Best practices for ad placement

While it's exciting to maximise your ad performance with AdSense, it's also important to consider the user experience and the AdSense programme policies when placing ads on your site. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

First, consider your users

Organise your site's content logically and make your site easy to navigate. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when considering where to position your ads:

  • What is the user trying to accomplish by visiting my site?
  • What do they do when viewing a particular page?
  • Where is their attention likely to be focused?
  • How can I integrate ads into this area without getting in the users' way?
  • How can I keep the page looking clean, uncluttered and inviting?

Think like a user, and you may see your page (and your ad placement) in a whole new way. If users can easily find what they're looking for, they'll come back to your site. Also, choose an ad style that's easy for your users to read.

Show off your content

View example site layouts

Good example: site layouts that highlight content

Bad example: site layout that pushes content below the fold

Place your ads close to the content that your users are interested in and also make sure that users can easily find the content they are looking for. For example, if your site offers downloads, make sure that the download links are above the fold and easy to find.

Because browsers and screen sizes vary, we've also created a handy tool that allows you to enter any URL and check whether you've implemented your ads above the fold. To use it, visit as-abovethefold.appspot.com.

Define the 'first' ad unit when using multiple units

The multiple ad units system serves ads to each ad unit in order of their appearance in your HTML code. In most cases, this will be the same order as the ad units that appear on your page.

However, if your code uses DIV tags or other positioning techniques, it's possible that our system will recognise an ad unit as the first ad unit, even if it appears to the end user at the very bottom of the page. Because our system may not always fill all your ad units on any one page, it's important that you ensure that your 'main' ad unit appears first in the HTML code.

Make sure that the best performing ad unit (highest CTR) is the first in your HTML code to improve your revenue.

Keep your ads looking like ads

Choosing ad colours that complement your site is great, but avoid aligning images with your ads or making nearby content mimic their formatting. Displaying ads in these ways isn't permitted by our programme policies.

Call them what they are

While it may be tempting to call them "resources" or to place them immediately below your site's headings, take care to avoid labels and headings that may mislead users. Ad units may only be labelled as "Advertisements" or "Sponsored links". Also, avoid placing ads in locations where they might be confused with menu, navigation or download links.

Less can be more

While our policies allow you to place 3 ad units, 3 link units and 2 search boxes on each page of your site, placing the maximum number of ads on your page may make it look cluttered. If users can't find what they're looking for on your site, they may turn elsewhere for information.

Review your site

Take some time to explore your site and consider how first-time users might experience it. If you're using a template builder for your site, take extra care to check that ads are appearing correctly, including their "Ads by Google" or "AdChoices" label.

After you've finished laying out your site, ask yourself these two questions:
  • Is my content easy to find?
  • Is it easy to distinguish between my site's content and my site's ads?
If the answer is yes to both, then you're on the right track.
 

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