5 Ways to Increase Your Adsense CTR (Click Through Rate) and CPC (Cost Per Click)

By Chris Lee 113 comments

adsense-placementThe biggest mistake I see with people using Adsense as their monetization strategy, is they forget that Adsense is a CPC based network. You get paid per click, not by impression.

Yet over and over again I see people not laying out their ads on their sites to maximize their income potential.

Forget traffic for right now. I’m going to show you how you can close to double your income from your existing traffic with a few optimization tricks I’ve picked up over the years.

1. Use all your ad blocks, and make them big

Starting off simple.

Use all your ad blocks. In addition to increasing your chances for a click, this increases the ad spaces on your site advertisers can bid on and gives you a better overall RPM. You’re allowed to use 3 ad blocks and 3 link units for each page of your site. While I don’t normally use link units at all, I do use 3 ad blocks no matter how short my content is.

Forget all the other size options that Adsense gives you. Bigger is better. Forget trying to blend it into your content, just make them visible so people can’t miss it. I’ve done extensive testing colours and came to one conclusion: blending is not always the answer. As long as people can see them, they’ll click on it if it’s something they’re interested in.

2. Place at least 2 ads within the post 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.

3. Use Red Instead of Blue

For the longest time, I had the same colour scheme to my site: black text and blue links. It worked.

But I noticed that using red links throughout my site instead of blue worked so much better. Maybe it has something to do with people’s natural blindness to blue link ads, but red far outperforms blue.

red links

Try making all the links on your site red, and then use the same red colour for your Adsense ads. Don’t use a bright red, but more of a maroon colour so your site doesn’t look like it was built in 1999.

4. Use a Scrolling Ad Block

Google does list this as not-allowed in their policies. However, I’ve been using it for years and have even passed a manual review on my site. Use this at your own risk. It may be a case-by-case basis. If they see you are using it to manipulate clicks, you are putting your account as risk.

Ever visit a website and see the ad follow you down the page as you scrolled down? Implementing that into my websites dramatically improved my CTR and overall RPM.

sticky sidebar adsense ad

Even if you do get permission to use it, it’s only against the policy if you hover it over your content. For example, if you had an ad block above your post title and it covered your content as you scrolled down, that would be against the rules.

If you have it in the sidebar, away from any content on the site, you’re allowed to use the feature.

For this, I like to use the Q2W3 plugin, which is free for WordPress users. Just activate the plugin, and you’ll see an option in your widgets to make them sticky.

Sidebar ads really suck for Adsense. But with this scrolling plugin, I improved my sidebar-ad CTR by over 150%.

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

5. Use Text & Image Based Ad

With Adsense, you’re allowed to choose whether your ad unit is image based or text based. Unless you’re seriously in love with one type of ad, try using Text & Image based.

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 1.28.01 AM

Using both text and image options allows more advertisers to bid on it (text ad bids and image ad bids) and increases your overall Cost Per Click.

Don’t expect to see an instant jump in CPC. From my experience, it’s not a huge increase, but over time, it does pay more per click than an only text or only image ad.

Increase your CTR instantly by using the Newspaper WP Theme, the highest converting Adsense WP theme I’ve ever used.

Conclusion

There are a lot of things you can do to increase Adsense revenue off of your existing traffic.

While a lot of things with Adsense are out of your control, you can use these optimization tips to experiment with your own site.

Get even more tips on increasing Adsense revenue here.

If you want more content like this one, subscribe by clicking here. You’ll get free updates + full access to my library of free resources.

Leave a Reply

113 Comments

  • Reply Mark January 15, 2015 at 2:08 am

    Hi,

    I try your ways on my site with 7000 visitors per day. I’m curious about it.

    • Reply Chris Lee January 16, 2015 at 2:17 am

      Sweet, let me know how it works out, Mark. Really cool that you such a high traffic site.

      7000 visitors a day is a large enough traffic volume to notice a measurable difference in about a week or two.

  • Reply Jeff Schuman February 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Hi Chris,

    Do you make the whole adsense ad red, text included, or just the url?

    Thanks,

    Jeff

    • Reply Chris Lee February 23, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      Hi Jeff, just the Ad Title is red. The URL and Text I just keep as the color of the body text on the site. Thanks.

  • Reply Angelos Kyritsis July 17, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Hey Chris,

    I hate to be that guy, but having an AdSense unit on a sticky sidebar widget is against Adsense Policy, even when it’s not going over the content.

    I got two violations on my AdSense account because of this.

    http://i.imgur.com/RpVrnsD.png

    It’s sad, because the 300×600 did really well there, but I think only Premium AdSense accounts can get away with that.

    • Reply Chris Lee July 17, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      Hey Angelos, I believe it is on a case by case basis. I’ve been using it with no problems and even was okay after a manual review, and I’m not a premium Adsense account. But I know that it says in their support documents that it’s against the policies, so I’ve left a note there to use it at your own risk. Just because it’s working for me, may not be the case with everybody else’s site.

      You’re right it is a very high performing ad. That’s too bad that they didn’t allow you to use it. You can always replace it with a media.net ad, which performs nearly as well.

    • Reply Mario Kosic July 23, 2016 at 5:36 am

      Hi Angelos,

      You say you have got two violations on your AdSense account because of this!

      But why you still using the Adsense in the sticky form on your sites?

  • Reply Arbaz Khan October 18, 2015 at 3:45 am

    Do you think that the CTR also depends on the type of niche of your blog?
    I have noticed a high CTR on downloads niche blog and a very low CTR on blogging niche blog. But the CPC is more on blogging niche and less on downloads and tech niche.

    • Reply Chris Lee October 18, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Yeah definitely.

  • Reply KWS Adams November 19, 2015 at 3:41 am

    Thanks once again. Floating box is against Google terms and I also got a policy violation notice to one of my friends site. They don’t allow that but for others, you are very right papa. Keep up the spirit of sharing.

    • Reply Chris Lee November 19, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Thanks, Adam!

  • Reply Brian December 2, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Hey Chris! Big fan, took your course and I’ll hope to find time to do a review shortly. I’m a big affiliate marketer and so this adsense stuff I am still playing with.
    Made $17 in first month so I am happy with progress… The biggest part was finding my favorite writers on iWriter. Now I just stick with like 3 that speak really good English πŸ™‚

    Anyways, I am curious. I am using MTS newspaper theme as well. For the 3rd adsense ad, would recommend one at the bottom of the post or the 300×600 on sidebar? 1st one is 728×90 at top, 2nd is right below featured image. Just curious your thoughts on third one. Any better results you have noticed with newspaper theme? Thanks!

    • Reply Chris Lee December 3, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      Hey Brian! Glad to hear that πŸ™‚

      Yeah, for me the one below the post performs a lot better than the sidebar for any theme I use. The Newspaper theme is great. Getting a lot higher ctr for the post pages due to them being featured inside the content area a lot better/cleaner.

  • Reply JJ December 4, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Speaking of using paid traffic, would I be safe if I use paid traffic and send it to a landing page where I collect their email addresses into Aweber or Mailchimp (and the landing page has NO adsense ads of course.) Then whenever I post an update to my blog, I’ll send its link to my email list and that blog post has ads.

    • Reply Chris Lee December 4, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      Yup, that’s perfectly fine.

  • Reply Andro December 16, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Hi Chris,

    I have a niche blog which monetizes by amazon affiliate. Is it advisable to mix it with Adsense?

    Thanks,

    Andro

    • Reply Chris Lee December 16, 2015 at 4:41 am

      There’s no problem with that.

      Just make sure that you consider that increasing conversion rates for amazon can be more profitable than adding in adsense.

  • Reply Charmin December 25, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Awesome Steps Described ….

    Now i WIll try it on my site.
    thanks

    • Reply Chris Lee December 28, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      Thanks for your feedback, Charmin. Let me know how it goes for you.

  • Reply Heathcliff January 11, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I received a warning for placing an ad in the scrolling sidebar, floating box placement is not allowed.

    • Reply Chris Lee January 11, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Won’t work in all cases. You can replace it with an ad from another network or for another call to action. Still will give you high ctr.

  • Reply JS January 18, 2016 at 7:52 am

    A nice and useful article, e.g. scrolling ad. Thank you!

  • Reply Coma January 23, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Hey Chris.Very informative article.Thanks for share.
    Below the first paragraph of content which is better?
    336×280 or 728×90?

    • Reply Chris Lee January 23, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      Thanks Coma πŸ™‚ 336×280 outperforms everything else for me, plus looks good in mobile as well.

  • Reply qayyum January 25, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Doe. But RPM is still very low. its not increasing nor paying enough. Does it matter to get ads direct from google or buy a new site, place your ad there and than place it on your main site?

    • Reply Chris Lee January 25, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      You need to build a quality site in order to get advertisers to bid on your site, increasing your CPC.

  • Reply BaşarΔ± February 12, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Very nice and useful article. Thanks

    • Reply Chris Lee February 13, 2016 at 12:29 am

      Thanks for reading Başarı!

  • Reply Joe Sebastian February 16, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Hi Chris, I’m you new fans after reading all of your posts in this blog. I know that you are the right person that can teach me based on your real experience.

    Just wanna buy your course, but it still not open for registration yet. When you will open the course? I want to be your first members on this year.

    By the way, I cannot find your “Link Building Ebook”, are you still selling that Ebook?

    Can we discuss something in private over email?

    • Reply Chris Lee February 17, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      Hey Joe, sure shoot me an email. The course is opening around April/May.

  • Reply Chriss March 1, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Hi Chris,
    I wanted to say thank you for your inspiring emails and how much I am learning.

    I received your email re 34 top Adsense themes to use and read right thru the post and clicked on 5 Ways to Increase Your Adsense CTR ……

    RED!! WHAT!!

    Having being taught to always blend Adsense blocks in and to use responsive adds, this was rather a challenge….

    So, I changed every mobile responsive ad to a large block with red border, red text etc on all 3 blocks. The only change I made was to add a soft green background to the middle block…

    The result was astounding. This site has high traffic with very good on page time.

    The results have literally doubled from around $10 to $13 per day to $20 – &25 per day. I have had 2 days where it has reached a high of $29 and that’s all in a week!

    So, I wanted to say thank you, your 5 tips have worked wonderfully and I am currently changing all responsive ad blocks on my other Adsense sites.

    Regards,
    Chriss

    • Reply Chris Lee March 2, 2016 at 9:03 am

      Hey Chriss, wow awesome! Really glad to hear that πŸ™‚

      Thanks for sharing your results!

  • Reply Rahul March 12, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for the tips, but I have one doubt is Scrolling Ad blocks is safe ?

    • Reply Chris Lee March 13, 2016 at 12:18 am

      I’ve been having good results with it, but I would recommend against it for most newer sites. It seems to be on a case by case basis.

  • Reply Ricardo Pereira April 23, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Hey Chris, See this about sticky Ads
    https://support.google.com/adxseller/answer/6273531

    • Reply Chris Lee May 2, 2016 at 4:05 am

      Awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing that Ricardo.

  • Reply Jerry Chang April 28, 2016 at 12:05 am

    Hi Chris,

    Today Google puts a message on my Adsense homepage and asks me to test out Page-level ads. I am wondering if you did that already? According to Google, it says Page-level ads don’t count towards the 3 ads per page limit. But they put a “Beta” sign next to Page-level ads so I am not sure if it’s something worth a try yet? What are your thoughts?

    • Reply Chris Lee May 2, 2016 at 3:56 am

      Hey Jerry. I tried implementing it on one of my smaller sites, and haven’t noticed any improvement in rpm or earnings. It doesn’t look very appealing from a user experience pov, but I’ll have to run more tests with it.

  • Reply sai naga prasanna May 7, 2016 at 5:47 am

    Hai Chris Lee, after reading your post, I change my AdSense settings like Red colored link Ads instead of Blue colored link and Just now I installed Q2W3 Fixed Widget WordPress Plugin to run Add-on my Widget too. Let’s see what happens. One more thing I have to appreciate you is your Tips are vice nice and may be really working too.

    • Reply Chris Lee May 8, 2016 at 9:07 am

      Thanks Sai! Let me know how it goes πŸ™‚

  • Reply marfes May 31, 2016 at 7:27 am

    hey Nice Post but the instead blue you to use red.that make any sense

    • Reply Chris Lee June 1, 2016 at 3:46 am

      Yup red πŸ™‚

  • Reply Ahsan tariq Awan June 11, 2016 at 11:41 am

    yahoo this is best ways to increase income without traffic

    • Reply Chris Lee June 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      Thanks!

  • Reply James Anderson June 11, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Chris !
    Thank you for sharing your information. I want you to review my website once and suggest me the changes. My page CTR is 0.94% and impression CTR is 0.25%.

  • Reply Solidworks July 9, 2016 at 1:58 am

    Thank you for your article post.Thanks Again. Really Cool…

    • Reply Chris Lee July 15, 2016 at 12:44 am

      Cool thanks for reading.

  • Reply Vishnu July 15, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Great Info sir ! Thank You

    • Reply Chris Lee July 17, 2016 at 12:52 am

      No problem!

  • Reply Cory July 26, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Hello Chris,

    Thanks for this inspiring website! I do have a couple of questions I hope you don’t mind me asking.

    First, I just saw your demo site..e.g.: https://rankxl.com/rise/2015/07/21/5-easy-ways-to-make-money-on-instagram/#

    I noticed you don’t use the sidebar. Is there a reason for that or would you recommend using the 300X600 at the sidebar as I read in your site.

    Second, I use wordpress but the default comments that I use places the reply box at the bottom of the comments. Which wordpress comment plugin do you use?

    Thank you for all of this! Hope you make it to the millions!

    • Reply Chris Lee August 1, 2016 at 8:27 am

      Hey Cory!

      Yeah, ads within the content area perform best, and the rise theme is well designed to fit 3 inside it.

      I use the default wp comments. What you mention is just a matter of editing some php within your theme.

  • Reply ilmudes July 28, 2016 at 6:43 am

    good and nice tips πŸ˜€

    • Reply Chris Lee August 1, 2016 at 8:20 am

      Thanks πŸ˜€

  • Reply AArti August 9, 2016 at 2:33 am

    A very useful post, I will surely keep these points in mind when I rearrange my ads next time. Thanks for the awesome information.

    • Reply Chris Lee August 9, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      Cool, thanks for reading Aarti!

  • Reply Nishant August 11, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Using lots of ads can be risky but red color point Actually Works.
    Thanks!

    • Reply Chris Lee August 11, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      No problem Nishant πŸ™‚ Glad it worked out for you.

  • Reply Rehman August 21, 2016 at 2:11 am

    Hey Chris,

    Very informative article, thanks for sharing.
    I’m applying each and every strategy of yours on my site. I really need to try red for my site.

    • Reply Chris Lee August 23, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      Nice, glad to hear that Rehman! Let me know how it goes.

  • Reply Sahil kumar August 22, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Hello,
    Nice post, currently i don’t have google adsense account, once i get the account, sure i will follow your wonderful tips. Thank you for sharing wonderful post.

    • Reply Chris Lee August 23, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks for reading Sahil.

  • Reply Bhajan Santvani August 27, 2016 at 5:20 am

    Hi
    It’s really excellent article .I like the information, so thank you for sharing this article.

    • Reply Chris Lee August 31, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      No problem!

  • Reply Rick August 28, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Hi, Chris

    Thanks for nice tips. I’m going to change my ads to be red as you suggested.

    • Reply Chris Lee August 31, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      Nice! Let me know how it works out.

  • Reply Sahil Sehgal September 3, 2016 at 4:19 am

    Sir can i use 300×600 ad unit within my content
    Thankyou

    • Reply Chris Lee September 4, 2016 at 6:51 pm

      Yup πŸ™‚

  • Reply Jamshed November 5, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    hey Nice Post but the instead blue you to use red.that make any sense

    • Reply Chris Lee November 8, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      Yup, it’s been working πŸ™‚

  • Reply Jack November 15, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    YAHYYY!!!! this is best ways to increase income without traffic

    • Reply Chris Lee November 18, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      πŸ˜€

  • Reply Jenda November 16, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Hey Chris,

    have you tried using layout with centered content without any sidebar? If so, did your in-content ads perform better/same/worse?

    Thanks!

    • Reply Chris Lee November 18, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      Not recently, but I did try it a long time ago and results weren’t noticeably different.

  • Reply Haidar Raza Khan November 19, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Hey Chris,
    I’ll defiantly give a try to these methods because my AdSense CPC is very low and I hope its help me to increase the number of clicks and CPC too.
    Thanks Man πŸ™‚

    • Reply Chris Lee December 4, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      Cool! Thanks Haidar!

  • Reply Idrus November 22, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Hey Chris, this is my first time visiting your blog. I rarely read an article in full from the blogs I visit. But the above post is an exception. I am really interested with red color for Adsense title instead of blue that people usually recommend. I will — after writing this comment — apply your tips.

    Wish me luck.

    Anyway a gorgeous tWP heme you’ve got here.

    • Reply Chris Lee December 4, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      Thank you Idrus πŸ™‚

      • Reply Idrus December 22, 2016 at 1:08 am

        I swear to the God I serve, your tips work quite well, I apply your tips to three of my blogs, I make the ad block big and change the color to red as you recommend on this post.

        After applying your tips now I get about $4 to $5 daily, previously I got only about $1 to $2 daily!!!!!

        Thanks again you are the man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Reply Chris Lee December 25, 2016 at 9:50 pm

          That is AWESOME! Glad to hear that Idrus πŸ™‚

  • Reply Divine Schematic November 23, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Awesome Steps!!!
    Now i Will try as you said.

    • Reply Chris Lee December 4, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      Nice πŸ™‚

  • Reply Jamie A Andrio November 24, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Thanks once again. Floating box is against Google terms and I also got a policy violation notice to one of my friends site.

  • Reply Jamie A Andrio December 2, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    WOW these are the best ways to increase income without traffic

    • Reply Chris Lee December 4, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      Thank you Jamie!

  • Reply Naveed December 25, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Great Info sir ! Thank You

    • Reply Chris Lee December 25, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks Naveed.

  • Reply mubashir malik January 2, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Awesome Steps!!!
    Now i Will try as you said.

    • Reply Chris Lee January 7, 2017 at 12:36 am

      Cool! Let me know how it works out for you.

  • Reply neil abijit January 2, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    hey Nice Post but the instead blue you to use red.that make any sense

    • Reply Chris Lee January 7, 2017 at 12:35 am

      Yup! Give it a try πŸ™‚

  • Reply Tony January 17, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Hi,

    Nice post keep posting.

  • Reply Biplab Acharjee January 25, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Hello, thanks for all the tips, I think site loading speed also matter to increase page ctr. Yes when it’s Adsense, so many things facts are out of our control, I have noticed that, some time page load but ads are take little bit more time to load.

    • Reply Chris Lee January 25, 2017 at 7:42 pm

      Nice insights, Biplab!

  • Reply TAP February 19, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Hey, Thanks for this post. I will try on my website.

    • Reply Chris Lee February 24, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      Cool πŸ™‚

  • Reply joe satria March 1, 2017 at 4:43 am

    Now I will try as you said. Use Red Instead of Blue
    Great Info! Thank You sir

    • Reply Chris Lee March 10, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      No problem, Joe πŸ™‚

  • Reply Seema March 1, 2017 at 5:00 am

    Thanks a lot, this is a great article and by implementing these tips it improved my AdSense CTR.

    • Reply Chris Lee March 10, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      Awesome. Glad to hear that, Seema.

  • Reply Excel Ajah March 9, 2017 at 4:23 am

    This content is timely, I am moving straight away to implement these optimization techniques

    • Reply Chris Lee March 16, 2017 at 11:56 am

      Awesome!

  • Reply Manoj March 11, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Hi Chris

    Great post. Is it for responsive ads ? I changed its title to Maroon and link color too. Let me check how it works.

    Thank you very much for this writing.

    • Reply Chris Lee March 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      Yeah, for both responsive and other ads as well. Awesome, hope it works well for you πŸ™‚

  • Reply paras dhankecha March 20, 2017 at 3:04 am

    a great post, i think you should mention heatmap, it helps, thank you

    • Reply Chris Lee March 30, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      Good point Paras! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Tecmobs April 27, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Great post.
    My AdSense ctr reaches 6.7 a times, hope its not bad for my account?

    • Reply Chris Lee April 27, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Nope! That’s awesome!

  • Reply Sogun July 19, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Hi chris, i want to ask you that how much is ctr best for average blog that run adsense ads?. I only make average 0.8% on my blog, is that good?

    • Reply Chris Lee August 13, 2017 at 11:59 am

      That can definitely be improved. Even for the worst niches for ads, you should be able to get at least above 1% with good optimization.

  • Reply Naeem September 8, 2017 at 4:13 am

    Thanks for the article! What If i disable these categories Dining & Nightlife, Home & Garden, Occasions & Gifts and Real Estate in adsense setting? Will this effect on earning? Someone told me to disable these categories as this is low paying cats, Plz suggest/recommend.

    • Reply Chris Lee September 11, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      Not sure where you heard that info, but I wouldn’t believe that. Especially real estate, where advertisers pay top dollar in Adwords.

  • Reply Odira September 10, 2017 at 6:39 am

    Thanks for your tips, I will give them a try. I look forward to better AdSense CTR.

    • Reply Chris Lee September 11, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      Cool, thanks for reading Odira.