Click Through Rate (or CTR) is one these things you have to keep checking, like the oil in your car.
What is CTR?
In a nutshell, if your ad unit is displayed 100 times, and visitors click on it 5 times, your CTR is 5%.
If you want to get a bit techie, here is the formula:
CTR = Number of clicks / Num ad impressions x 100
The higher the CTR, the more clicks you get, the more money you should make, so we aim at getting as high CTR as possible (without going overboard; otherwise Google would think there is something “fishy” going on with your site).
So how do we increase CTR?
Here are some tips:
If your ad is at the top of the page, very visible, it will probably get more clicks than the ad at the very bottom.
Some sizes perform better than others (usually the standard sizes win, but sometimes it needs some testing)
You will find people saying 2 completely different things:
- Make your ad blend with your content (ie, use similar colors)
- Make your ad stand out
So, there is no universal answer, aside from: test!
Use responsive ads
Nowadays lots of people browse the web using their smartphone (or tablet), so you want to use a responsive ad so it will look good in a phone.
Your theme (if using WordPress)
Although content is more important in this case, some themes are better for ads than others
Have high quality content
If your content is good, it will keep people reading your site (instead of leaving after 5 seconds), so you have a higher chance of getting your ad clickd
Keep some space between your content and ads (so that these stand out)
My final advice is this: test, test, test. Maybe what works for others does not work for you. Or what works for you in one site works differently in another…