If you have some Google ads on your websites you are leaving money on the table if your Adsense placement is not as good as it could be. I’ve been an Adsense publisher for about five years now and I’ve had sites that generated less than a 1% click through rate, up to sites that generated a 23% click through rate. There are different things that will impact your click through rate. What your site is about is a big factor, if people come to a site expecting to read about different species of trees they are going to be less likely to click on an ad versus people going to a site that is about finding restaurant coupons. But even if your site is about different tree species there is still the possibility to increase your click through rate through proper Adsense placement and ‘tricks’.

I’m a firm believer in testing. What works for me on one site may not work for me on another site. I currently have 4 websites which are getting over a 20% click through rate and I believe that is attributable to the placement of my ads. How do I know this? Because prior to me switching around how I used Adsense on my site, these four sites were generating a 8% CTR.

1. It’s all about Ad placement – using the maximum amount of ads that Google allows on a page might seem like a good idea to some people but I’m against this for two reasons. Number 1 – it makes your site seem spammy. If people don’t trust your site then may just close it instead of visiting an advertiser’s ad. Number 2 – I believe that having only one ad unit on your site will help draw the visitor’s attention to that ad. They may be more likely to read the ad instead of mentally blocking it out if they see ads all over the place. Here’s a special tip from me to you… people are drawn to the middle of a page, not to the sidebars. If you put ads on a sidebar you will get significantly lower click throughs then if you place ads in the middle of your site. Yes, your site won’t look as pretty, but is your goal to make some money or to look pretty?

2. Ad Text Colors Do Matter – different people have different trains of though here. Some think that by using a bright color for your Adsense ads that it will draw attention to them. That may be so, but for me that doesn’t equal more people visiting the ads. For each ad headline I leave it as the default blue coloring that most web users should recognize as ‘hyperlink blue’. They know that if this click these words they will be directed somewhere else. If the words were in bright red then people might not associate that ad as being a clickable item.

3. Text Ads verses Image Ads – text ads for me. Always text ads. Why? Because it gives more information to people then an image ad. I think this allows people to get drawn in more. Also, there are usually a few ads per ad unit, so if one ad doesn’t appeal to a person maybe the 2nd or 3rd ad in the ad unit will. With an image ad it is an all or nothing. If the image does not appeal to the visitor then they aren’t going to be generating any click revenue for you.

Adsense is not how I generate most of my monthly revenue (it accounts for maybe 20%), but it is important enough for me to still work on optimizing it as best as possible and if you make any significant money from it then you should too.

One comment on “Maximizing Domain Monetization: Google Adsense Tips

  • Very nice article, Chris –

    I set up my site about 6 months ago, and I’m enjoying the entire experience. About 2 months ago, I added some Adsense – and I’ve seen a lot of variety in the success rates. The sidebar skyscraper absolutely had to go based on even the most initial statistics. Blending was a must, though my link objects aren’t blue. I still have a mix of image and text ads (and I use 3 per page), though I’ve evolved more and more toward many of the concepts you describe above, even this early in my site’s evolution.

    But I’m not getting anywhere near a 20% CTR – that sounds amazing to me. Would love to eventually get there… but it might be about my site’s topic as you assert above. It will be a milestone for me when I know the basic advertising revenue can cover the expenses of maintaining the site!


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