Second issue, that made me move from Drupal to WordPress was idea to add adsense advertising to my website. That issue was not really critical, and can best be described as ‘why not?’. Many sites use some kind of advertising, almost everyone is used to it, for those, who do not like ads there are browser plugins to disable it. Google adsense is just the biggest of them all. Also Google ads are not the most annoying type of ads. I’ve found myself looking at some of those ads on other websites at least a couple of times a month. Usually I do not look ads. Finally there is the possibility of generating some revenue. I do have some visitors on my website, about 50k page views last year, so reading some forums, factoring in some added posts and more traffic, there might be some substance to the idea of adding adsense to my web page.
Unfortunately a casual search in google for ‘drupal adsense’ was not very encouraging. Yes, I could add those required code snippets manually, but it only creates a maintenance headache. Search for ‘wordpress adsense’ was more encouraging.
After moving my website to WordPress, getting site running almost the way I wanted it was time to add some ads. Getting adsense account approved took some days. How and where to add ads anyway? What size and type of ads? Google recommends the following:
- 300×250 medium rectangle
- 728×90 leaderboard
- 160×600 skyscraper
Probably Google knows, what it is recommending. Placement recommendation from Optimization Lab is quite simple:
- Higher placement is better than lower and left is better than right.
More suggestions can be found here. From adsense help of course. It also has a nice heat map for ads. Main advice from one recommended article was ‘experiment’. So there is no absolute truth here.
Under those recommendations adding leaderboard is quite simple. At the top of the page. Under header or main menu but before content was one recommendation I did read from here. Leaderboard should appear on all pages, so some widget pops up in my mind.
Skyscraper, as its name suggests, should be on one side. Unfortunately, left side on my web page is for main sidebar and is already cramped. Skyscraper just does not fit there. Adding second left sidebar just for ads did not feel right for me. At least then. It goes to the right then. Not the best placement, by some recommendations. So lets wait and see. It should also be on all pages so a widget again.
Medium rectangle is another story. WordPress is blogging software, so looking at recommendations on ad placements for blogs it suggests to place rectangles between posts. Looking at my website traffic, the direct links for articles and relatively few people start from my main page. Adding ads directly into articles should be better. I sometimes get really annoyed of ads that are in the middle of the article I read so I did not want to put an ad there. It is a bit easier to implement an ad in the beginning or at the end of an article. Beginning seems more natural for an rectangle ad. So it should go there.
There is a limit of ads enforced by Google one can put on a page. It is three ads, three link units and two search boxes per page. After careful counting I determined, that opening up a post shows three ads. No more ads then.
There is another good recommendation for ad placement. Above the fold. It basically says that all ads should be visible when a reader opens the web page. There should be no scrolling, by user, needed for displaying the ads. Testing if a site implements that technique, can be done using as-abovethefold.appspot.com. It seems that I did it without thinking much.
Link units are next. I did not have any ads on the left side of my page. A small link unit fits there well enough. It is not above the fold, but is directly after links to posts. If anyone is looking at this list, this link unit should be visible.
Another good hint from a previously referred article is that ads right after the article are good performers. So another link unit goes there.
That is it. I did not find a nice place for another link unit. Also I did skip adsense for search boxes as I probably should add some more articles for search to become useful. So I’ll implement that later.
Implementing ad placement the way I set them up in my mind is material for another post.