Google AdSense is one of the easiest ways to monetize your blog, isn’t it? It’s practically plug and play with the Auto ads feature.
Kind of frustrating when they end up in weird places though!
For the longest time, I had my ads set on Auto ads – as a busy work at home mom to an active toddler, it’s challenging to find the time to create new content for both Instagram and my blog never mind searching for a great tutorial to teach me something brand new!
So, let’s talk manual ad placement!
This post is a tutorial for the Ad Inserter plugin. Additionally, I’ll provide a brief overview of the various Google AdSense ad types. You’ll learn which ad sizes perform best and which pay you most to display them.
Let’s get started!
AdSense Plugins For WordPress
I chose to activate Ad Inserter on my blog because I liked its simple design and customization options.
But, should you feel that it doesn’t do the trick for you, consider the following popular AdSense compatible plugins:
Getting Started With Ad Inserter
Log into your WordPress Dashboard.
It’s always a good idea to create a backup before making any changes to your website so, before you continue any further, do this now.
UpDraft Plus Backups is an excellent choice if you haven’t already installed an alternative plugin.
Once your backup is ready, run a search for Ad Inserter or download it here.
Once you’ve installed it, activate it on your blog and then head over to Settings in your WordPress Dashboard.
Select Ad Inserter from the pop up menu.
Open a new tab or window on your computer to generate your first AdSense ad code.
Generating An AdSense Code
Log in to your Google AdSense account.
Click on the menu icon to the top left and select Ads.
Then, click Ad units.
The next page will eventually be your Google AdSense ads directory.
Click New ad unit near the top left-hand corner of your screen.
Underneath the What type of ad would you like to create? headline, choose Text & display ads.
Name your ad according to where you will place it. For example, something like Side Bar Below Search provides a specific enough location that it will easier to locate later on should you choose to alter it.
Next to Showing, click the tab that reads Recommended and select Rectangular.
Choose 300 x 250 Medium Rectangle.
Leave Text & display ads selected.
Select Custom Channels and click Create new custom channel.
Name your channel after your ad size choose something more specific.
Click to add a check mark to Show this custom channel to advertisers as a targetable ad placement. Doing so will make your new custom channel visible to advertisers in search of targetable ad placements.
In Ad appears on, describe the location of where this ad will be located – for this tutorial, we will place it before content and you can write this here, if you like.
In Ad location, select Top center (or wherever you will put it).
In the Description section, be as detailed as you like about your site – for example, mention your niche or specialty.
Your new Custom Channel will appear in the Selected custom channels box on the previous page.
Now, click Save and get code.
Leave the Code type as Asynchronous.
Click in the Ad code box to select the code. Copy the code.
Placing An Ad With Ad Inserter
Switch back to the first tab or window you opened with your Ad Inserter Settings displayed.
Since Block 1 is already selected, let’s go ahead and name this tab Before Content – 300 x 250 Medium Rectangle to give us the exact location, size, and a description of what this ad will look like.
Paste your AdSense code directly into the field below.
There should already be a checkmark in Posts. If you’d like this ad displayed on all of your posts, leave it this way.
If you’d like the ad to not to be displayed on some posts, select Individually disabled by clicking on the field to the right.
Click Lists and input the URLs of these pages into the given tab of the same name.
Next click Devices to choose which ones you’d like the ad displayed on. Be sure to add a check mark to Use client-side detection to show only and choose from Desktop, Tablet, and/or Phone.
For instance, my website has a Mobile Banner that only displays on Tablets and Phones. If you want it to show the ad on all devices, leave things as they are.
Next, have a look at the tab that reads Alignment and choose Center if you’d like the ad to appear in the middle of the page.
For ads within the body of your content, you can also choose to wrap text Left or Right among other options.
Once you’re satisfied with the ad you’ve created, hit Save All Settings.
View Your New Ad
Open a new tab or window and enter your website’s address into the search bar.
Head over to a blog post and confirm that your new ad is displaying correctly.
In my experience, ads were visible immediately after creating them.
If you still have Auto ads on though, you may have to disable them first in order to view your most recent changes.
To do so, head back to your AdSense tab or window and choose Auto ads.
Then, click on the pencil icon on Global Settings. Deselect all ad formats you had previously enabled.
If need be, you can all clear the cache on your browser or mobile device to see what your site looks like live.
I always take a look at my site on my iPhone and my desktop after making a change. It’s a good habit to get into as things can sometimes end up being wonky on one device but not the other.
As already suggested at the start of this tutorial, creating a backup every time you make changes is also a great security blanket.
Whether something’s gone wrong or you’ve run out of time to complete your website update because your baby’s woken up, you need to get to an appointment, etc., you’ll be able to revert back to your original settings and try again at another time!
Placing Ads In Your Sidebar
Although you can paste code directly into a Custom HTML box and place it where you’d like in your Sidebar, using Ad Insert is a nice way of keeping everything tidy!
From your WordPress Dashboard, hover over Appearance and select Widgets.
Now, click on Ad Inserter and click Add Widget to add it to your Sidebar.
Place it between the items where you’d like it to appear.
Now, select the block number. For the purpose of this demo, select Block 1 as its the only one we’ve created so far.
Place it where you’d like and be sure that your changes have been Saved.
Once again, return to the tab or window you’ve opened with your website and hit refresh to confirm you’re happy with the placement.
Top Performing AdSense Sizes
What This Means To You
When selecting ads for your blog or website, you want to choose a size that offers a large pool of potential advertisers.
Meaning, whenever someone loads your page, ads are always displayed in their designated spots since there are plenty of options available.
In Google’s own words, the 300 x 250 Medium Rectangle size tends to have more ad inventory available from advertisers, which can increase earnings when both text and image ads are enabled.
Medium Rectangle is an excellent choice within the body of your content as well as at the end of your article. Publishers also need not worry about implementing separate mobile text and display ads since the 300 x 250 works here too.
Large Rectangle, at 336 x 280, performs similarly on desktop and is another great choice for within content and at the end of it.
Leaderboard, 728 x 90, also has plenty of ad inventory and performs best above content.
At 300 x 600, Half Page is an increasingly popular choice by advertisers and publishers alike.
Large Mobile Banner, at 320 x 100, is perfect underneath your header and just before content.
Keep in mind that ads are not a one size fits all scenario though, so run different ads on your site and see what performs best for you!
Why Not Choose Responsive Ad Size
When you choose Responsive ads, your ads will dynamically inherit the parent container’s size.
However, problems occur when the system has trouble determining the correct size.
Instead, you’ll be left with empty white space that generates no revenue.
By choosing a predetermined size for your ad placements, you can increase the probability that ads will actually show up where they are supposed and thus, potentially increase your profit.
Again, experiment to see what works best for you – try various ad types, sizes, and if you’re feeling adventurous, even Responsive ads 😉
Phew, this concludes my adventure in learning how to manually place Google AdSense Ads on my blog! I hope this tutorial prevents you from pulling out as many hairs as I did when I tried to find a solution 😛
Do you display ads on your site? Which plugins have you used in the past? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!
Enjoyed this walkthrough? I’m so glad you stopped by! You might find these other tutorials helpful as well.