What Google AdSense Engineers Say:
An email conversation with a Google Engineer:
“Due to the dynamic nature of Google AdSense, fluctuations in your revenue will occur. Your earnings will depend on a number of factors, including the types of ads being served to your pages, the cost per click or cost per impression of these ads, and your users’ click through selections. Regarding ad placement – the best ad format varies from page to page. We’ve observed that, in general, wider ads perform better because of their reader-friendly format. We strongly recommend putting your users first when deciding on ad placement. Think about their behavior on different pages, and what will be most useful and visible to them. You’ll find that the most optimal ad position isn’t always what you expect on certain pages.”
Google Optimization Guide:
For example, on pages where users are typically focused on reading an article, ads placed directly below the end of the article tends to perform better. It’s almost as if the users finish reading and asking themselves, “What can I do next?” Precisely targeted ads are just like answering their questions.
What Webmasters have concluded:
Webmasters have diverse views on how to increase CTR. It largely depends upon the keywords you are targeting, look of your website, quality of its content, placement of AdSense ads, page optimization, and various other factors. Generally, AdSense blocks wrapped between the quality content works the best. For the websites having poor quality content, placing the Ads before the start of the content works well.
If you develop a poor quality content website, it will likely give you high CTR and clicks, but you will be getting low priced ads. Besides, nobody will like to add your URL to their favorites. However, if you have quality content that keeps the visitors glued, you may get low CTR, but you will be getting high priced ads and regular visitors.
Proper positioning of ads on your website has direct impact on your CTR. Change the location of the ads and watch the changes in your CTR regularly. Try to locate the area of the page where the focus of the visitor can be. Generally, AdSense ads near the quality content or other crucial areas like navigation bar tend to perform better. But it really depends upon the keywords you are targeting, and the traffic you have.
AdSense comes after traffic. No traffic, no AdSense. Take good care of your traffic. Your visitors expect some valuable information from you. Make sure you are providing quality content to them. This will increase your visitors’ return back ratio. And only those visitors who are less targeted, will return to the content you are providing. More targeted users mean more CTR. 85% of my visitors add my website URLs in their favorites. And they do return.
Install a website stats monitoring software and regularly look at your web logs. Identify where exactly is the traffic coming from. Try to establish a pattern or relation between your AdSense stats and traffic stats. This will help you analyze the reasons for any marked deviations in the inflow of traffic. This will give you new ideas to develop traffic.
Experiment and experiment a lot, till you are satisfied with the tweaks you have done to achieve the highest CTR. Track your page performance by making channels of ads in your AdSense Control Panel. Keep experimenting till you are satisfied with your CTR. Though, every such experiment will make you lose money for a day or two, as Google may take time to adjust with new changes, but it will be beneficial in the long run.