8 Slightly Unusual AdSense Tricks to Boost Your CTR

July 17, 2007 by  

I’ve written a couple of articles about making money with AdSense and this one is no difference. But this time, I’ll talk about tricks that seldom get mentioned anywhere. Learning about making money from AdSense is a continuous process and it doesn’t stop after we read an article or two.

Some of these tips might be new to you and some may be not. I hope this article serves as a reminder on things you can experiment with to improve your AdSense click through rates.


  1. Use Fewer Less AdSense to Improve CTR

    The theory is that with less ad inventory available on your site, the fiercer the competition among advertisers. This will drive your CPC nowhere but up. In contrast, showing more ad units allows lower-bidding advertisers to appear on your site. This will effectively reduce your CPC, (or CPM for a site targeted ad units). Read more about this here.


  2. Test AdSense with Borders

    With the introduction of AdSense with rounded corners, you now have more opportunity to experiment with different ad unit style. Some may argue that adding a border will make your AdSense look more like an ad which could result in a lower CTR. Unless you have tried this yourself, you may never know for sure.


  3. Add a Second Ad as an Image Only Ad

    While you are not allowed to place images next to your AdSense ads, using a secondary unit as an image only ad next to your text ad isn’t forbidden. In fact this setup could potentially improve your AdSense CTR.


  4. Place an AdSense Video Ad Next to a YouTube Video

    You can go one step further by placing a YouTube Video next to an AdSense video ad. While AdSense doesn’t let your show video ad exclusively, you can enable your pages to show video ads by using one of the supported video ad formats on your site and that you are opted in to image ads for that specific ad unit.


    I guess the question to ask when you choose to implement this is whether AdSense allows such a placement. Does it suggest a relationship between the YouTube video and the ads?

    As long as your visitors know the ads do not offer the exact item found in the video, I’m incline to think this is allowed. The best thing you can do when in doubt is to write to Google.

    Update: I’ve emailed Google regarding this and here’s their reply:

    I do not see any reason why you could not place an AdSense video ad next to a YouTube video, provided that they are not too close to each other.

    As always, we ask that you exercise your judgement on the best position to place ad units. If the ad unit is placed next to images or video, there is always a chance that the user will think the ads are related to that image.

    Please note that an AdSense Video ad would only appear in supported ad formats, and you are not guaranteed to get a video ad displaying in that particular ad unit…


  5. Rotate Ad Unit with Different Style and Colours to Reduce Blindness

    At some point, your regular visitors will stop paying attention to your ad units, a phenomenon known as banner blindness. To prevent this from dragging your CTR down, you could mix up different ad colour and style and use ad rotation.

    To rotate palettes with different colour schemes, click “ Use multiple palettes… ” under the Palettes drop down menu. Then hold CTRL while selecting multiple palettes with your mouse.



  6. Remove AdSense from Your Blog Front Page

    While I find the link units perform just fine, other ad formats tend to have lower CTR due the diverse contextual content which often results in less targeted ads. So, consider removing the AdSense ads from your front page. This in turn could improve your overall CPM.


  7. Copy Other Sites That Make You Click

    I’ve visited a site before where I nearly clicked on an ad unit thinking it’s part of the content. You know me, clicking on an AdSense ad is probably the last thing I would do when visiting a site.

    What triggered me to want to click on this one was that the ad unit was implemented in such a way that it looked like just an extension to the well written article. Clicking the link unit seemed to be the next natural thing to do if I wanted to learn more about the topic.

    If you encounter a site that makes you click, copy the AdSense implementation.


  8. Change Your AdSense Placement Randomly

    You can use plugins like the AdSense Injection for WordPress to further combat banner blindness. This plugin will automatically insert AdSense in your posts in a different location each page view. It randomly inserts up to 3 AdSense code in place of a paragraph break.

    In addition, you can pick the colour templates and format to further improve its effectiveness. The only problem I can think of when using this plugin is that the ads might appear in places where you don’t want them to appear.


Finally, whatever you do, use AdSense custom channel to track your results. Please leave your thoughts in the comment section.

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Comment by Gadget
2007-07-17 22:16:12

If you have traffic you have clicks :D

Comment by Gaman
2007-07-17 22:41:34

I think your CTR is more important than traffic. Higher CTR makes you more money with less traffic.

Comment by Dan
2007-07-18 00:19:42

5% CTR and 1000 visitors is better than 100% CTR and 10 visitors.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Gaman
2007-07-18 00:27:30

In theory yes, sadly there are more websites with 10 visitors than 1000 visitors.

Why would you settle for 5% CTR when you can get 100% CTR for whatever number visitors you have? I won’t.

Let me give an example, I have a site that used to get thousands of visitors daily, in comparison gets fewer visitors but it earns double that other site AdSense income all because it has a better CTR.

Another website of mine gets around 150 visitors per day, because of the niche it belongs to, I doubt the number will get any higher. However, the site is making thousands of dollars per month just because it has a very good conversion rate.

Comment by cooliojones
2007-07-19 21:20:07

I agree with the 5%/1000 versus 100%/10 model. There is never a guarantee that people will click on your ads, and I’d rather have a bigger audience because the chances that they see something catch their eye is going to be greater. I know what you’re saying Gaman, but I’d rather use the shotgun approach versus the sniper approach on this one.

Comment by Gaman
2007-07-19 22:35:18

I think you’ve misunderstood me. The 5%/1000 vs 100%/10 idea was brought up by Dan. I didn’t say I agree with one and disagree with the other.

All I am saying is why would you settle for 5%/1000 when you can get 100%/1000? Ok that’s not a good example but my point is, your conversion rates is more important than your traffic.

A more realistic question would be why would you settle for 5%/1000 when you can get 10%/1000? And this is what the post is all about :)

Comment by Dan
2007-07-21 03:29:21

My point was actually that CTR and Traffic are both very important. You first said “I think your CTR is more important than traffic”. IMO, neither is more important as you have to focus on both.

Comment by Gaman
2007-07-23 21:38:13

You can actually make more money without increasing your traffic. As I said, some websites get smaller amount of traffic because of the niche they belong to. So in such case, traffic is not as relevant as conversion rates.

It’s easier to make money by improving your conversion rates as compare to increasing your traffic. I agree that traffic and CTR are both important. But at some point your CTR or conversion rates when selling products will take precedence.

Comment by Kay Kastum Subscribed to comments via email
2007-07-18 12:32:09

This is a good one. Will try and experiment. :D

Comment by ben
2007-07-18 22:13:34

I agree with you gaman, Less traffic more click rate is better, then big traffic no click at all.. or less click. As i just started my blog for sure it will have less visitor but at least some people do clicking the ads. :)

I love this post

Comment by Gaman
2007-07-24 21:41:02

Try this

<div style=’float: left; margin: 5px 10px 10px 0px;’>
AdSense code

Comment by AniNaruto
2007-07-19 10:53:47

Nice tips, i really like tip #4… if it ok with google might as well try it, who knows.

Comment by Sabre
2007-07-19 11:29:23

Adsense Guide

Check it out… love your tips… see if mine are anybetter :D

Comment by Laptop Skins
2007-07-19 19:01:06

Tips are really good

2007-07-20 03:11:24

Oh… Thanks for the tricks! I have been thinking how to do it since last month…

Comment by Michelle
2007-07-20 22:37:54

I added this little tidbit of code to get the adsense block to float inline properly.

border:0px solid black;margin-top:15px;

[then the adsense code]

Check it out in use at

Comment by CFernandes
2007-07-21 11:07:44


I didn´t know you could pick multiple palettes!

2007-07-27 01:09:39

adding a second ad as an image only ad is brilliant! I would like a followup article detailing your results testing these different techniques!

Comment by ciken
2007-07-28 15:56:58

thanks for the tricks..very good idea…

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