What's the most important ingredient for AdSense success?
It's ad placement.
The more people who see your ads, the better.
Traffic matters too, but it comes secondary to ad placement. Think about it: if your ads aren't getting clicked, then more traffic won't increase your earnings.
You need to focus on increasing your clickthrough rate (CTR).
So, where are the best places to put ads?
While each site is different, I recommend placing an unit after the 1st paragraph of all blog posts.
This is by far my highest earning ad position. The reason? It's embedded within the content, so readers have no choice but to see it:
Alone, this ad position makes up 75% of my Google AdSense earnings. It's that powerful.
On average, I see a CTR of 1-1.5%. This means I get about 15 clicks per 1,000 visitors.
By most people's standards, that's pretty good. Just remember- that's with my site.
Your site might be totally different. The only way to know is to A/B test it.
Size, Type, and Alignment
Just so we're clear: my highest earning Google ad position is under the 1st paragraph. Now, I want to talk about the size, type, and alignment of the ad itself:
- Size: I recommend a 300 x 250 ad unit, and here's why: it's desktop- and mobile-friendly. Plus, I've tested it against other ad sizes and it's the most profitable.
- Type: As I mentioned in this post, always show text and display ads. If you only show one or the other, you won't make as much money.
- Alignment: For aesthetic purposes, I always center-align my ad units. I haven't directly tested this, but in my opinion, it looks much cleaner.
A common question I hear is, "What about responsive ad units? Aren't they better for mobile devices?"
I'm not a big fan of responsive ads. When I've tested them in the past, they didn't perform very well.
That's why I recommend the 250 x 300 ad unit. The CPC is higher and it looks good on mobile too.
Summary: Place a 300 x 250, center-aligned ad unit after the 1st paragraph of your blog posts. Make sure you have text and display ads activated.
Place 2-3 Ads Within The Post
Based on my own tests, the most profitable Google ad spots are within the content.
Because as readers scroll through your content, they have no choice but to notice them.
In other words, in-content ads aren't prone to ad blindness like sidebar or header ads.
Real World Example
Authority Nutrition is a popular health website that gets 10+ million visitors per month. They're a prime example of how you should position your ads.
They have zero ads in their header or footer. Instead, most of their ads are within the content:
What does this tell us? Well, if a multi-million dollar company is using in-content ads, then it's probably a good idea for you to do it, too.
Read any of their articles and see for yourself: the ads blend in beautifully. They're not spammy-looking and don't take away from the user experience.
Here's the typical setup I like to use:
- 1 Ad After 1st Paragraph
- 1 Ad in Middle of Post
- 1 Ad After Last Paragraph
I rarely, if ever, put Google ads in my sidebar. I almost exclusively use in-content ads.
By placing multiple ads within your content, you're essentially doubling down on a strategy that works.
Summary: In-content ads typically have a higher CTR than sidebar, footer, or header ads.
Using WordPress? Get The Ad Inserter Plugin
If you're using WordPress, then get the Ad Inserter plugin (it's 100% free).
This plugin gives you the ability to insert ads anywhere on your site with ease.
It's really easy to use: just insert your ad code and pick where you want it to show up.
Here's a screenshot:
With this plugin, you can choose to have ads show up only on specific pages. You can also rotate your ads to make A/B testing easier.
The Bottom Line
Want to increase your AdSense earnings as early as today? Then start experimenting with in-content ad placements.
Specifically, try placing an ad right after the 1st paragraph of your articles.
For my sites, it's the most profitable ad position. I hope it is for you as well.