When most people install AdSense onto their blog, they place it wherever their theme forces them to. Some themes are lucky enough to have widgets to let you choose a few positions, but others don’t. This restricts how much you’re able to earn from AdSense because it may not be the most profitable position. Your theme designer doesn’t know what location is going to give you the most clicks, nor does he care – he just wants it to look pretty!
Luckily I have tested countless sites with different AdSense configurations, and I’ve uncovered a few patterns. But don’t follow this advice blindly – it’s always a good idea to test the ad position yourself to see which will give you the highest click-through-rate, resulting in the most revenue for you!
Where to place my ads?
There are a million places you can put your ads, and they may look alright, but not all of them are ideal for earning money. If you actually want people to see the ads and potentially click on them, I’ve found the best performing positions are within your content. Not in your header, or your sidebar. Not next to your logo or hidden underneath anything – but inside your articles!
Here are the positions I suggest you try for your wordpress site:
- Above your article
- Inside your article
- Below your article
And here’s what each of those looks like:
Above your article
Inside your article
Below your article
Why does this work?
Putting ads inside your content allows you to utilize the perfect balance of getting your visitors to see your ads, without annoying them. You’re not blasting 3 ads in every corner of your site, but you’re also not hiding them so no one sees them. What’s great about this position is that it’s a win-win for you and your traffic. You get more clicks, and your visitors are still able to read your site without their eyes bleeding from ads.
Need proof? Take a look at this chart. It shows the results of testing 5 different positions against each other. The clear loser? The sidebar. Everyone ignores the sidebar. I’ve learned this to be consistent in all the sites I’ve helped optimize.
Amongst the other ad positions, we were testing two ads inside the content (justified to the left and right), one above, and one below. By looking at the earnings column you can see that the ads placed above and below brought in the most money at a little over $20. Which is better? Also consider the click through rate (CTR). In the long run, a CTR of 1.32% is going to give you over a 50% increase in clicks compared to a CTR of 0.85%, so for this website placing ads directly below the articles is the ideal spot.
Try Split Testing
The only way you’re going to know which of these works the best is if you AB split test them. If you know how to program, then you don’t need my assistance here. Otherwise, consider using a plugin like AmpedSense to split test your ads to find the optimal configuration that gives you the highest CTR.
Here’s how to set up this set of tests in AmpedSense. When creating a new ad recipe to test, note the ‘Ad Position’ option:
Clicking on it will reveal every ad position available:
I suggest trying a split test with at least 3 different ad positions that naturally fit within your blog. Let the test run for a week (or less, if you get more traffic), and you’ll be able to see which one is the best for you!
Every site is different!
Every website has a different audience, theme, color scheme, and layout – and you never know which ad position is going to work the best for you. That’s why I always suggest testing your AdSense placement on your own site. Not only will you be maximizing your AdSense earnings, but sometimes you’ll find out that the best performing position is not the most annoying – resulting in a placement that both you and your visitors are happy with!