Laying out your adsense ads is very important to getting good click through ratios on your ads. Put the ads in the wrong spot and you will be looking at low single digit click through. Put them in the right spot however and your click through will easily be well into the double digits.
If you read any of the "guru's" adsense tips they all say the same thing about ad placement. They tel you to put it above the fold and on the left hand column. That is good advice but it does not always apply to every site and every niche. Again i try to place my self in the users shoes and visualize what they are looking for and what they want out of a website and place my ads accordingly. By doing this i have found a few ad placement strategies that work pretty good for me.
What I mean by this is that someone looking for answers on hair loss wants info right away because they are concerned about a personal problem, they are not shopping yet just getting info and will more then likely back click if the first thing they see is ads. On the other hand if you provide good content and place the ads after the article your CTR (click through ratio) can shoot up alot. I like to place one or two 336x280 ads after the content, i have found that the ads placed on top of each other rather then next to each other generates more clicks for me. I have witnessed a 10% jump in CTR when the ads were one on top of the other rather then next to each other running across the screen. I attribute this to the ads on top of each other looking like search engine results and not ads.
As an example i followed adsense experts advice and put two 300x250 ads next to each other above the content on one of my medical niche sites . The CTR was 1.7%. After i added them to the bottom the CTR shot up over 10% almost overnight. The user got the info and the ads were seen as a place to get the solution, thats my analysis anyway!
But what about people who are say looking for a new exercise machine, these shoppers are not that desperate and are pretty much just surfing around looking at prices and other info. These people tend to be click happy surfers and tend to click whatever catches there eye. This is where a adsense block above the content does great. The thing i have found is that large products that people want but do not necessarily need tend to be areas where the clicks roll in. So building a site around large products like exercise equipment, pool table , etc can be great adsense earners. I think this is because they do not intend to buy online just get some information so they can go the local dealer and pick it up. Plus some of these niches have some pretty big companies in them so the payouts are usually pretty good.
But the bottom line is you have to test until you get your CTR where it needs to be to make money. Although some niches will just never generate clicks for some reason. Do not take this personal just move on to the next one.
Next Time i want to talk about link units and how then can be incorporated.