How to Boost Your AdSense CTRs with Colour Palettes Blend, Complement and Contrast Strategies

Last modified on 3rd August, 2007

The Blending Technique

When it comes to optimising AdSense, blending is one of the most widely used techniques to increase click through rates (CTR). Blending involves tuning the AdSense unit background and border to match the background colour of the page.

Further blending involves matching the colour of the ad link to the colour of links on your page and the colour of the ad text and ad URL match to the colour of the page text colour.

You can see this technique mainly used here at Sabahan.com as shown below. Click the image to see the larger version.


However, depending on your page design and colour scheme, blending won’t always work to you advantage. In some situation it actually lowers your CTRs as the effect of ad blindness increases. You can try reducing this effect by using a lighter or darker shade of ad link colour to that of your page links.

If you look closely at my AdSense ad units, you’ll notice that the ad links colour doesn’t exactly match the colour of my page links. I feel that using a slightly lighter shade of blue than the page links makes them more visible to users, perhaps unconsciously.

The blending technique is most effective when used on pages with light background where the ad units are located within the content.


The Complement Technique

If you have other page elements such as a navigation menu that uses a strong colour scheme, you can use the complementing instead of blending technique.

Complementing involves using colours that already exist on your page for your ad units’ background and border that don’t match your page background. It’s best used when your ads are placed within your content on pages with several strongly coloured elements.

Click the image for a larger version.



The Contrast Technique

As the name implies, you select colours that stand out against your page background. This technique is best used for sites with dark background and those with lots of competing content where you really need your users notice and click your ads.



Selecting the right colour scheme for your design can be difficult. While you can choose any set of colours that seem to contrast one another; you have to consider whether your colours are suitable from an accessibility point of view.

Someone who is colour blind may not see be able to see the difference very clearly. Even those with perfect vision may find your background and foreground text colour hard to differentiate.

To help choose the right colours that contrast well, I’ve found a handy online colour selector tool that will help you do so easily and quickly.


One thing to keep in mind when using the contrast technique is that, if you use mainly pastel colours on your pages, you must also select appropriate pastel colours for your ads. In such case, avoid using primary colours that’s visually offensive to users which subsequently leads to lower CTRs.

Finally, you can combine any of the techniques such as the blend and contrast techniques to better design colour palettes that further boost your CTRs. Your aim should be to find the balance between ads that get the attention and ads that overwhelm your content.

Like everything else, you need to experiment to find what works best for you and I highly recommend using AdSense Channels to track your ad units performance.


An engineer by training, Victor has been working full-time online as an Internet marketer, a programmer and an app developer since 2001. He has been blogging at Sabahan.com since 2006 sharing his experience and teaching people how to make money online. Click here to join his private Facebook Group for bloggers.

  • blending has always worked best for me for some reason, every time I used any of the other techniquest my CTR plummeted…

  • ben says:

    i agree with papajoneh!

  • Wahlau.NET says:

    i would prefer the blending tactics

  • papajoneh says:

    Based on my own findings in my own niche market, the blending technique works perfectly. constant above 4% CTR good enough for me now 🙂

    But i will try the the contrasting technique. Thanks Gaman. I will try this as an experiment. 🙂

  • Mr. Rajawang says:

    Hi, based on my experience; the contrast technique works well on a site with teenagers readers.

  • TextAdSearch says:

    Recently I have noticed more webmasters using blended and contrasted ads on the same page.

  • >
    Scroll Up

    Sign Up Below... For Tips and Tools to Help You Build a Better Blog

    >> Sign Up Now and get access to:

    • chevron-circle-right
      The exact methods I use to make money
    • chevron-circle-right
      Resources to increase traffic to your blog
    • chevron-circle-right
      The latest updates from Sabahan.com

    We hate spam. Unsubscribe anytime.