring the click.
Shown = 1935; Clicks = 6; Clik thru % = 0.31%
Impressions = 1050; Clicks = 1
I had a hunch this ad would have done better
on both services. Revealing tips for how to do research and learn
online seemed like a hot topic but I see now no one was really
interested in touching in on the ad. This return informs the future
direction of posts for my blog.
Shown = 1858; Clicks = 14; Clik thru % = 0.75%
Impressions = 1077; Clicks = 4
This ad slowly picked up clicks on
BlogExplosion and, again, that was surprising. I thought “writing”
would get slammin’ hits from the jump but it didn’t happen. In the last
day or so traffic picked up a bit. On BlogClicker this was my most
successful ad of all — which still isn’t saying much. I find that
curious in a good way.
Shown = 1571; Clicks = 7; Clik thru % = 0.45%
Impressions = 1078; Clicks = 2
When I built this add I thought I was
conjuring fire! The design of three words is unique compared to the
others but it just didn’t do well. Perhaps “Core of Us” is not clear
enough intent to warrant a click? Compared to come of the other banners
I put up on BlogClicker this one did okay.
Shown = 2091; Clicks = 5; Clik thru % = 0.24%
Impressions = 1056; Clicks = 1
If I had a dog, I’d name it “Technology”
because this ad was a mutt from conception! “Core of Us” played better
than “Technology” and it was the poorest performer on BlogExplosion by
a mile. On BlogClicker this ad tied for fourth place. Are we burned out
on technology? Is “Technology” a dead buzz-word? Perhaps “Technology”
is too general a topic to entice a click? My technology articles are
some of the most popular stuff I post so there is an obvious disconnect
between content and “Clik thru” banner ads! Be wary of loose
Shown = 2974; Clicks = 27; Clik thru % = 0.91%
Impressions = 1073; Clicks = 2
This ad was the original logo for my blog that only appeared here online
in its original form. I “blew it up” to 468×60 size and put it on
BlogExplosion and BlogClicker as a control ad just to see what kind of
response I would get with a semi-color, full-text, ad that was less
readable than the black and white puzzle piece banner ads that came
before. I couldn’t believe the high, sustained, Clik thru rate of
0.91%! This banner was a winner from the instant it was approved for
circulation. I find “Urban Semiotic” fuzzier and less clear than “Core
of Us” but this logo won the day, cemented my heart and got me to
thinking I should finally incorporate its success in this blog, proper!
Perhaps this article will slake that thirst. On BlogClicker, however,
this ad only tied for third best with an ever-dreadful 2 clicks.
This test of banner advertising design success and failure on
BlogExplosion and BlogClicker taught me more about my blog in a week
than seeing which articles were most popular over the last six month
ever did. This mixed-methods, quasi-experimental, research project
demonstrated how advertising can help shape the intent and direction of
a blog if you allow your readers lead you to their spontaneous wants.
The re-design of the next generation of banner ads for this blog will
be an even more interesting exercise in enticement.