Having trouble deciding the best AdSense ad placement strategy? Does your AdSense scorecard look like this?
We talk to a lot of people that can’t strike the right balance between aesthetic integrity and ad placement. We’ve had many customers come to us wanting to optimize their AdSense yield, yet are unwilling to compromise on ad placement strategies. This article highlights a few AdSense Ad Placement Tips based on actual client situations, our own experiences, and references from Google AdSense’s support pages. This article is intended for a beginner to intermediate AdSense user audience.
First and foremost, it is imperative you abide by Google AdSense’s program policy. If you know anything about Google, their slogan is “Don’t be evil”, so you can expect they are very serious about their rules of engagement. Abiding by AdSense’s rules will not only help you maximize your revenue yield but keep your account in good standing. You can’t make money if your account is suspended or Google claws back your revenue.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to put ads on your site. I come across a lot of clients that have great content and social followings but are afraid to destroy their “brand” or “aesthetics” because of the types of ads displayed to their users. If you want to make money with AdSense, you have to submit to this and become comfortable with the notion advertisers will pay you for the eyeballs on your site. In my opinion, users have become accustom to seeing these ads over the years. Younger internet surfers don’t even know a universe without display ads. Users don’t stop going to msn.com or tmz.com because there are a few ads on the site. I firmly believe in keeping your main website or local business’ site ad-free . But quite honestly, if you operate a blog; that’s what they’re for, syndicating and monetizing content. If users are leaving your site, it’s not because of a few ads. It’s because your content is not engaging enough or your site has a poor user experience or both.
We also have customers requesting to heavily restrict or block ad categories. in AdSense. Honestly, these days ads are so highly targeted based on a user’s search pattern that it will hurt you to manipulate or augment types of ads displayed via AdSense. Keep in mind, this is a part of maximizing revenue yield. Say for instance, you block the general apparel category. If a user was recently on J.C. Penny and Macy’s sites; then you also just blocked the chance for their ads to display to that “pre-qualified user”, which will in my opinion lowers the potential for a banner click through if a “less” relevant ad creative is displayed. Ultimately, this affects your revenue yield as AdSense does factor in banner CTR when calculating payout.
Next, it’s imperative to think like a user! Google is all about user experience, so if you provide that typically you’ ll be in good shape. Also, put yourself in a consumers shoes to better understand how to garner better stats. What ads have you clicked on recently? What compelled you to do so? Also, think of sites you’ve visited with poor user experience and header stuffed ads as examples of what not to do. Google suggests implementing your AdSesne ads placements in a highly visible manner that does not get in the user’s way. Google also recommends placing your ads along slide your best content using both text and display ad formats for optimal fill and RPM (Revenue per thousand impressions).
Google’s Best Practices for Ad Placement. 2014. Retrieved from [Google Support]. ‹https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/1282097?hl=en›.
Here’s a recent example that I came across that stuffed 3 skyscraper ads above the fold.
This example was even more frustrating to me as a user because it is a local directory listing site on which my local web design company is featured. These ads are distracting potential consumers from seeing my listing and calling me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% for having a clean 728×90 leaderboard or a larger home page banner ad. Sometimes, I even get frustrated when a client refuses to take advantage of this valuable online real estate due to aesthetics. But theres a right way and a wrong way to accomplish this (Also, pay attention mobile view – Click here more on responsive header ad placement).
At the end of the day, ad placement is 100% up to you. But so is revenue maximization… if that’s your end goal. Your aesthetic preferences may be costing you money each time a user flips to next page of your site. On the other hand, don’t be greedy and stuff ads all over the place.
Honestly, I would go to your favorite news and entertainment websites and pay close attention to their monetization and ad placement tactics. Observe how they balance aesthetics, user experience, and ad placements for best revenue yield. They’ve spent years honing these strategies and they are typically up-to-date on best practices as they have teams devoted to these efforts. Please note however, not all sites use AdSense to monetize their content so there will be slight variations across platforms but the approach should remain relatively consistent.
Feel free to respectfully add to, comment on , or share this post.
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One of the biggest factors in web design in 2014 and beyond is making sure that your site is responsive. For those of you unaware of what this term means, here it is: Responsive web design makes sure that your site appears as clean and professional looking as possible across all types of hardware devices. From desktop computers to tablets and mobile devices, web users today can come from anywhere. With that in mind, you want to make sure your business is thinking about their experience across all devices.
As we put together this blog for Apex Digital Media we kept this in mind. Our site needs to look great on all devices but we also want to make sure that we’re running AdSense and learning in real time from our own implementation of the product. In installing the leaderboard ads (728×90) We noticed to our dismay that on mobile devices this ad format was not adjusting for the screen size. In fact, the 728×90 ad was forcing the page out and making our site look terrible and broken on iPhone and Android devices. We needed to consider responsive web design for Google AdSense.
To solve the problem, the first thing we tried was responsively resizing the ads via CSS based on the size of a users screen. This did not work, probably because due to best practices Google does not want this ad format resized for a mobile device because it subtracts value for their advertisers. With that in mind we really wanted to keep this format on desktop and tablet versions of the site because the implementation was clean and professional looking. So we were stuck at a crossroads…
We wanted the best of both worlds… a clean mobile experience but the ability to monetize the blog with the 728×90 leaderboard ad format. We decided it would be worthwhile to just remove this format altogether for the sake of our user experience. Sometimes when you want cake you have to compromise.
If you’re reading this post on a mobile device you can probably see that the 728×90 format is not there and the site template is clean and professional. It does still contain ads though. The 300×250 format tends to work well with mobile templates so we are still able to monetize mobile traffic while maintaining a user experience that is in line with our standards and with general best practices.
How did we do it you ask? This is one area where we’re happy to share our knowledge as it will make the mobile web a better place for all… (it’s also readily available to anyone with a black belt in Google-Fu).
To start, you need to generate a piece of AdSense code for your site. (If you don’t know how to do that yet you may want to start here.) Once you have your personalized AdSense code on your website you’ll want to surf over to this link – and scroll down to the header “Hiding an ad unit” and expand it. It will show you some sample code, copy and paste everything between the “style” tags.
Next you will want to amend your AdSense code slightly by adding the class of the style inside the ins class: “adsbygoogle” so it looks like this “adsbygoogle adslot_1”.
Finally – and this is the hangup we ran into, you MUST be sure to remove the style declaration in your personalized code. (refer to the screen shot below where it is circled in red).
Once you have set up the style, inserted the call and removed the original style declaration from your AdSense code you can save it and it should completely remove that ad slot from any devices with a screen width of less than 400 pixels. If you’re really advanced you can also tweak the code to make that width larger or smaller.