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How to Test Ad Placement to Increase Adsense Revenue

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 8

Google Adsense publishers can increase Adsense revenue if they test ad placement.  Successful ad placement is part of good website design.  Ads that are unobtrusive yet properly placed can keep readers on the page and make money.

Optimize Adsense Ads

Websites need to test ad placement to discover how their readers interact with their site.  Testing ads gives webmasters the ability to optimize ads as well as their site design.  Optimized ads will increase Adsense earnings although optimizing ad placement is about more than earning more money.  Website readers, users, shoppers, or the audience is a reflection of the site, so always provide value and quality. 

How to Use Adsense Ad Channels to Test Ad Placement

Ad placement is critical to success.  Google Adsense gives publishers the ability to test ad placement with Adsense ad channels. Adsense ad channels are for testing the performance of different ads.  Google ad channels track page impressions, Adsense ad impressions, and Adsense earnings for the specified ad.  Analyzing ads reveals which ads perform the best.  Testing is an ongoing, important step to increase website revenue and enhance the site's design and functionality.

Set Up an Ad Channel to Find the Best Adsense Ad CTR 

Google Adsense ad channels will uncover the best place for ads and help a site improve its ad CTR.   Adsense channels are very helpful.  Do not confuse an Adsense ad channel with the Adsense URL channel.  Adsense URL channels track article performance and are used to find out how much articles are earning. 

A well-optimized website has unlimited Adsense earning potential. Test ads to find the ad unit with the best click through rate (CTR).   Follow these easy steps to track and test ad placement for individual Adsense ads and Adsense link units.

1.Log in to Google Adsense then click Adsense setup.
2. Click on Manage Ads.
3. To add an ad channel to an existing ad unit, click edit settings. Scroll down to the bottom left of the page. Click on "add new channel" then add a unique name it in the pop up box. Make sure the ad channel name identifies the ad location and the website.  For example, "Example.com under title ad, text only." Create ad channels to test Adsense link unit colors.  Changing ad colors can make a significant difference in earnings, so it's important to label the ad channels.  Save the new settings.
4. If you make a new ad unit rather than edit an existing one, create the unit (color, size, etc.), and then follow step #3 to label the new ad channel to track.

How to Choose Which Adsense Ad Unit to Test

Tracking ad unit performance is completely optional. You do not have to create an ad performance tracker on each ad. Choose the ad you think has the highest CTR. Ad channels will confirm the performance of a specific ad unit. This is actually very important because it gives you insight into what your users are doing as well as what might work best in future projects.

Adsense ad channel earnings appear alongside Adsense URL channels in the Google Adsense report.  The ad channel shows impressions and earnings. 

Chitika Channels

InfoBarrel members using Chitika can see an example of earning channels by logging into their Chitika account. When checking earnings on Chitika there is a spot that says "InfoBarrel right side" or "InfoBarrel Bottom." Those are Chitika ad placement earnings channels. The bottom Chitika ad performs better for my InfoBarrel articles. If you are not signed up for Chitika then you are missing a revenue stream.

How to Optimize Adsense Ads to Increase Earnings

Adsense is a great way to make money online.  Optimize articles and websites by running tests and analyzing stats.  To increase cost per click find the ads with the best CTR.  Ads above-the-fold, under titles, on the left or right side of text, under content on the bottom of the page, and in-text skyscraper ads tend to convert well when the ads are relevant.

Color combinations are important, too. Some sites use awful colors for their ads. Google suggests making ads that blend with the site colors or that are contrasting in a complementary tone.  Consider the reader, don't blind them, and don't pick your favorite colors for ads unless it works for the site.  What you think looks good is not always the best idea.  Test ads then fine tune their colors, size, and location.  Optimize the entire website, not just the content.

Google Adsense, Google Analytics, and Google Webmaster Tools offer a lot of deeply layered analytical data and resources.  Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital skill to learn in order to optimize content on the page and increase revenue from Google Adsense, affiliate marketing, and other revenue streams.

On InfoBarrel the bottom Chitika ads have a higher CTR than those on the side.  However, Chitika ads are frustrating because their relevancy is hit and miss.  Chitika is a nice adjunct revenue stream, but it doesn't earn like Adsense. InfoBarrel is a good place learn the ropes and start increasing Adsense revenue.

The Importance of Ads and Website Design

Websites spend money on fancy web design and SEO then fail to test Adsense ad integration.  Money spent is not the predictor of success when it comes to earning money online with Adsense.  A writer that builds a niche site, tests different ad placement, and places ads conservatively based on their analysis of user behavior is likely to end up with user-friendly ads.

Learning how to test ad placement is important for anyone who is writing articles online, even if it is for revenue share sites that do not allow members to choose their own ad color or placement (except for Seekyt).  Many writers eventually start a blog or website so this information is important down the road.  It is also important because site members are instrumental in affecting change when it needs to happen.  The more people know the more they are able to do and this usually translates into earnings. 



Mar 3, 2011 1:25pm
Good information on how to test ad placement. Making a note of this article for when I start my website. Thanks for sharing.
May 15, 2011 6:45am
Absolutely! It is very useful to figure out what is working.
Mar 13, 2011 9:37pm
Good article - can use ad placement here at infobarrel or is that for websites and blogs? Thank you.
May 15, 2011 6:44am
Sorry, I didn't see this comment before. No, you can't use it here, unfortunately. I wish we could. I think you can use it on Post UR Own though because you can set up your Adsense ads yourself. Any site that lets you pick the colors, etc., of the ads should give the ability to do this, too.

It was only after doing ad testing on my own site that I discovered that areas that I most prefer ads as well as what I dislike (image ads).

The admin has been doing a lot of this ad placement testing though. When they comment that they're "testing layouts" this is at least partially what they're talking about.

Sorry it took me so long to reply!
May 30, 2011 1:52pm
One of my biggest frustrations with Chitika is that they have no quality control on the ads. I was very offended by one of the pictures shown on a Chitika ad that appeared on article at Info Barrel. I contacted Chitika about this (and included a screenshot) and they told me that they pull pictures from the site that may not have anything to do with the ad being displayed.

Not only are Chitika ads potentially garish, but you never really know what you will get out of them.
Jun 1, 2011 3:33am
I've yet to be very satisfied with them. I find their ads distracting although I earn a little bit each month with them. I actually don't even check my earnings there because there's no way to optimize the page for them.

On eHow we had a few times where Adsense was showing some offensive ads. It took awhile to get rid of them.
Jun 1, 2011 8:43pm
Excellent information here for anyone who has the option to control ads on their article pages or website. But it might also be worth mentioning that IB writers can create a channel for each of their IB articles so they can keep track of which are earning. You might be surprised how many people don't use this valuable tool.
Jun 1, 2011 9:04pm
Very thought-provoking article. I tend to assume that the advertisers know what they are doing, but now I realize this is not always true!
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