Publishing AdSense link units on your website or blog is a great way of generating revenue provided you know how to optimize them. If you’re managing a blog or website that gets a decent amount of traffic daily there is a good prospect for you to leverage AdSense link units and make lots of money.
What are AdSense link units?
The AdSense link units are small boxes you may have come across on various websites, and you may already be using them on your own website or blog. They are small units of advertisements from Google that appear like links. After opening a verified AdSense account you get a small code snippet that you can copy/paste on your blog or website, whenever you want the AdSense link units to appear. In about 10-15 minutes the ads start appearing and whenever somebody clicks on a particular link appearing within that box/unit you get paid for that.
(This screenshot is taken from my niche affiliate pico projector reviews website)
The constitution of an AdSense link unit
As the name suggests, an AdSense link unit contains just links, compared to normal AdSense displays that contain other information and sometimes images and videos too. You can have 3, 4 or 5 links in a square unit. These links can also be arranged horizontally in the form of a banner.
Why choose AdSense link units?
They are easier to incorporate into your overall layout. They are nonintrusive so you can easily put them wherever there is some blank space available on your website. Of course, it doesn’t mean you should put them anywhere: there are some hotspots where you should put your AdSense link units. When you are creating a new AdSense at your AdSense dashboard gives you an option of choosing between “Ad Unit” and “Link Unit”.
Optimizing AdSense link units
To be frank there are conflicting opinions on how to optimize AdSense link units but there are some rules that can be universally applied.
Use the heat map: Your AdSense link unit must be easily visible as soon as a visitor comes to your website or blog. He or she shouldn’t have to look at extreme left or extreme right or scroll down in order to come across your AdSense link unit. The preferred way is making it left-aligned within your main content unit. You can also put the AdSense link unit at the top of the page — above the fold — so that it immediately becomes invisible.
Set the right link color: The color of the links of your AdSense link units must be same as the overall color of the links on your website or blog so that the AdSense link unit appears as an integral part of your website or blog. This is how you maximize your CTR rate, although some people feel it’s deceptive. The example above is the standard adsense color #0000FF, I then made the rest of the side navigation the same colour, same font and same font size…though it’s quite hard to get them to match up exactly.
Remove the borders: Removing border also helps you integrate the AdSense link unit with your design. When you have borders — the default AdSense setting — people can easily perceive it as an advertisement (although we shouldn’t mislead people into believing that these links belong to your website or blog) and develop a blind eye towards them. When there are no borders it is a bit difficult to develop a habit of ignoring those links.
There are many vertical and horizontal arrangements that you can experiment with. It depends a lot on the behavior of your visitors. For example many publishers also publish their AdSense link units at the footer of the blog post or the article because they are completely sure that their visitors scroll down to the last sentence.
Make them a part of your navigation scheme: It is a good idea to place your AdSense link unit in such a manner that the links there seem like a part of your fundamental navigation. It really increases your clicks.
Make them a part of your main content unit: AdSense link units placed within the main content area perform better than the links placed elsewhere because they are bound to be seen by people reading your article or blog post.
Surround them with targeted content: The text around your AdSense link units decides what sort of ads appear on your website or blog. Try to create keyword-rich content at least around the place where you place your AdSense link units.
Use section targeting: Section targeting is a great way of telling Google what text to focus on while generating links for your website or blog. Not all content on your website relates to the AdSense link units. For instance your primary content with almost all of your important keywords resides in the main content area and this is the place that should be used to decide for what keywords the AdSense link units must be generated. You can use the following lines of code in order to section target your AdSense link unit ads:
<!– google_ad_section_start –>
Text that should be considered while generating your ad links resides here.
<!– google_ad_section_end –>
Do you feel some weird ads are showing up on your website? Maybe the AdSense algorithm is picking up some text from the wrong area. You can use the following tag to specify what areas should be ignored while generating ad links:
<!– google_ad_section_start(weight=ignore) –>
This area should be ignored by the AdSense algorithm.
<!– google_ad_section_end –>
Optimizing within your AdSense dashboard
You can decide what links are displayed in your AdSense link unit by changing a few settings within your AdSense dashboard. For example the “Competitive Ad Filter” allows you to stop your competitors’ websites from advertising on your website. You can also decide for what search terms and keywords links shouldn’t appear within your AdSense link units.
Although there are some rules that almost always work everywhere, every blog or website is unique and hence has its unique characteristics when it comes to people’s response to AdSense link units. So you will need to gradually learn. For example you can experiment with placing your AdSense link units at various places and see where they generate the most response. You can also perform split tests (Google analytics allows you to do that) by creating multiple versions of the same page and checking which version performs the best.