Today I want to talk about positioning your AdSense ads – something that has a very significant impact upon the amount of money that they are able to earn.
I learned this lesson after I’d been using AdSense for some time – I often wish I’d discovered it earlier – because not thinking it through earlier cost me a significant amount of money!
My Story of Learning about AdSense Positioning
I remember clearly the time that my AdSense earnings almost doubled over night through me simply moving them from one part of my blog to another.
Up until the point where I made this discovery my AdSense ads had been largely in a banner position on my blog. I don’t remember my exact reasoning for putting it there but it was probably because that’s where I saw all the big sites doing. My blog’s post pages looked like the diagram to the right.
Performance with this positioning was OK – but then again, I didn’t know any different so while I was earning enough on my blog at this point to make a day or two a week of earnings I was blissfully unaware of the potential that my blog had to take me a step closer to going full time as a blogger.
I’m not sure of why I decided to experiment with my ad positioning but after a while of positioning my AdSense ads this way I decided to have a ‘play’ with other positions. I began to think about where on my page my readers would give their full attention and decided at the top left hand side of the content area would probably be the most logical position for people to look at a web page (as that’s where they start reading). This was at a time before AdSense brought out their ‘heatmap’ which confirmed that this was a wise move.
So late one afternoon I decided to move my ad unit from the banner position to this spot at the top left hand side of my post area.
My ads now looked like the diagram to the left.
I was actually a little nervous about making this move. What if my earnings went down and I started going backwards?
I decided to give the new position a couple of days testing. I could afford to lose earnings for two days but if they didn’t at least match the previous positioning I’d switch it back.
That night just before I went to bed I decided to log into AdSense to see what the results were like after a few hours.
Imagine my surprise when I saw my CTR 40%!
40% more readers were clicking my ads and this was obviously already impacting my overall earnings!
I didn’t sleep too well that night as I realized the power of what I’d discovered. I could potentially see a 40% increase in my earnings with a simple move of my ads.
The next morning I awoke earlier and logged into AdSense and found that the CTR was now up by just under 50%.
That day I’d increased my earnings enough to dedicate at least another day a week to blogging by simply changing the position of an ad unit!
Tips on Ad Positioning
Ad positioning is vitally important to the performance of ad units like AdSense.
In general – the positions that are ‘hot’ can be seen on the heatmap to the right (this is the official AdSense heatmap which they put together from their own research and observations of where ads work best. You can see how anywhere at the top of content can work best (the brightest orange area) but that in general above the fold and to the left seems to be the ‘hotter areas’.
This does vary from blog to blog and there are some specific spots that work best on blogs (I’ll show them below). The key is to try different things and to find what works best on your blog.
Further Reading on Ad Positioning:
- Previously on ProBlogger – Introduction to Advertising Optimization – Ad Position
- AdSense Help Page – Where should I place Google ads on my pages?
Next week I’ll continue this series of tips for increasing your AdSense earnings overnight with the continuation of my own story of learning to use AdSense and some more tactics that took my earnings to even higher levels!