5 Tips That Increased Our BuySellAds CTR by 500%

MotoCMS Editorial 20 February, 2012 1,935

– “Maybe I should buy some advertising to promote my website?

I bet this thought have visited every website owner at least once.

And it is very reasonable actually. Free traffic from Google is what most amateur site owners would go for, but it may take years of hard work to build up this source to some reasonable numbers. So the easiest way to bring quality traffic to your website in no time would be the ad networks (in case of course you have some money to spend).

And we’re about to share our experience with getting a high CTR in a well known banner ad network – BuySellAds.

I never click banners! Do they really work these days?

That’s a really good question and that is something I’ve asked myself before uploading any funds to BuySellAds. But then I noticed the amount of expensive ad spots sold out…

This is what the ad zones of Hongkiat look like for example:

buysellads spots

I think if someone is ready to pay $800/month for a single banner – it definitely pays off.

5 Tips That Drastically Improve Banner CTR!

In a fear of being totally biased I’d like to mention that the “average CTR” (Click Through Rate) of a banner at BuySellAds is somewhere about 0.04% (this number is purely based on the numbers provided by random people I know who run some banners at BuySellAds)

buysellads ctr
Well we managed to get a whooping CTR of 0.22% as we tested different ad spots and sizes. Let me share some things we’ve learned along the way:

1. Pick the right niche.

When dealing with Google organic search or Adwords (paid search) you have to focus on keywords that might be relevant to your website. And the problem is that there are TONS of related keywords to pick from.

With BuySellAds you just have to determine if a certain website is relevant enough to promote your business (or whatever you have to promote). Luckily they have an extremely handy filtering system and all the properties were already divided into a number of major categories:

buysellads filter system

2. You should be “above the fold”.

Placing your banner in the part of a webpage that’s visible without scrolling might sound as a “no-brainer”. Yet some people think that their “advertising creative” (i.e. banner design) is so awesome and eye-catching that people will notice it no matter what.

Each time you opt to buy a banner that’s “below the fold” you consciously decrease your CTR.” – make sure you read this sentence at least 5 times.

3. Know who you’re talking to.

Once you have a list of websites related to your niche the next logical step would be to spy on their audience and see if they are of the same kind with your “typical customer”.

Don’t have a clue of where to get that data from? Here, grab the tools:

4. Size matters!

The smallest banner size you can purchase at BuySellAds would be 125px*125px and it’s obviously the cheapest option. But except for the well known argument of bigger things being much more noticeable, there’s more…

Smaller banners lead to more advertisers cluttered in one place. And you have much better chances of being noticed purchasing one of the three big banners as opposed to buying one of the six small ones.

That’s what I call a “Battle For Attention“:

battle for attention
How can you possibly stand out in a banner carnival like this?

5. Do something CRAZY!

That would be the answer to the aforementioned question. These days it’s really hard to grab the attention with some fancy banner design or a catchy slogan – every banner is exactly like that.

In our quest for higher CTR we decided we should try something crazy.

This is how the idea of using meme faces in our banner design appeared.

There was an empty banner slot at DesignersTalk Forum, and we decided that “Me Gusta” Face is rather well known among designers and should definitely grab their attention:

And apparently it did, getting us that 500% increase in CTR from 0.04% to 0.22%.

That’s basically our “success story” with BuySellAds and the tips we’ve learned along the way. we invite you to share your own BuySellAds CTR in comments and suggest any tricks you’ve been using to improve it!



Hi guys, my name is Tim and recently I’ve joined MotoCMS to handle all kinds of web marketing endeavors. I’m happy to share my experience on this blog and I’m always eager to answer any questions you may post in comments! Cheers!


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  • Scott Hoffmann

    Good post Tim. Definitely some things I’ll take from here. But an average CTR of 0.04%?! That’s really low compared to what you get if you chose one of the one-ad-per-page networks. Even the CTR of 0.22% you end up with is low compared.

  • timsoulo

    Hey Scott! Thanks a lot for your comment!

    Which ad networks are you referring to? We’d be happy to test new advertising methods and share our experience.
    I know lots of ad networks, but the majority can only convert some dating or weight loss stuff :)

    We’ve chosen BuySellAds in the first place because most of the “design blogs” run their ads and we though we may reach somewhat targeted audience – freelacers and web developers (though I guess ideally “business owners” is who we should aim for)

  • Scott Hoffmann

    Mainly the one-ad-per-page networks. I believe there is 4-5 big once. I’ve tried CarbonAds and FusionAds, but I have ended up with InfluAds, http://influads.com/ and their new Desktop & Web Apps network where I have an average CTR of 1.72%.
    Most of these networks actually have a Design network.

    Would be interesting to see if you could push the CTR on these networks like you did here.

  • timsoulo

    Never tried those! Thanks a lot! Putting them on my todo list for next month. Expect a case study from MotoCMS :)

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  • http://www.wpfix.org/ WPFix Team

    Nice tips tim thanks for sharing this. i agree with all the points specially the last one do some crazy things. By these tips we can definitely increase CTR. 

  • http://www.talentsfromindia.com/hire-joomla-developers-programmers.html Alex Knight

    really great article…awesome tips…can u provide some tips to increase adsense CTR

  • http://suckmytrend.com/ Ashley Pearson

    nice article, but Alexa’s Demographics are hardly accurate. Lijit’s ones are good, but you need to run their ads for it to work.

  • http://softwarebuzzer.com/ Suresh Kumar

    Hey Tim,

    Even i did used MEME images in my Internet marketing campaigns and it did worked. You should try the GIF memes too, they work wonders. It’s great to see you got succeeded too.

    Keep Rocking

    Cheers
    Suresh

  • billwide

    Nice post dude! (y)

  • Sofia

    Yep! obviously the main problem is CTR!