AdSense Optimization Checklist

Review your own site's AdSense implementation with the below checklist. Check off each checkbox once you are sure your site's implementation meets the criteria of that checklist item. Your total optimization score is shown at the top of the page, and your score for each section is located below the section heading.

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Unit Optimization

Section Score: 0 / 7
Does your site have exactly three regular AdSense ad units per page?
more info

The terms and conditions of AdSense allow partners to place up to 3 ad units per page. Generally, including this maximum number of units will maximize the number of clicks your ad units receive (and therefore overall revenue). While it may make sense in some cases to have fewer than three ad units (for example, if you have a page with a very limited amount of content), you'll generally want to max out the number of units your site contains.

Why should I do this?

The terms and conditions of AdSense allow partners to place up to 3 ad units per page. Generally, including this maximum number of units will maximize the number of clicks your ad units receive (and therefore overall revenue). While it may make sense in some cases to have fewer than three ad units (for example, if you have a page with a very limited amount of content), you'll generally want to max out the number of units your site contains.

more info How can I do this?

Determining the number of ad units you have on your site should be pretty straightforward: if you aren't sure just by looking at the site, within the AdSense dashboard, go to "My Ads". There you'll see all the ads that you've created. If you have fewer than three ads per page, you'll be able to create new ads here and get the code to implement them on the site.

Note that you can make life a lot easier for yourself by creating a limited number of page templats and using those throughout the site. Ideally, every page of your site would have the same layout from an ad perspecctive, meaning that the same number and type of ad units would be found on every page within the site. This might not always be realistic (i.e., you may have different sections of your site that warrant different layouts) but you should still aim to keep the number of templates as low as possible and use one of the "standard" layouts whenever possible.

Briefly;

Determining the number of ad units you have on your site should be pretty straightforward: if you aren't sure just by looking at the site, within the AdSense dashboard, go to "My Ads". There you'll see all the ads that you've created. If you have fewer than three ads per page, you'll be able to create new ads here and get the code to implement them on the site.

Note that you can make life a lot easier for yourself by creating a limited number of page templats and using those throughout the site. Ideally, every page of your site would have the same layout from an ad perspecctive, meaning that the same number and type of ad units would be found on every page within the site. This might not always be realistic (i.e., you may have different sections of your site that warrant different layouts) but you should still aim to keep the number of templates as low as possible and use one of the "standard" layouts whenever possible.

In-Depth

Does your site have exactly three AdSense link units per page?
more info

The AdSense terms and conditions also allow publishers to include up to three link units on every page. While these ads are considerably smaller than the more traditional banner ads, they can be highly effective monetization tools because they generally blend in quite nicely with the site content and are contextually targeted to present relevant links to visitors. If implemented properly, link units can add potentially add a few purely incremental dollars to your site's overall RPM.

Why should I do this?

The AdSense terms and conditions also allow publishers to include up to three link units on every page. While these ads are considerably smaller than the more traditional banner ads, they can be highly effective monetization tools because they generally blend in quite nicely with the site content and are contextually targeted to present relevant links to visitors. If implemented properly, link units can add potentially add a few purely incremental dollars to your site's overall RPM.

more info How can I do this?

Link units are created in the exact same way as traditional banner ads; within your AdSense dashboard, click on the "My ads" section and then select the option to create a new ad unit.

When it comes to placing link units on your site, it will of course make sense to experiment with differnt positionings within the page. These ads generally work well when placed at the bottom of articles (or other text heavy content) and can also be effective when positioned directly above or below a site's nav bar.

Just like with banner ads, it's important to experiment with link units. Changing the location on the page and the color of the links are some of the more obvious experiments to run when starting out here.

Briefly;

Link units are created in the exact same way as traditional banner ads; within your AdSense dashboard, click on the "My ads" section and then select the option to create a new ad unit.

When it comes to placing link units on your site, it will of course make sense to experiment with differnt positionings within the page. These ads generally work well when placed at the bottom of articles (or other text heavy content) and can also be effective when positioned directly above or below a site's nav bar.

Just like with banner ads, it's important to experiment with link units. Changing the location on the page and the color of the links are some of the more obvious experiments to run when starting out here.

In-Depth

In places where your sites uses a rectangle unit, is it the size recommended in the IAB Universal Ad Package (300x250px)?
more info

Using "standard" ad units can improve your earnings because it allows the ad network to choose from a greater pool of ads, as it tries to serve up the most relevant, clickable ads to your particular site. Just about every advertiser creates an unit for the 300x250, 728x90 and 160x600 sizes, meaning that AdSense has a huge lineup of advertisers from which to choose. In contrast, other ad unit sizes are much less common; most advertisers don't create them, which means you'll be limiting the selection if your site features them prominently.

Why should I do this?

Using "standard" ad units can improve your earnings because it allows the ad network to choose from a greater pool of ads, as it tries to serve up the most relevant, clickable ads to your particular site. Just about every advertiser creates an unit for the 300x250, 728x90 and 160x600 sizes, meaning that AdSense has a huge lineup of advertisers from which to choose. In contrast, other ad unit sizes are much less common; most advertisers don't create them, which means you'll be limiting the selection if your site features them prominently.

more info How can I do this?

Best practice for AdSense implementation involves using the most common ad units in order to let the network choose from the largest possible pool of inventory. The IAB is generally the authority on these issues; they publish a list called the "Universal Ad Package" that includes the most commonly-used units, as well as a list of "Rising Stars" that are becoming increasingly popular among advertisers. Try to stick to these ad units on your site; doing so will give you the greatest chances of success.

Briefly;

Best practice for AdSense implementation involves using the most common ad units in order to let the network choose from the largest possible pool of inventory. The IAB is generally the authority on these issues; they publish a list called the "Universal Ad Package" that includes the most commonly-used units, as well as a list of "Rising Stars" that are becoming increasingly popular among advertisers. Try to stick to these ad units on your site; doing so will give you the greatest chances of success.

In-Depth

In places where your sites uses a horizontal banner unit, is it the size recommended in the IAB Universal Ad Package (728x90px)?
more info

Using "standard" ad units can improve your earnings because it allows the ad network to choose from a greater pool of ads, as it tries to serve up the most relevant, clickable ads to your particular site. Just about every advertiser creates an unit for the 300x250, 728x90 and 160x600 sizes, meaning that AdSense has a huge lineup of advertisers from which to choose. In contrast, other ad unit sizes are much less common; most advertisers don't create them, which means you'll be limiting the selection if your site features them prominently.

Why should I do this?

Using "standard" ad units can improve your earnings because it allows the ad network to choose from a greater pool of ads, as it tries to serve up the most relevant, clickable ads to your particular site. Just about every advertiser creates an unit for the 300x250, 728x90 and 160x600 sizes, meaning that AdSense has a huge lineup of advertisers from which to choose. In contrast, other ad unit sizes are much less common; most advertisers don't create them, which means you'll be limiting the selection if your site features them prominently.

more info How can I do this?

Best practice for AdSense implementation involves using the most common ad units in order to let the network choose from the largest possible pool of inventory. The IAB is generally the authority on these issues; they publish a list called the "Universal Ad Package" that includes the most commonly-used units, as well as a list of "Rising Stars" that are becoming increasingly popular among advertisers. Try to stick to these ad units on your site; doing so will give you the greatest chances of success.

Briefly;

Best practice for AdSense implementation involves using the most common ad units in order to let the network choose from the largest possible pool of inventory. The IAB is generally the authority on these issues; they publish a list called the "Universal Ad Package" that includes the most commonly-used units, as well as a list of "Rising Stars" that are becoming increasingly popular among advertisers. Try to stick to these ad units on your site; doing so will give you the greatest chances of success.

In-Depth

In places where your sites uses a vertical skyscraper unit, is it the size recommended in the IAB Universal Ad Package (160x600px)?
more info

Using "standard" ad units can improve your earnings because it allows the ad network to choose from a greater pool of ads, as it tries to serve up the most relevant, clickable ads to your particular site. Just about every advertiser creates an unit for the 300x250, 728x90 and 160x600 sizes, meaning that AdSense has a huge lineup of advertisers from which to choose. In contrast, other ad unit sizes are much less common; most advertisers don't create them, which means you'll be limiting the selection if your site features them prominently.

Why should I do this?

Using "standard" ad units can improve your earnings because it allows the ad network to choose from a greater pool of ads, as it tries to serve up the most relevant, clickable ads to your particular site. Just about every advertiser creates an unit for the 300x250, 728x90 and 160x600 sizes, meaning that AdSense has a huge lineup of advertisers from which to choose. In contrast, other ad unit sizes are much less common; most advertisers don't create them, which means you'll be limiting the selection if your site features them prominently.

more info How can I do this?

Best practice for AdSense implementation involves using the most common ad units in order to let the network choose from the largest possible pool of inventory. The IAB is generally the authority on these issues; they publish a list called the "Universal Ad Package" that includes the most commonly-used units, as well as a list of "Rising Stars" that are becoming increasingly popular among advertisers. Try to stick to these ad units on your site; doing so will give you the greatest chances of success.

Briefly;

Best practice for AdSense implementation involves using the most common ad units in order to let the network choose from the largest possible pool of inventory. The IAB is generally the authority on these issues; they publish a list called the "Universal Ad Package" that includes the most commonly-used units, as well as a list of "Rising Stars" that are becoming increasingly popular among advertisers. Try to stick to these ad units on your site; doing so will give you the greatest chances of success.

In-Depth

Does your site use Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) to power its internal search?
more info

Using a Google-powered search engine on your site has two benefits: 1) you'll deliver better, more relevant results to your users and 2) you'll be able to display ads on the search results page. Generally, click rates and effective RPM on the search results pages are very high, meaning these pages monetize very well overall.

Why should I do this?

Using a Google-powered search engine on your site has two benefits: 1) you'll deliver better, more relevant results to your users and 2) you'll be able to display ads on the search results page. Generally, click rates and effective RPM on the search results pages are very high, meaning these pages monetize very well overall.

more info How can I do this?

Setting up a custom search engine, or CSE, is pretty straightforward. From the CSE homepage, you'll have to make a few decisions to customize your search engine (such as the positioning of ads and the format for search results), and then you'll be given the code to set it up on your site. All in, you should be able to have this up and running with fewer than four hours of development work.

Briefly;

Setting up a custom search engine, or CSE, is pretty straightforward. From the CSE homepage, you'll have to make a few decisions to customize your search engine (such as the positioning of ads and the format for search results), and then you'll be given the code to set it up on your site. All in, you should be able to have this up and running with fewer than four hours of development work.

In-Depth

Are you using any ad networks in addition to AdSense on your site?
more info

AdSense allows its partners to include no more than three traditional banner ads and three link units on each page. Certain types of sites, including those with long and content-heavy pages, may be able to comfortably display many more than three ad units. AdSense does allow its publishers to utilize other ad networks simultaneously, as long as certain conditions are met (for example, you can't style ads from other networks to look like AdSense units). If your site can handle more than three ad units without creating a bad user experience (i.e., overwhelming users with ads), you might want to consider supplementing AdSense.

Why should I do this?

AdSense allows its partners to include no more than three traditional banner ads and three link units on each page. Certain types of sites, including those with long and content-heavy pages, may be able to comfortably display many more than three ad units. AdSense does allow its publishers to utilize other ad networks simultaneously, as long as certain conditions are met (for example, you can't style ads from other networks to look like AdSense units). If your site can handle more than three ad units without creating a bad user experience (i.e., overwhelming users with ads), you might want to consider supplementing AdSense.

more info How can I do this?

There are a lot of ad networks out there, meaning that publishers have a number of options to use if they decide that their site can handle some additional units. If you're interested in utilizing another ad network alongside your AdSense units, we suggest reading the MonetizePros article, Top 5 Ad Networks to Use WIth AdSense.

Briefly;

There are a lot of ad networks out there, meaning that publishers have a number of options to use if they decide that their site can handle some additional units. If you're interested in utilizing another ad network alongside your AdSense units, we suggest reading the MonetizePros article, Top 5 Ad Networks to Use WIth AdSense.

In-Depth

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Technical Optimization

Section Score: 0 / 3
Are your AdSense ad units enabled for asynchronous loading?
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Asynchronous ads feature improved web latency, which leads to a better user experience because the ads do not get in the way of the site content loading. That means that even if there is an issue with the ads loading, users will be able to load your site's content with no issue. That makes them more likely stick around and engage with your ads (instead of clicking the Back button when they get frustrated by the load time).

Why should I do this?

Asynchronous ads feature improved web latency, which leads to a better user experience because the ads do not get in the way of the site content loading. That means that even if there is an issue with the ads loading, users will be able to load your site's content with no issue. That makes them more likely stick around and engage with your ads (instead of clicking the Back button when they get frustrated by the load time).

more info How can I do this?

When creating an ad unit within AdSense (AdSense Home >> My ads >> New ad unit), you'll see a dropdown where you can set the "Code type." Set this to "Asynchronous" and the tags generated will reflect this feature. Asynchronous ad tags can also be used within DFP if you're using that platform to backfill any unsold inventory with AdSense.

Briefly;

When creating an ad unit within AdSense (AdSense Home >> My ads >> New ad unit), you'll see a dropdown where you can set the "Code type." Set this to "Asynchronous" and the tags generated will reflect this feature. Asynchronous ad tags can also be used within DFP if you're using that platform to backfill any unsold inventory with AdSense.

In-Depth

Is your best performing AdSense ad unit located first in your site's HTML code?
more info

The first ad unit on a page shows the "top" ads that win the auctions taking place behind the scenes within AdSense. You want to be sure to match the "best" ads (i.e., those with the highest payout potential) with the ad position on your site that has the highest click rate to maximize your earnings.

Why should I do this?

The first ad unit on a page shows the "top" ads that win the auctions taking place behind the scenes within AdSense. You want to be sure to match the "best" ads (i.e., those with the highest payout potential) with the ad position on your site that has the highest click rate to maximize your earnings.

more info How can I do this?

The "first" ad unit is the one that appears first in your HTML code. Because this may not always be the ad closest to the top of your page, you may need to use DIV tags along with some slightly advanced CSS to figure out the proper implementation.

Briefly;

The "first" ad unit is the one that appears first in your HTML code. Because this may not always be the ad closest to the top of your page, you may need to use DIV tags along with some slightly advanced CSS to figure out the proper implementation.

In-Depth

Are your site's display ad units receiving a nearly 100% fill rate?
more info

A pretty basic tenet of display ad monetiation is that the more ads you serve, the more money you're going to make. Display ad inventory isn't like TVs sitting in a warehouse; once a visitor comes to your site and leaves, the opportunity to make money from that "inventory" has passed. So it's important to show the maximum number of ads whenever a pageview is served up. If a visitor to your site sees blank space instead of an ad, you obviously can't make any money from that visit.

Why should I do this?

A pretty basic tenet of display ad monetiation is that the more ads you serve, the more money you're going to make. Display ad inventory isn't like TVs sitting in a warehouse; once a visitor comes to your site and leaves, the opportunity to make money from that "inventory" has passed. So it's important to show the maximum number of ads whenever a pageview is served up. If a visitor to your site sees blank space instead of an ad, you obviously can't make any money from that visit.

more info How can I do this?

To check your fill rate in AdSense, go to: Reports >> Ad Units. This report will show the fill rate, or % of ad requests that were filled. For banner ads (such as leaderboards and rectangles), this fill rate should be very close to 100%. If it isn't, there's a hiccup somewhere that is causing you to miss out on ad impressions. If your fill rate is well below 100%, it's time to start troubleshooting the potential causes (we'd suggest start by loading several different sections of your site and noting whether ad units are showing up or not). Note that fill rates for link units will generally be much lower than 100%, so don't get alarmed by that.

Briefly;

To check your fill rate in AdSense, go to: Reports >> Ad Units. This report will show the fill rate, or % of ad requests that were filled. For banner ads (such as leaderboards and rectangles), this fill rate should be very close to 100%. If it isn't, there's a hiccup somewhere that is causing you to miss out on ad impressions. If your fill rate is well below 100%, it's time to start troubleshooting the potential causes (we'd suggest start by loading several different sections of your site and noting whether ad units are showing up or not). Note that fill rates for link units will generally be much lower than 100%, so don't get alarmed by that.

In-Depth

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Mobile Optimization

Section Score: 0 / 2
Have you implemented mobile-specific ad units for user on a mobile device?
more info

Mobile traffic continues to grow as a part of overall traffic for just about every site out there, and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Depending on the design of your site and the technology behind it, your AdSense ads may not be highly visible to visitors coming to your site on a mobile browser. Using an outside partner (i.e., ad network) who specializes in mobile ads can help you get more visible ads on a mobile browser and more efficiently monetize mobile traffic. [Include link to example of mobile banner, mobile interstitial - ESPN.com]

Why should I do this?

Mobile traffic continues to grow as a part of overall traffic for just about every site out there, and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Depending on the design of your site and the technology behind it, your AdSense ads may not be highly visible to visitors coming to your site on a mobile browser. Using an outside partner (i.e., ad network) who specializes in mobile ads can help you get more visible ads on a mobile browser and more efficiently monetize mobile traffic. [Include link to example of mobile banner, mobile interstitial - ESPN.com]

more info How can I do this?

There are countless mobile ad networks out there that you can potentially work with and test out in a effort to find the one that will have the highest payout. If you're interested in limiting the number of partners you use, we suggest working with Media.net, who has a solid mobile solution and can also serve traditional ads to desktop traffic as well.

Briefly;

There are countless mobile ad networks out there that you can potentially work with and test out in a effort to find the one that will have the highest payout. If you're interested in limiting the number of partners you use, we suggest working with Media.net, who has a solid mobile solution and can also serve traditional ads to desktop traffic as well.

In-Depth

Have you implemented responsive design or developed a mobile site to ensure that your site (and ad units) are visible and optimized for users on a mobile device?
more info

Historically, users of ad networks have generated the vast majority of their revenue from visitors consuming their content through a desktop device. But as mobile traffic continues to grow, it's important to think about how visitors will see your site's content and ad units on a smartphone, tablet, or whatever other device they ccome up with next.

Responsive design has become a major theme in recent years as publishers seek to optimize their site's content for mobile viewers. In addition to the user-friendly presentation of content, it pays to think about how your ad units will appear on non-desktop devices. One of the easiest ways to address this problem is to use responsive ads.

Why should I do this?

Historically, users of ad networks have generated the vast majority of their revenue from visitors consuming their content through a desktop device. But as mobile traffic continues to grow, it's important to think about how visitors will see your site's content and ad units on a smartphone, tablet, or whatever other device they ccome up with next.

Responsive design has become a major theme in recent years as publishers seek to optimize their site's content for mobile viewers. In addition to the user-friendly presentation of content, it pays to think about how your ad units will appear on non-desktop devices. One of the easiest ways to address this problem is to use responsive ads.

more info How can I do this?

AdSense has rolled out the idea of responsive ads in beta version already. They appear to be on the cutting edge in this regard, as most other ad networks are yet to introduce an easy-to-implement responsive ad unit.

Briefly;

AdSense has rolled out the idea of responsive ads in beta version already. They appear to be on the cutting edge in this regard, as most other ad networks are yet to introduce an easy-to-implement responsive ad unit.

In-Depth

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Design & Implementation Optimization

Section Score: 0 / 7
Are your site's AdSense banner ad units enabled to display text ads?
more info

Within the AdSense dashboard, you have the option to specify that certain ad units are set to display only image ads. Many publishers elect to enable this setting (i.e., specify that ad units show only image ads) because of the superior indication of quality provided (in other words, sites that have image-based ads just look better than those with a bunch of textual ads). The trade-off is that making this election significantly reduces the invesntory of available ads and eliminates many of the text ads that tend to have the highest click rates (and therefore be the highest "earners"). So allowing text ads to show in all ad units will generally result in an improvement in earnings.

Why should I do this?

Within the AdSense dashboard, you have the option to specify that certain ad units are set to display only image ads. Many publishers elect to enable this setting (i.e., specify that ad units show only image ads) because of the superior indication of quality provided (in other words, sites that have image-based ads just look better than those with a bunch of textual ads). The trade-off is that making this election significantly reduces the invesntory of available ads and eliminates many of the text ads that tend to have the highest click rates (and therefore be the highest "earners"). So allowing text ads to show in all ad units will generally result in an improvement in earnings.

more info How can I do this?

Allowing text and image ads to show will result in AdSense filling ad requests with whatever is expected to make you the most money, regardless of format. To turn this on, simply select the ad unit (AdSense home >> My ads) and set the ad type to Text and Image. If you're utilizing AdSense through DFP, it's a similar process (DFP home >> Inventory) to find the settings and enable text ads to show.

Briefly;

Allowing text and image ads to show will result in AdSense filling ad requests with whatever is expected to make you the most money, regardless of format. To turn this on, simply select the ad unit (AdSense home >> My ads) and set the ad type to Text and Image. If you're utilizing AdSense through DFP, it's a similar process (DFP home >> Inventory) to find the settings and enable text ads to show.

In-Depth

Do your site's AdSense text ads use the default style settings?
more info

When you initially activate your AdSense account, certain visual characteristics of your text ad units such as link and background color, font, and border style will have the "default" settings. The styling of text ad units that generates the highest click rate and RPM will vary by site, depending on factors such as the color scheme and design.

Why should I do this?

When you initially activate your AdSense account, certain visual characteristics of your text ad units such as link and background color, font, and border style will have the "default" settings. The styling of text ad units that generates the highest click rate and RPM will vary by site, depending on factors such as the color scheme and design.

more info How can I do this?

In order to find the optimal settings, you'll want to experiment with a variety of settings for the text units, including different colors for the links (generally, your ad units will get the highest click rates when the color of the ad links matches the color of "natural" links on your site). Historically, this has been done manually. But Google recently introduced integrated experiments that can be accessed from Dashboard >> My Ads >> Experiments.

Briefly;

In order to find the optimal settings, you'll want to experiment with a variety of settings for the text units, including different colors for the links (generally, your ad units will get the highest click rates when the color of the ad links matches the color of "natural" links on your site). Historically, this has been done manually. But Google recently introduced integrated experiments that can be accessed from Dashboard >> My Ads >> Experiments.

In-Depth

Does your site have at least two ad units above the fold on most pages?
more info

There is a direct correlation between the visibility of your ad units and your display ad earnings; the more visitors to your site see the ad units on your page, the more likely they are to interacct with them and make you CPC revenue in the process. Because not all visitors to your site will scroll down from the initial load to see the content (and ads) lower down on the page, it makes sense that the ads higher up on the page will tend to generate the most revenue.

So putting ad units higher up on the page increases the likelihood of your visitors seeing them and ultimately clicking on them. It's very important to note that there is a fine line to walk in terms of ad placement relativel to your page "fold," and that being too aggressive in this regard can hurt the long-term monetization capacity of your site. Specifically, Google doesn't like to see web pages that are extremely light on content above the fold; this is deemed to be indicative of a suboptimal user experience. So be careful when optimizing here: you want to make your ads visible without creating a bad user experience that will potentially cause your site to slide down the search rankings.

Why should I do this?

There is a direct correlation between the visibility of your ad units and your display ad earnings; the more visitors to your site see the ad units on your page, the more likely they are to interacct with them and make you CPC revenue in the process. Because not all visitors to your site will scroll down from the initial load to see the content (and ads) lower down on the page, it makes sense that the ads higher up on the page will tend to generate the most revenue.

So putting ad units higher up on the page increases the likelihood of your visitors seeing them and ultimately clicking on them. It's very important to note that there is a fine line to walk in terms of ad placement relativel to your page "fold," and that being too aggressive in this regard can hurt the long-term monetization capacity of your site. Specifically, Google doesn't like to see web pages that are extremely light on content above the fold; this is deemed to be indicative of a suboptimal user experience. So be careful when optimizing here: you want to make your ads visible without creating a bad user experience that will potentially cause your site to slide down the search rankings.

more info How can I do this?

Positioning multiple ad units above the fold, if you haven't already, may require a bit of heavy lifting on your end. You'll need to redesign your site to basically move ad units up. So this one is definitely not easy to implement, but it's a potentially hige win if your current positioning is sub-optimal. Spend some time researching sites that successfully include two ad units above the fold without overwhelming the user with ads (our linked guide is a good place to start).

Briefly;

Positioning multiple ad units above the fold, if you haven't already, may require a bit of heavy lifting on your end. You'll need to redesign your site to basically move ad units up. So this one is definitely not easy to implement, but it's a potentially hige win if your current positioning is sub-optimal. Spend some time researching sites that successfully include two ad units above the fold without overwhelming the user with ads (our linked guide is a good place to start).

In-Depth

Are your ad units positioned in sections of your site that generally receive high visitor attention and engagement?
more info

Human beings are conditioned to consume online content in a certain way; we tend to focus on the words and images that are near the top of the page and along the left rail. Conversely, we have a tendency to "skip" over certain sections of a site as well. So you would obviously be smart to position some (or all) of your ads in the sections of your site that are most likely to be seen by your visitors; the more they see the ads on yoru site, the more likely they are to click on them and make you some money in the process.

Why should I do this?

Human beings are conditioned to consume online content in a certain way; we tend to focus on the words and images that are near the top of the page and along the left rail. Conversely, we have a tendency to "skip" over certain sections of a site as well. So you would obviously be smart to position some (or all) of your ads in the sections of your site that are most likely to be seen by your visitors; the more they see the ads on yoru site, the more likely they are to click on them and make you some money in the process.

more info How can I do this?

Unfortunately, this isn't a "check the box" activity: there's no simple, unified way to make sure your ads are positioned in optimal places. Instead, you'll need to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the "hot zones" of a web site. The adjacent link is a good place to start, and a Google search for "F pattern" or "web heatmap" will turn you on to some more good resources.

Briefly;

Unfortunately, this isn't a "check the box" activity: there's no simple, unified way to make sure your ads are positioned in optimal places. Instead, you'll need to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the "hot zones" of a web site. The adjacent link is a good place to start, and a Google search for "F pattern" or "web heatmap" will turn you on to some more good resources.

In-Depth

Does your site contain at least one ad unit or link unit within the content on most pages?
more info

When incorporating ad units into a web site, there is a natural tendency to segment ads from content--each has their dedicated space on a site. But blending the two together can be extremely effective at driving higher engagement and click rates. When ad units "interrupt" the consumption of your site's content, there will be a greater chance that visitors will click on them and earn you money.

Why should I do this?

When incorporating ad units into a web site, there is a natural tendency to segment ads from content--each has their dedicated space on a site. But blending the two together can be extremely effective at driving higher engagement and click rates. When ad units "interrupt" the consumption of your site's content, there will be a greater chance that visitors will click on them and earn you money.

more info How can I do this?

Inserting an ad unit within your site's content is relatively straightforward. A 468x60 banner or 234x60 half banner probably works best here, though a number of different sizes may work depending on your site's exact layout. Check out ReelSEO.com articles for an example, or click on the adjacent link and see idea #2 for another way to visualize this implementation.

Briefly;

Inserting an ad unit within your site's content is relatively straightforward. A 468x60 banner or 234x60 half banner probably works best here, though a number of different sizes may work depending on your site's exact layout. Check out ReelSEO.com articles for an example, or click on the adjacent link and see idea #2 for another way to visualize this implementation.

In-Depth

Have you experimented with a link unit positioned below your site's top horizontal nav bar (if it has one)?
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Link units are often overlooked when monetizing via AdSense, but if installed correctly these small ad units can generate some substantial earnings. Putting a link unit next to your nav bar gives it relatively high visibility, since this area of the site is frequently viewed by new and returning visitors alike.

Why should I do this?

Link units are often overlooked when monetizing via AdSense, but if installed correctly these small ad units can generate some substantial earnings. Putting a link unit next to your nav bar gives it relatively high visibility, since this area of the site is frequently viewed by new and returning visitors alike.

more info How can I do this?

Setting up a link unit next to your nav bar is pretty easy. First, you'll need to create the actual unit (a 468x15 or 728x15 probably works best here, depending on the width of your site and nav bar). Then you'll need to insert the ad code into the appropriate place in your HTML code, and you're all set. Once up and running, you'll probably want to experiment with different colors here to maximize click rates (as you would with any ad unit).

Briefly;

Setting up a link unit next to your nav bar is pretty easy. First, you'll need to create the actual unit (a 468x15 or 728x15 probably works best here, depending on the width of your site and nav bar). Then you'll need to insert the ad code into the appropriate place in your HTML code, and you're all set. Once up and running, you'll probably want to experiment with different colors here to maximize click rates (as you would with any ad unit).

In-Depth

Does your site have ad units located in the left sidebar?
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As shown in the AdSense Heatmap, the left side of the page tends to get more attention than the right (due primarily to the fact that we read left to right). As such, moving ads from the right side of the page to the left can have a meaningful impact on visibility, click rate, and earnings.

Why should I do this?

As shown in the AdSense Heatmap, the left side of the page tends to get more attention than the right (due primarily to the fact that we read left to right). As such, moving ads from the right side of the page to the left can have a meaningful impact on visibility, click rate, and earnings.

more info How can I do this?

In most cases, moving ads units from the right side of the page to the left won't be a simple change; in fact, it will often require a complete redesign of the site. We've published a feature highlighting several page layouts in action that include some that focus on the left side of the page when it comes to ad units.

Briefly;

In most cases, moving ads units from the right side of the page to the left won't be a simple change; in fact, it will often require a complete redesign of the site. We've published a feature highlighting several page layouts in action that include some that focus on the left side of the page when it comes to ad units.

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Strategic Optimization

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Are you currently running A/B tests through AdSense Experiments?
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In late 2013, google rolled out a new feature for AdSense that makes it easy to test different implementations of ad layouts. When you start using AdSense, you're automatically given the default settings. While these work well (they're the default settings for a reason), there is often considerable room for improvement. You'll only be able to find the optimal settings for your site through experiments. For example, you can compare blue links and red links in the same ad unit, and see which performs better (i.e., which delivers a higher revenue per thousand impressions).

Why should I do this?

In late 2013, google rolled out a new feature for AdSense that makes it easy to test different implementations of ad layouts. When you start using AdSense, you're automatically given the default settings. While these work well (they're the default settings for a reason), there is often considerable room for improvement. You'll only be able to find the optimal settings for your site through experiments. For example, you can compare blue links and red links in the same ad unit, and see which performs better (i.e., which delivers a higher revenue per thousand impressions).

more info How can I do this?

The instructions for starting an experiment are very easy to follow, and you can be up and running within just a few minutes. If you're not sure where to start, try changing the color of the links or the border around your ad units. If any of your ad units are currently set to "image only," we also suggest trying out a variation that allows both text and image ads to see if the RPM improves.

Briefly;

The instructions for starting an experiment are very easy to follow, and you can be up and running within just a few minutes. If you're not sure where to start, try changing the color of the links or the border around your ad units. If any of your ad units are currently set to "image only," we also suggest trying out a variation that allows both text and image ads to see if the RPM improves.

In-Depth

Have you set up Custom Channels for your AdSense ad units to monitor the relative performance of each ad unit type?
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Custom channels provide website owners with enhanced visibility into the relative performance of their ad units. In other words, they can allow you to track the performance of certain groups of ads; you could, for example, have separate channels for rectangles on the left and right side, leaderboards positioned with and without link units, or identical ad units positioned in difference sections of content. While there may not be a direct benefit in terms of monetization, the insights gleaned through custsom channel analysis will be valuable in crafting your longer term strategies.

Why should I do this?

Custom channels provide website owners with enhanced visibility into the relative performance of their ad units. In other words, they can allow you to track the performance of certain groups of ads; you could, for example, have separate channels for rectangles on the left and right side, leaderboards positioned with and without link units, or identical ad units positioned in difference sections of content. While there may not be a direct benefit in terms of monetization, the insights gleaned through custsom channel analysis will be valuable in crafting your longer term strategies.

more info How can I do this?

Linking ad units to custom channels becomes part of the ad unit creation process; you'll have a chance to link an ad unit to a custom channel that's already been created. You can also make the channel first and come back later to associate certain ad units with different channels.

Briefly;

Linking ad units to custom channels becomes part of the ad unit creation process; you'll have a chance to link an ad unit to a custom channel that's already been created. You can also make the channel first and come back later to associate certain ad units with different channels.

In-Depth

Have you experimented with interstitial ad units?
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Interstitial ads are those that appear at the foreground of your browser, infront of the site conent. While many users find these annoying, the simple fact is that they work. Interstitial ads are effective at communicating an advertiser's message, and as such often command premium rates. You won't want to show these everywhere and you'll certainly want to measure the impact on engagement, but they can be effective ways to boost revenue a bit.

Why should I do this?

Interstitial ads are those that appear at the foreground of your browser, infront of the site conent. While many users find these annoying, the simple fact is that they work. Interstitial ads are effective at communicating an advertiser's message, and as such often command premium rates. You won't want to show these everywhere and you'll certainly want to measure the impact on engagement, but they can be effective ways to boost revenue a bit.

more info How can I do this?

You need to be careful with pop-ups and interstitials with AdSense; under the terms and conditions, you're not allowed to display ads "in any window that is not initiated by a user's click" or in windows that lack navigational controls such as a back button. However, there are opportunities to use other ad networks here to supplement your AdSense income: Undertone Networks is one that specializes in this type of non-traditional ad.

Briefly;

You need to be careful with pop-ups and interstitials with AdSense; under the terms and conditions, you're not allowed to display ads "in any window that is not initiated by a user's click" or in windows that lack navigational controls such as a back button. However, there are opportunities to use other ad networks here to supplement your AdSense income: Undertone Networks is one that specializes in this type of non-traditional ad.

In-Depth

Have you experimented with a 300x600px AdSense ad unit?
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One of the additions to the AdSense lineup has been the increasingly popular 300x600 large rectangle. This ad unit is the largest in terms of area that AdSense allows partner sites to use, and the size of the unit allows advertisers to get creative in terms of their messaging and calls-to-action (they simply have a lot more room to work with). Using this ad unit in place of a 300x250 rectangle can potentially result in a nice improvement to your click rate and bottom line.

Note that currently AdSense users are limited to one 300x600 per page.

Why should I do this?

One of the additions to the AdSense lineup has been the increasingly popular 300x600 large rectangle. This ad unit is the largest in terms of area that AdSense allows partner sites to use, and the size of the unit allows advertisers to get creative in terms of their messaging and calls-to-action (they simply have a lot more room to work with). Using this ad unit in place of a 300x250 rectangle can potentially result in a nice improvement to your click rate and bottom line.

Note that currently AdSense users are limited to one 300x600 per page.

more info How can I do this?

This ad unit is implemented in the same way that any ad unit would be within AdSense. From the main dashboard, go to the "My Ads" section and then select the option to create a new ad unit. Take careful note of the fact that you can only use one of these ad units per page.

The easiest way to experriment with this ad unit is to use it in lieu of a 300x250; because these two ad units have the same width, the rearranging of your site will be minimal (you'll simply push the content below the ad unit further down the page). If you're using AdSense through DFP Small Business (which we highly recommend), you're also able to implement multiple sized ad unit tags. In other words, you can set up an ad unit to accept both 300x250 and 300x600 creative without having to worry about white space appearing if the smaller creative is served. Under this setup, AdSense should optimize to serve the ad sizes and specific creative that will earn you (and Google) the most money.

Briefly;

This ad unit is implemented in the same way that any ad unit would be within AdSense. From the main dashboard, go to the "My Ads" section and then select the option to create a new ad unit. Take careful note of the fact that you can only use one of these ad units per page.

The easiest way to experriment with this ad unit is to use it in lieu of a 300x250; because these two ad units have the same width, the rearranging of your site will be minimal (you'll simply push the content below the ad unit further down the page). If you're using AdSense through DFP Small Business (which we highly recommend), you're also able to implement multiple sized ad unit tags. In other words, you can set up an ad unit to accept both 300x250 and 300x600 creative without having to worry about white space appearing if the smaller creative is served. Under this setup, AdSense should optimize to serve the ad sizes and specific creative that will earn you (and Google) the most money.

In-Depth

Have you experimented with a 970x90px AdSense ad unit?
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One of the most commonly used ad units is the 728x90 leaderboard, a horizontal banner that appears at the top of most sites. AdSense recently introduced what can be thought of as an expanded leaderboard that devotes even more real estate to ads. The relative rarity of the 970x90 leaderboard (as well as its size) helps it to stand out to visitors, potentially driving higher engagement and click rates.

Why should I do this?

One of the most commonly used ad units is the 728x90 leaderboard, a horizontal banner that appears at the top of most sites. AdSense recently introduced what can be thought of as an expanded leaderboard that devotes even more real estate to ads. The relative rarity of the 970x90 leaderboard (as well as its size) helps it to stand out to visitors, potentially driving higher engagement and click rates.

more info How can I do this?

Implementing a 970x90 ad unit is simple and straightforward; you'll need to go into the "My ads" section of your AdSense account and create a new ad unit with these dimensions. Then insert the code into your site and the new ad unit will begin appearing momentarily. You'll want to closely monitor performance and compare it against the "baseline" for your more standard leaderboard unit.

Briefly;

Implementing a 970x90 ad unit is simple and straightforward; you'll need to go into the "My ads" section of your AdSense account and create a new ad unit with these dimensions. Then insert the code into your site and the new ad unit will begin appearing momentarily. You'll want to closely monitor performance and compare it against the "baseline" for your more standard leaderboard unit.

In-Depth

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Continuing Education

Section Score: 0 / 5
Have you read the tutorials offered by, and graduated from, the AdSense Academy?
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Among the free resources out there is a class offered by Google designed to give AdSense partners a basic understanding of the platform as well as some tips for getting the most out of their ads. The lessons given might be very basic depending on your level of experience, but the general concepts around experimentation and optimization are worth examining closely and keeping in mind throughout your AdSense "career."

Why should I do this?

Among the free resources out there is a class offered by Google designed to give AdSense partners a basic understanding of the platform as well as some tips for getting the most out of their ads. The lessons given might be very basic depending on your level of experience, but the general concepts around experimentation and optimization are worth examining closely and keeping in mind throughout your AdSense "career."

more info How can I do this?

Anyone (even those without an AdSense account) can get started in this online tutorial in a matter of minutes. Topics include basic implementation of ad units and account basics as well as more advanced discussions of best practices and ways to maximize your earnings.

Briefly;

Anyone (even those without an AdSense account) can get started in this online tutorial in a matter of minutes. Topics include basic implementation of ad units and account basics as well as more advanced discussions of best practices and ways to maximize your earnings.

In-Depth

Have you subscribed to the major AdSense publications?
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There are a lot more free resources out there besides just the official AdSense academy. If you're really committed to optimizing your earnings, you should spend time reading through some of the free tutorials out there as well as joining the numerous online groups and forums dedicated specifically to AdSense optimization.

Why should I do this?

There are a lot more free resources out there besides just the official AdSense academy. If you're really committed to optimizing your earnings, you should spend time reading through some of the free tutorials out there as well as joining the numerous online groups and forums dedicated specifically to AdSense optimization.

more info How can I do this?

Some of the best resources for ongoing AdSense optimization tips include: AdSense Experts (http://www.adsenseexperts.com/#axzz2f01DF5z2), AdSense Community on Google+ (https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/105653897278231593971), JenSense Optimization Bootcamp (http://www.jensense.com/category/optimization-bootcamp/), AdSense Forum on WarriorForum.com (http://www.warriorforum.com/adsense-ppc-seo-discussion-forum/), AdSense Forum on WebmasterWorld.com (http://www.webmasterworld.com/google_adsense/), and AdSense Google Product Forum (http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!categories/adsense).

Briefly;

Some of the best resources for ongoing AdSense optimization tips include: AdSense Experts (http://www.adsenseexperts.com/#axzz2f01DF5z2), AdSense Community on Google+ (https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/105653897278231593971), JenSense Optimization Bootcamp (http://www.jensense.com/category/optimization-bootcamp/), AdSense Forum on WarriorForum.com (http://www.warriorforum.com/adsense-ppc-seo-discussion-forum/), AdSense Forum on WebmasterWorld.com (http://www.webmasterworld.com/google_adsense/), and AdSense Google Product Forum (http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!categories/adsense).

In-Depth

Have you subscribed to AdSense's official newsletter?
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It's important to keep in mind that Google is your partner in display advertising; they want you to make as much money as possible from your AdSense account (provided, of course, that you comply with all the terms and conditions). Take advantage of the tremendous wealth of knowledge the company has when it comes to optimizing earnings from ads by reading through all of their suggestions carefully and implementing those that make sense for your site.

Why should I do this?

It's important to keep in mind that Google is your partner in display advertising; they want you to make as much money as possible from your AdSense account (provided, of course, that you comply with all the terms and conditions). Take advantage of the tremendous wealth of knowledge the company has when it comes to optimizing earnings from ads by reading through all of their suggestions carefully and implementing those that make sense for your site.

more info How can I do this?

If you elect to receive them, you can get free periodic emails from the AdSense team that include tips for improving overall earnings. Signing up to get these emails takes only a few seconds.

Briefly;

If you elect to receive them, you can get free periodic emails from the AdSense team that include tips for improving overall earnings. Signing up to get these emails takes only a few seconds.

In-Depth

Have you subscribed to the MonetizePros daily newsletter (which often contains AdSense-related tips)?
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In addition to the AdSense-specific resources out there, the MonetizePros e-newsletter is a great way to get inspiration for new experiments, design tweaks, and brand new monetization sources you may have overlooked.

Why should I do this?

In addition to the AdSense-specific resources out there, the MonetizePros e-newsletter is a great way to get inspiration for new experiments, design tweaks, and brand new monetization sources you may have overlooked.

more info How can I do this?

There are no catches here; the 100% free newsletter comes your way a few times each week once you sign up and confirm your subscription.

Briefly;

There are no catches here; the 100% free newsletter comes your way a few times each week once you sign up and confirm your subscription.

In-Depth

Are you in full compliance with the AdSense ad placement policies?
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In addition to actively seeking ways to boost your income, it's a good idea to be on your toes defensively and make sure you're not doing anything that could result in a big financial setback. Anyone making money from running ads online should be intimately familiar with the terms and conditions. There are a lot of them, but it only takes one violation to set you back significantly in your monetization efforts.

Why should I do this?

In addition to actively seeking ways to boost your income, it's a good idea to be on your toes defensively and make sure you're not doing anything that could result in a big financial setback. Anyone making money from running ads online should be intimately familiar with the terms and conditions. There are a lot of them, but it only takes one violation to set you back significantly in your monetization efforts.

more info How can I do this?

Reading through the terms and conditions isn't the most glamorous thing to do, but it's time well spent. Devote an hour to it, and thank us if you uncover any potential trouble spots before anyone else. If you're uncertain about any of the stipulations, the resources highligted above are a good place to seek clarification (as are our forums!)

Briefly;

Reading through the terms and conditions isn't the most glamorous thing to do, but it's time well spent. Devote an hour to it, and thank us if you uncover any potential trouble spots before anyone else. If you're uncertain about any of the stipulations, the resources highligted above are a good place to seek clarification (as are our forums!)

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