While the objective of this post is to assist the readers choose the best AdSense plugin for WordPress, I think our overall goal is to increase AdSense revenue and thus the post discusses about those AdSense plugins that can give you the best ad placements and thus the highest revenue earning opportunities. Hoping this post will be an interesting read!
As a blogger and an AdSense consultant working with an ad optimization/tech startup, what I have realized is-
The most important thing to increase your AdSense revenue is ad placement. If your ad placements are optimized, you’re earning good!
Unfortunately, a lot of publishers don’t really take care of ad placements and look for other AdSense alternatives to increase their ad revenue. Alternatives are fine, but you should make the most from your AdSense. In this post I will discuss the best possible ad placements and the necessary plugins which you might consider using to boost your ad placement. Since majority of the sites are powered by WordPress.org, my article will be more focused to ad placements through WordPress plugins.
A recap before we begin!
Top Performing Ad Units in Google AdSense
For Desktop- A 336×280 ad unit always perform better than a 300×250. Also a 300×600 sidebar ad unit performs better than a 336×280 ad unit.
For Mobile- We have seen 336×280 ad unit perform better across all screens including mobe. However, lately we have noticed Google pushing the 300×250 ad unit for mobile device. This comes as a major recommendation from Google to use this ad unit below the fold and we have seen 300×250’s ad impression RPM almost matching 336×280’s impression RPM for mobile screens (not so for Desktop though). Also responsive ad units always doesn’t perform well since they are non-standard sizes with limited inventory…..
So, there’s a confusion and it’s all about the desktop vs mobile……
While you might thing that your ad placement is very good on a desktop device and you’re happy about it; on the contrary most of your traffic is from mobile and the overall page RPM on mobile isn’t that great for you. This article will help you with this too!
I would like to divide the article into 3 sub-heads
1. General Ad Placement Guide
2. Ad Placement Guide for Desktop
3. Ad Placement Guide for Mobile
4. Plugins that can Help you with Ad Placement
A minute’s task: If you’re running 300×600 ad unit, I would like you to share your impression RPM for the last seven days for this ad unit separately for mobile and desktop.
General Ad Placement Guide –
- When you choose a 336×280 ad unit over a 300×250 or 250×250 ad unit, it increases the advertising competition for the particular ad slot, and thus increases the competition. This lets the algorithm serve an ad which has a higher CPC value, and a click on the ad will let you earn more. AdSense always recommends the use of a 336×280 ad unit. The case is same with a 300×600 ad unit as well since it accommodate the 160×600 ad size and let the algorithm compete for the best CPC bid.
- Within-content (in-content) ads generally perform well with medium sized post lengths. If you’re not using in-content ads, then you are losing substantial revenue from your mobile traffic since this works best for mobile traffic. There are a few plug-ins available on WordPress that gets the job easily done.
- So if you’re running 3 or more ad units (via DFP)
Google AdSense Ad Placement Guide for Desktop
So if you’re running 3 or more AdSense ad units (via DFP) and you have a moderate content length.
- Put 3 Google adsene ad units, preferably 336×280 within the post content. You may left align the first ad unit. Center align the second ad unit (preferably 336×280) and place it somewhere in the middle of the content and the third ad unit can be placed right above the last paragraph (preferably 336×280: center aligned). User tends to click ads placed within the content more than the ones placed in the top/sidebar.
- Place a 300×600 ad unit in the sidebar. Makesure, the 300×600 sidebar ad unit is only visible on desktop. I will tell you how to do this later in the article
- Additionally, you can place one link unit at the end of the article. Also you can place a CPM ad unit on the top right, where you generally place a header leaderboard.
Google AdSense Ad Placement Guide for Mobile
I would always advise you to create separate ad units for desktop and mobile unless you’re using media query. To know how you can alter the ad size based on the visitors screen size, I suggest you read this article.
For mobile traffic, I would suggest you add 3 AdSense ads (all of them within the content) similar to the way I suggested for Desktop traffic. If you’re using DFP and running more than 3 ads, then I would suggest a few combinations
a. 3 ad units within the content area (size:300×250) and one ad unit above the fold (size: 320×100). This is what Google recommends us as an ad placement guide.
b. However, if your content length is good, you may try 4 ad units within the content area (size:300×250)
c. You might consider creating an experiment and add a 336×280 ad unit as the variation to see how the perforamnce and RPMs vary between 300×250 vs. 336×280 ad units on mobile screens. To know more about how to create experiments on Google AdSense click here.
d. I would discourage you to add the 300×600 ad unit on the sidebar for mobile traffic since the sidebar is pushed down and the ad unit is expected to get very less number of clicks.
The Best Free AdSense Plugins for WordPress to Manage Ad Placement
There are a lot of plugins that can help you get started with Ad placement on WordPress. Over the years, I have stick to 3 ad placement plugins which works good! I did check the official Google AdSense plugin for WordPress but was not impressed with it. The plugins which I use are
- Advanced Ads- The free version of the plugin is better that many in the market. You can enable to show different ad units/sizes to your desktop and mobile traffic with this plugin, thus making it my personal favourite. You can also enable to show a 300×600 ad unit on sidebar only for desktop traffic.
- Ad Injection- This plugin has a feature that allows you to show ads within the content based on word count. I place an additional ad unit from other ad networks on posts which crosses 1000 words. One can further customize the placement of the ad unit, so that comes a bit handy especially when the content is long! Since majority of my traffic is mobile, I use a Facebook ad tag from Audience network and serve it through this plugin. This gives me some extra revenue.
- Quick AdSense- Once of the easiest plugin to get started with in-content ad placement. A clutter free plugin which does most of the work. If you want to use quick adsense, I suggest you covert your AdSense ads through media query.
The Best Free AdSense Plugin for WordPress- Advanced Ads
The free version of this plugin is packed with the necessary features to get you started. Some of the features which I personally liked are
- You can left, right and center align the ad units with just a click. No CSS coding required.
- You can filter the visitors and show ads based on screen (mobile/desktop) and also logged in/member or not.
- Multiple type of ad placements can be created- Above the content, below the content, within the content, sidebar,
- You have to option to inject the ad code anywhere in the header, footer or even create manual placements to use as a function or shortcode.
- Also you can group ads for a particular placement and display them based on weights you assign to those ads.
Very soon I will be coming up with a detailed review and how to of this plugin. Stayed tuned!
Additionally, you can enable page-levels ads. Here is a guide to get you started with Page-Level Ads.
If you’re having a low CTR, you may consider signing up with AdPushup– they have one of the best technology around to increase your AdSense CTR and I have closely worked with them and saw publishers how have achieved 60% and above increase in AdSense revenue.