100% AdSense placements – 200% more revenue

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 in AdsenseAdvertisingBlogging
Are you using the best AdSense placements? Since starting our consulting service we noticed that almost every publisher screws up with proper AdSense placements. Nonetheless, placements are more than crucial for 100% traffic monetization. Repositioning solely one ad could already have a major impact on your earnings. Don’t screw it up!As usual for every post part of our AdSense guide we include a video, explaining everything excessively. We recommend watching the videos for relatively unexperienced AdSense users. If you consider yourself an expert you should skip watching and continue reading with the straight to the point explanation below. So, where to place your AdSense ads?

Placing your AdSense ads – video

Placing your Ads the 100% proper way

As previously said, proper placements are crucial. In order to get your ads clicked you have to place them where your visitor looks at. What’s the point of an ad in the footer if your audience can get all the information above the fold?Check out the following 3 resources. The first one is an in detail scientific eyetracking research which shows where your visitors look at. The second one, published by Google, is more newb-friendly version. The 3rd one is for forums. All 3 case-studies are different but nonetheless suggest you the following 4 essential points:
  • Place your ads in the top left
    • …That’s where usually either where your navigation is…
    • …Or where your site’s content starts
  • Place your ads in your primary content
  • Place your ads directly below the content (NOT in the footer)

What are our visitors doing?

It’s essential to place your ads right there where your visitors look at. Your visitors don’t scroll up and down several times just to find the ads (except for the nutless monkeys, which are only 0.001% of your visitors ;P). Furthermore, they aren’t interested in your ads at all.Do you watch advertisements on television? We have to draw our visitor’s attention to the ads, or else they don’t even have the possibility to decide whether they want to click or not. When your visitors open your website they always look at the top left. It’s an habit, people always look first at the top left for the following 3 reasons:
  • People got used to navigating around on websites using a navigation in the top left.
  • The top Google search results are in the top left, they catch the visitor’s attention. When clicking on the link and being forwarded to your website the attention remains at the same location.
  • Except for the length of the content a website isn’t much different to a book. A book is read from the top left to the buttom right (ever read a book?)
This is where the previously mentioned eye-tracking research comes into play. Look at the pictures, all the pictures show that the visitors at least once look at the navigation, which is placed in the top left usually. When redesigning your website, keep that in mind. People are used to a navigation somewhere in the top (left). Notice, that there is almost no focus on the top right or in general right. So placing your ads right there is an utterly wrong choice. Placing your ads where your visitors don’t look at is an unused click-opportunity.

We want our ads to be noticed

Place your ads in the top left area.
  • Short Question: Why do your visitors open your website?
    • … because they are looking for information which is provided in your content.
Thus another essential placement (extremely important!) is in your primary content:
  • Place your ads in your content to make your visitor notice them
  • Wrapping content around your ads (preferably ad left, content right) will get your ad 100% noticed. (Exception: read next paragraph)
  • Place your ads directly below your primary content for two reasons:
  • Assuming that you have good content (which we hope) your visitor’s will continue reading your content to the end. Voilá what’s there? An AdSense unit!
  • As blogs and forums are getting more and more important people know that they can find other reader’s comments below the content. Those comments are usually helpful, so readers scroll down. Placing an AdSense unit there will attract attention.
Analytics together with AdSense

Analytics together with AdSense

Tweaking placements using Google Analytics

Google analytics provide’s an handy feature: The so called Site Overlay. Using the site overlay you can quickly determine how your visitors navigate around your website and which content interests them in particular. Using that data you can adjust the placements to make your ads draw even more attention.
  • Most click activity show high attention regions
  • Place your ads there. Go for link units if you have used the other 3 content units elsewhere.
Banner blindness for AdSense users

Banner blindness for AdSense users

Our Enemy: Banner Blindness

Yes, there is this so called phenomenon banner-blindness. It’s nothing invented by communists. Many webmasters have excessively used several banner layouts. We call them bouncers because either your visitor’s attention bounces away or in worst case, your visitor himself.Countermeasures against banner-blindness
  • Avoid web 1.0 layouts i.e. leaderboard or in general horizontal banners
    • Superior CTR option: Go for rectangles, they attract a lot of attention
    • Design friendly: Anything possible, should just be squarish.
  • The first impression decides everything, read below.

The first impression decides everything

Opening our website our visitors don’t wait a minute to think whether they should click the ad or not. They subconsciously decide, click the ad, or not and they do so within milliseconds. Using proper placements without a good ad-design can still result in extremely poor-performance. We dedicated several articles to exactly that topic previously on DuoBlogger.

Further Resources