8 Tips to Boost Your AdSense CTR and CPC

The biggest mistake I see with people using AdSense for monetization is forgetting that it’s a CPC-based network. You get paid per click, not per impression.

Despite this, many people fail to optimize their ad layout to maximize income potential.

Forget about traffic for now. Here are 8 effective AdSense tips to double your income from your existing traffic using a few optimization tricks I’ve learned over the years.

What Is AdSense CTR (Click-Through Rate)?

Google AdSense Click-Through Rate (CTR) measures the number of clicks on your ads relative to the number of times they’ve been displayed to your site visitors. For example, if your ads receive 5 clicks out of 100 impressions, your AdSense CTR would be 5%.

Here’s the simple formula Google uses to calculate AdSense CTR:

Clicks ÷ Impressions x100 = CTR (Click-Through Rate)

For example if you get 10 click out of 80 imporessions your CTR is 12.5% Now see this example how to calculate this:

10 ÷ 80 x 100 = 12.5

Apart from traffic generation, CTR is the most crucial factor affecting your AdSense earnings.

Thousands of visitors won’t matter if your CTR is low.

A low CTR means you’re not fully leveraging your website traffic, resulting in significantly lower earnings than possible with more ad clicks.

How to Calculate AdSense Click-Through Rate (CTR)

I’ve previously mentioned the formula Google employs to calculate AdSense CTR.

However, if you operate multiple sites with the same AdSense code, here’s an important point to note:

AdSense CTR is computed for your entire AdSense account, not individual sites separately.

This implies that if you own four distinct sites and one of them exhibits a notably low CTR, it will affect your overall AdSense account CTR.

Why does it matter if your Adsense CTR is low?

Why Does a Low AdSense CTR Matter?

Primarily, a low AdSense CTR signifies reduced earnings potential from your ads. This could result from unengaging content that fails to prompt users to click on ads or ineffective ad optimization strategies.

Secondly, Google considers your account’s CTR to assess the overall quality of your AdSense account, influencing the types of ads displayed on your site.

What Constitutes a Good AdSense CTR?

There are many theories and myths about the ideal AdSense CTR, but no one knows for sure.

In my experience, a CTR between 3% and 5% is quite good.

However, in high CPC niches, you can earn as much (or even more) with just a 1% CTR compared to a site in a low CPC niche.

Create Content Optimized for AdSense

Before considering ad placement or types, the quality and type of your content are the most crucial factors affecting your AdSense CTR.

If your content isn’t engaging and doesn’t retain visitors long enough, you won’t get clicks on your ads. The longer someone stays on your site and scrolls through pages, the higher your chances of generating ad clicks and earning with AdSense.

So, what types of content work best for AdSense?

  • In-depth, engaging articles with high-quality content
  • List posts
  • List posts formatted as slideshows
  • Image-heavy content
  • Product reviews or technical content
  • Tips and advice
  • Entertainment content

Certain content types tend to underperform with AdSense, likely due to niche and audience behavior:

  • News content
  • Low-quality or poorly written content

Generally, AdSense performs well on sites where visitors are looking for solutions to their problems. Sites based on hobbies or where visitors are just passing time often don’t perform as well. There are exceptions, but this is my general opinion based on experience.

Maximize Ad Blocks and Use Larger Sizes

Starting off simple.

Use all your ad blocks. This not only increases your chances of getting clicks but also boosts the ad spaces on your site that advertisers can bid on, improving your overall RPM.

You can use 3 ad blocks and 3 link units per page. While I don’t usually use link units, I always use 3 ad blocks regardless of content length.

When it comes to ad sizes, bigger is better. Instead of blending ads into your content, make them highly visible so they can’t be missed.

After extensive testing, I found that blending isn’t always the best approach. As long as the ads are noticeable, people will click on them if they’re interested.

Place a Minimum of 2 Ads Within Your Content

I know, it’s ugly to have ads mixed into your content, but it’s where your ads can get the most exposure. I like to place at least 2 ad blocks within the content itself: 1 at the top and 1 at the bottom.

What works best for me is to put the first ad right below the first paragraph, and the second one right after the content.

But I’ve also seen good results with one banner under the main header and a black in the sidebar near the top of the page like this.

Use Red Instead of Blue for Better Visibility

For a long time, my site had a black text and blue links color scheme, and it worked fine.

However, I discovered that using red links instead of blue significantly improved performance. It seems that people might naturally overlook blue link ads, but red links catch their attention more effectively.

Try making all the links on your site red and use the same red color for your AdSense ads. Opt for a maroon shade to avoid an outdated look.

This is based on my experience, and there’s no universal agreement on the best link color. The best approach is to experiment with different link colors and monitor the results to see if your CTR improves.

Implement a Scrolling Ad Block

Google’s policies technically prohibit scrolling ad blocks. However, I’ve used them for years and even passed a manual review. Use this strategy at your own risk. I recommend trying it on secondary sites rather than your main one.

Opinions on scrolling ad blocks vary.

Google disapproves of them, and most experts advise against their use. Despite this, I’ve seen significant improvements in CTR and overall RPM with scrolling ad blocks.

Results may vary, and using them to manipulate clicks can put your account at risk.

You might have noticed ads that follow you as you scroll down a page. Implementing this on my sites has significantly boosted my CTR and RPM.

Even if you get permission, it’s only against policy if the ad covers your content as you scroll. For instance, an ad block that overlaps your post content is against the rules. However, if placed in the sidebar away from content, it’s allowed.

For this, I recommend the Q2W3 plugin, which is free for WordPress users. Activate the plugin, and you’ll find an option in your widgets to make them sticky.

Sidebar ads usually perform poorly for AdSense. But with this scrolling plugin, I increased my sidebar ad CTR by over 150%.

The best ad unit for this? The large 300 x 600 skyscraper ads.

Implement Text and Image-Based Ads

Opt for Text & Image-Based Ads with AdSense.

By using both text and image options, you open your ad unit to bids from more advertisers, increasing your overall Cost Per Click.

While you may not see an immediate CPC boost, in my experience, over time, it tends to pay more per click than using only text or image ads.

For an instant CTR boost, consider using the Newspaper WP Theme, the highest-converting AdSense WP theme I’ve ever used.

Create a Shortcode

For WordPress users.

This method involves editing some PHP files, but don’t worry if you’re not familiar with coding. It’s straightforward.

What it allows you to do is create a simple shortcode for adding ads wherever you want on your site.

While writing an article, simply type [ads] where you want the ad to appear, and it will be placed there. This is useful for controlling ad positions on shorter and longer posts, or for different types of posts such as video or image-heavy ones.

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Access your WordPress editor and open the functions.php file.
  2. Paste in the following code:
// Ad Shortcode
  function ads_shortcode() {
add_shortcode('ads', 'ads_shortcode');

Don’t overlook removing the line that reads “ERASE-THIS-PART-AND-PASTE-IN-YOUR-ADSENSE-CODE-HERE” and replace it with your AdSense code.

You can include styling along with your AdSense code to center, float, or place two ads side by side.

It’s a powerful tool.

Now, when you’re composing or editing your posts, simply type [ads], and it will display the AdSense code along with any applied styling.

My Preferred Ad Position: Below the 1st Paragraph

Here’s a simple function to include in your functions.php file. It will insert your AdSense code right after a specified number of paragraphs. I usually choose 1 to place it after the first paragraph, but you can adjust this number as needed.

Here’s how to implement it:

  1. Access your WordPress editor and open the functions.php file.
  2. Copy and paste the following code:
function insert_ad_block( $text ) {

if ( is_single() ) :

$split_by = "\n";
$insert_after = 1; //number of paragraphs

// make array of paragraphs
$paragraphs = explode( $split_by, $text);

// if array elements are less than $insert_after set the insert point at the end
$len = count( $paragraphs );
if ( $len < $insert_after ) $insert_after = $len; // insert $ads_text into the array at the specified point array_splice( $paragraphs, $insert_after, 0, $ads_text ); // loop through array and build string for output foreach( $paragraphs as $paragraph ) { $new_text .= $paragraph; } return $new_text; endif; return $text; } 

add_filter('the_content', 'insert_ad_block');

Don’t forget to delete the line that says ERASE-THIS-PART-AND-PASTE-IN-YOUR-ADSENSE-CODE-HERE and paste in your Adsense code.

Just like the first one, you can also apply any styling you want to it.

Control Your Sidebar Ads Based on the Page You’re Viewing

If a sidebar ad thrives on the homepage and archive pages but underperforms in individual posts, you can remedy this with a simple solution: the free plugin Display Widgets.

I use it for nearly all of my AdSense sites because sidebar ads don’t perform uniformly across every page.

Simply install and activate the plugin. Then, navigate to the WordPress Widgets section in your admin panel. From there, you can control each individual widget, specifying on which pages it’s hidden or shown.

Note: Selecting “Show on Selected Pages” will hide the widget on every page except the ones you select. Conversely, choosing “Hide on Selected Pages” will display it on every page except the ones you specify. You don’t need to configure this for every widget—just the ones you want to control. If left untouched, widgets will adhere to your theme’s default settings.

Continuously A/B Test Your Ads for Optimization

Continuous experimentation and A/B testing are pivotal for achieving higher AdSense CTR.

The insights shared in this article stem from my personal experiments across various sites and niches. Even if successful, it’s essential to continually explore other variations to determine the most effective approach for your niche and audience.

How do you conduct A/B tests in Google AdSense?

You can initiate experiments and A/B tests directly from your Google AdSense dashboard in the “Experiment” section. Google provides step-by-step guidelines for creating successful experiments.

What should you test in AdSense ads?

  • Different ad positions
  • Various ad types and unit sizes
  • Diverse link CTA colors
  • Varying background colors

The more tests you conduct, the greater insights you’ll gather to enhance performance.

Ready to Boost Your AdSense CTR?

As you’ve learned from these AdSense tips, there are many ways to increase revenue from your existing traffic.

If your site generates significant income but you still want to maximize it, a one-size-fits-all ad layout isn’t ideal. Simply using a plugin to place ads at the top and bottom of every post might mean you’re missing out on potential revenue.

While some aspects of AdSense are beyond your control, you can use these optimization tips to experiment and improve your site’s performance.