Tips for ads on niche sites
Anyway, if you run a niche site that profits from advertising (mainly AdSense), here's a few tips I've discovered that increases your CTR, and thus your earnings.
- Never place your ads where your theme wants them to be placed. The designer of your theme wants the layout to look pretty so you'll use/buy it, their goal is not to get your visitors to click on your ads. They'll put ad placeholders in the worst performing spots. Best spots are usually within your content/article, or slightly above/below it. Header/footer/sidebar gets ignored.
- Make sure you have ads set for mobile users. It used to be that phone traffic was just a few percent, but now it makes up a majority of traffic on my niche sites (yes, over 50% on some!). If you have a responsive theme you can simply drop in AdSense's responsive ad size. If you use a different layout for mobile users, Google has ads sizes specifically for them (ie, 320 x 100 Large Mobile Banner and 320 x 50 Mobile Banner)
- Be careful placing too many ads. Google allows up to 6 (3 banners and 3 link units), but don't think that's the best way to earnings. I've seen my average page views per visitors go up by removing some ads. More page views = happy users, happy rankings, happy you. Definitely put up more than one ad unit, but stay away from the max. 2-3 ads is usually the sweet spot for my audiences.
- Try non-standard colors. Those that do customize their ad colors usually get them to match their site palette. That looks nice, and can sometimes trick people into clicking on them (you don't really want to deceive people, do you?), but many times it gets overlooked. Try colors that stand out. Remember no one is going to click on any ads if they don't even notice them.
I've learned these tips via feedback from some of my plugin's users (I developed AmpedSense, the wordpress plugin that automates adsense split testing). They seem obvious now, but when I was first getting started with niche sites I had no idea how to best optimize my ads.
Anyway, hope this helps some people out there! If you want more, just let me know and I'll continue.
Get Content Targeted Super Real Traffic to Boost your Adsense Revenue!