Chitika Optimization Tip – Turn Keywords Into Channels

November 16th, 2005 by Steve Pavlina

Here’s a simple yet powerful optimization tip I’ve concocted for those of who you’ve signed up for Chitika eMiniMalls and are using their ads to help monetize your web site.  It should seriously take you all of one minute to implement this, yet it could easily help you double or triple your Chitika revenue.

If you use Chitika with Google Adsense, then you have to use Chitika in non-context sensitive mode (the default) in order to comply with the Adsense terms of service.  So this means you have to pick your own keywords, which can be tricky… especially if you run a site that isn’t product-oriented like I do and where the best performing keywords aren’t obvious at all.

Would it be helpful to know which particular keywords are generating the best CPM for you?  Obviously it would.  Fortunately, since Chitika recently added support for channels, there’s a very easy way to do that.

Just add this line to your Chitika ad-generating code immediately after the line where you set the value of ch_query:

ch_sid = ‘Your Channel – ‘ + ch_query;

“Your Channel” is whatever you want to name the particular channel, such as “Sidebar” or “Page Bottom” or “160×600 ad.”

This line of code will append the ch_query variable’s value onto the end of your channel name, so each keyword will generate its own channel.  This is especially valuable if you use Chitika’s method of randomly selecting a keyword among a list of options.

For example, on this site I’m currently experimenting with Chitika keywords such as “motivation” and “personal development” and “PDAs.”  I also have multiple ad locations such as “Blog Sidebar” and “Main Sidebar.”  So the code above will generate unique channels for each location-keyword combo, such as the following:

  • Blog Sidebar – personal development
  • Blog Sidebar – motivation
  • Blog Sidebar – PDAs
  • Main Sidebar – personal development
  • Main Sidebar – motivation
  • Main Sidebar – PDAs

Now when I view my Chitika reports, I see a large number of individual channels with detailed data for each one, including CTR and CPM.  This data is invaluable for optimization purposes.  I can see precisely how each specific keyword-location combo performs across the entire site, which makes it very clear where I need to focus my optimization efforts.  I’ve already noticed that some keywords are significantly outperforming others.  This helps me quickly identify underperforming keywords to drop, and it gives me ideas for other keywords to test.

If you want to make things a bit simpler and only collect data on keywords without worrying about their locations (such as if you have only one Chitika ad per page), then you can simplify that line of code to the following:

ch_sid = ch_query;

This will simply set the channel to be the keyword.  So in effect you’ll be able to track the specific performance of each keyword you use.  When you view your Chitika channel report, you’ll be able to see which keywords are generating the best CTR and CPM for you.

I highly recommend you add this one line of code (either version) to your Chitika eMiniMalls ads and start collecting the data immediately.  If you have a high traffic site and are already earning substantial income from Chitika ads, this could easily be one of those $10,000 ideas, and it takes far less than an hour to implement.

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