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Thread: 160x600 > 250x250 in the Sidebar

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    Will.Spencer's Avatar
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    160x600 > 250x250 in the Sidebar

    Earlier this year we decided to switch TopBits from a 160px sidebar to a wider 250px sidebar. The main purpose was to make the "Latest Forum Posts" module look better. This also enabled us to use a 250x250 AdSense block in the sidebar.

    I figured that this would be great for CTR. Wider ads almost always outperform narrower ads. It's one of this useful rules of thumb in ad layout.

    Eeeeerrrkkk... CTR for the 250x250 was just under half that for the 160x600 ad in the same spot. This appears to be an exception to the rule. We switched back to 160x600.

    But wait... there's more...

    The 160x600 ad unit attracts better ads from advertisers. As a result, even though CTR is double, eCPM is more than triple.

    The moral of the story? Test everything. Assumptions will kill 'ya.
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    I guess that more effort was being put into creative development for the 160px wide format by the advertisers in your niche. But, yeah, testing is the way to go.

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    Brandon Sheley is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    Thanks for the tips Will.
    I've found that leaderboards and the skyscraper ads preformed better for me as well, compared to smaller ad units.
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    The same goes for affiliate marketing. I think our slogan at PeerFly should be test EVERYTHING. lol

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    Thanks for the good advice Will!

    I'm not a high adsense player but I may try out your suggestion on my few websites
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    It makes sense that the 160x600 ad would work better when the user is actually reading the articles and slowly scrolling down the page.

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    I only rarely see text ads perform well in a sidebar. From my testing, text ads in a right sidebar perform worse than those in a left sidebar. I therefore mostly stick to image ads in sidebars and text ads in the content area.
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    Yeah we must keep trying all formats of adsense or other networks . I have noticed that 250x250 banner images near blog post rocks and CTR doubled many times ..

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    Will.Spencer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badmash View Post
    Yeah we must keep trying all formats of adsense or other networks . I have noticed that 250x250 banner images near blog post rocks and CTR doubled many times ..
    The 336x280's work really well for me in-content, but... I am soon going to test the 250x250's in their place.
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    I have not used the 336x280s, but I was just thinking about testing that.

    I think success depends upon how wide your content area is. I get my best results right now with 300x250 embedded in the second paragraph and left justified with a text wrap.
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