Best practice for adsense ad placement

It's always an exciting prospect to think that you can earn some extra or passive income from placing ads on your site. The problem is that people just start placing ads without considering where to place them. 

This could have an impact on your visitor count and user experience. It could also affect your account at Google which could be suspended for incorrectly placed advertisements.  

I have read some blogs and forums on ad placement, and some of the bloggers suggest that using the heatmaps might get you suspended from the adsense program. I don't know how true this is. I use the heat maps to help me with placing ads, and I have never had a warning from google. 

Then again, I don't use adsense that aggressively. This is not my primary source of income. I make some money with it, but I don't rely on it. Be Motivated Today is one of my top sources of passive income. This does not mean I don't use adsense. Of course I do, but I use it sparingly and keep to the program policies set out at Google. 

You should always put the user experience first when you create a website. If you have enough visitors and your site is easy to navigate, then you will get good advertisement response. 

If you just throw in ads on a webpage just to make money, then you might want to sit down and re-evaluate your purpose for building the website. Don't clutter your webpage with too many ads. Visitors might not like this and click away. Less is sometimes more.

Let me discuss a couple of things about placing ads on your website.

AdSense heat map
So, where is the best place to place your ads? This depends on what you want to accomplish with your page. Do you want the user to concentrate on the content and then placing ads at strategic points for them to click? Do you want to place ads on your website where the user first reads the whole page before they see the ad? 

These are questions that you need to ask before ad placement. 

Below is a picture of what a heat map looks like.
adsense heat map
The dark areas shows where users are most likely to select ads on a page. The "hottest" part is top left on a page just below the navigation bar. This should be the same if your navigation bar sits on the left of your page as well. You might want to use link units if you have a left navigation bar. 

In the above example, there's also ad's that is used in the content. I rarely use this. It just seems to me that the ads are "in your face". I want my visitors to read my content, and if there is an interesting ad, they can choose whether they want to select it or not.

Remember, these heat maps are just an indication of which areas get more attention than others. You must make your site stand out, with or without ads. 

Brag with your content
When you use text ads, try to use the same color scheme as your site. You must try to blend the ad into your site. I always place image ads, either to the right or bottom of my pages. I don't like placing text or image ads in my content. If you have to, make it look like it's part of your web page.

You can say what you want, ads are ads. It doesn't matter how you try and disguise them. So, don't irritate the visitor with flashing banners and text ads appearing everywhere. Let him find your content and read what he needs to read. 

Below is a picture of how I use text and image ads on my computer webpage. This is one of the few text ads I use in my content.

Click image to enlarge.

The reason why I don't like this, is because the advertisements are sometimes not relevant to what the page is about. If you look at the previous picture, the text ads, circled in red, has nothing to do with the topic. It's all about Forex trading and this page is about how fibre channel works.

So, why are the ads not relevant? If you have a look at the adwords keyword tool, then you'll see why. I searched for the keyword, "fibre channel" in the keyword tool. If you look at the picture below, you'll notice that the competition is low for this specific keyword. 

Click image to enlarge

This means that advertisers are not bidding for the keyword. They don't think it's important enough to bid on, hence, low competition. 

This highlights an important point that I talk about in another of my pages and that is, keyword research. Visit the page for more information.
 
This particular page uses the Ariel font and is mostly blue with white background. So I used the default colors for the ad unit, which is blue and white. I did not have to change a lot with the ad unit, so I used most of the default settings. 

On the right of the page I used an image unit. At the bottom of the page, I usually use a mix between image and text units. I also use image and text ads just below the heading of my pages.  

Experiment with your ad placement. See what works and what not. Don't overdo it. Keep it natural and keep the visitor in mind. Blend using the different color schemes.

Remember, keep it real.
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