Adsense: Location Location Location!

[This is part of the Blogger's Guide to Earning More with Google Adsense.]

In the previous few blog posts we’ve talked about Adsense design as well as some design best practices but we haven’t talked yet about how to position them the best for CTR.

Well, here’s your primer! Of course, just like anything else you’ll want to test the positioning and location of your Adsense to maximize your click-throughs as it makes sense with your design.

Here are some questions that you’ll want to consider as you make your location-based decisions:

  • What is the user trying to accomplish by visiting my site?
  • What do they do when viewing a particular page?
  • Where is their attention likely to be focused?
  • How can I integrate ads into this area without getting in the users’ way?
  • How can I keep the page looking clean, uncluttered and inviting?

To get started we’ll first consult some thoughts via Google directly:

Generally there are some things of note via this click and “heat map”:

  • Higher your advertisements the more clicks you get.
  • The closer to the content the better.
  • Readers generally click left to right and advertisements on the left can perform better, generally speaking.
  • Advertisements after the content can be clicked through a lot as well when placed properly.

Of course, you’ll want to test these yourself depending on your design and most blogs won’t fit the mold as shown above. Ultimately you’ll want to consider your readers when you make your decisions as they ultimately have to deal with your Adsense execution.

If you don’t you could lose readers, not just a financial channel! So be cautious as well as wise!

[This is part of the Blogger's Guide to Earning More with Google Adsense.]

  • Joshua Chase

    How do you determine ad placement and “content area” vs “sidebar” layout when adding adsense? Is it best to do some variant testing or is there a general rule of thumb? For instance, if you want to maximize a skyscraper ad, would it be best to place it where you might currently have your sidebar and swap them?

    • John Saddington

      yes. those are the types of tests you can perform for your blog. good stuff!

  • Jeremy Myers

    It’s the classic “F” pattern…though almost closer to an “E.”

    Also, many months ago, you were testing Right Sidebar versus Left Sidebar in related to Adsense. Did I miss a post on the result of that test? This indicates that a left sidebar may be better, but you are still going with a Right Sidebar.

    • John Saddington

      still doing testing. took 6 months on the left, 6 months on the right.

  • Simon

    Different locations actually target different visitors.

    For ad units above the contents, the targeted visitors are bouncing visitors (who leave your site without browsing any contents).

    For ad units below your contents, the targeted visitors are readers.

    The performance of the ad units will depend on the composition of your visitors.

    For ad units targeting readers, usually affiliate ads perform better than Adsense if you can find proper products.

    • John Saddington


      this makes sense but how do you “control” what goes where via Adsense? love to hear your thoughts on how you do that…

      • Simon

        Hi John,
        I did some experiments last year on two sites, on one high bounce rate site, the CTR of ads above contents is significantly higher than similar ads in similar location in a low bounce rate site. While for the low bounce rate site, the CTR of ads below contents is noticeably higher than the counterpart in the high bounce rate site.

        So, I think user need place the adsense unit based on site’s bounce rate (easily get the value from Google Analytics). If it is high (e.g., larger than 60%), put the ads above the contents; if the bounce rate is low (e.g., less than 50%), put the ads after the contents.

        Anyway, just my 2cents.

        • John Saddington

          yes! you can definitely use bounce-rate to help you out.

  • Bryce Homier

    I love your blog and read it all the time, the tips in this post are really useful, even if your using CJ or Amazon

    • John Saddington

      sure thing bryce! appreciate it!

  • Nicole Kpi

    Thanx a lot for the really useful tips!