AdSense CPC is determined mainly by three factors:
1. The topic area that you’re writing about.
2. The country where your visitor resides.
3. The number of advertisers bidding for competitive positions for a particular keyword theme, which is influenced by the number of AdSense ad units that you have on your page.
The rest of this article will talk about how your choice of AdSense layout on your page determines your CPC as well as your chance of getting the click. I won’t touch on titling your posts but you want to make sure your titles of your posts are catchy (you have 60 characters) and to write a custom meta description for each post (160 characters) to try to attract browser click-throughs from the search engines. Always craft your article bodies as well as your post titles with your potential visitor in mind to make sure your content is desirable.
AdSense Ad Units
You’ll want to look at the totality of all AdSense ad units on your page when trying to gauge your AdSense CPC potential for the page. AdSense will target the topmost ad unit on your page as the priority position which the top advertisers will be bidding on. As you move further down the page, there will be less advertisers to bid on those secondary positions. That’s why whatever ad unit you use first, you want that to have the highest potential and visibility for the visitor to click on. In AdSense unit close to the bottom of the page can be useful for earning some extra income but it should be your primary AdSense focus as most of the high-paying advertisers will be higher up on your page and other AdSense units.
And a note from Google Adsense on ad unit placement:
The multiple ad units system serves ads to each ad unit in order of their appearance in your HTML code. In most cases, this will be the same order as the ad units appear on your page.
However, if your code uses DIV tags or other positioning techniques, it’s possible that our system will recognize an ad unit as the first ad unit, even if it appears to the end user at the very bottom of the page. Because our system may not always fill all of your ad units on any one page, it’s important that you ensure that your ‘main’ ad unit appears first in the HTML code.
AdSense and Geography
Advertisers pay to have their ads seen by visitors who have enough money to afford what they’re offering. That’s why there is a large CPC discrepancy between high GDP countries and Third World or Second World countries like the Philippines and India. And it’s not solely based on high GDP: some countries in the United Arab Emirates are some of the richest in the world but there is not enough advertiser demand to spur high CPC rates in a few of those countries. Also realize that there is a balancing act between your content and a particular sub-demographic of an otherwise high CPC country. A Spanish article for a visitor in the United States may not attract high CPC ads in and of itself, but it might if it’s targeting loan or insurance content.
Adsense Choices for CTR
Adsense recommends that your ad blocks should blend in well with the color of your site. This gives the user a seamless experience between your content and the ads on the page and they won’t seem as disruptive. But you can also try using a contrasting color and check for its effect on your Adsense CTR. You’d simply use a “Content Experiment” from within your Adsense account to test which option works best.
An important consideration is to check your Google Analytics and see what percentage of visitors to your site are mobile. Remember, if you have an ad in the sidebar, a responsive website design will make that sidebar “tuck” underneath your main content for mobile visitors. Because of this reason, I’m less enthusiastic about recommending Adsense ads in the sidebar and favor putting them within your main content, top and bottom:
The inline AdSense unit in the top left of the content is a high CTR area based on people’s eyeballs tracking up into the corner. Here’s the css for making that ad block flush with the rest of your text:
If you don’t want to use inline float styling, you can also let your AdSense units sit by themselves horizontally either right after the title or after the first paragraph:
Another option is to go with a 728×90 leaderboard unit usually right below the title, although you can test also putting it right after your nav just above your title.