AdSense is the easiest way for many people to monetize websites and WordPress a wildly popular platform for publishing content. Therefore, it is not surprising that a number of ways to combine AdSense and WordPress exist. The following will cover all the options and help you decide on the best choices for your situation.
Before deciding on a method for inserting AdSense into WordPress, remember the principle of testing to find the optimum setup. It is often best to try different colors, fonts, sizes, placements, etc. of ads to see what setup will attract the most visitor clicks. For this reason, it is a good idea to choose a method that will allow for ads to be changed easily to allow for testing.
In addition, always be careful to follow the Google’s terms of service as to how ads are placed and avoid any problems (for example, be careful when placing ads next to images). Google will ban advertisers it judges as not following the TOS.
Paste into WordPress posts manually
The AdSense code can simply be inserted into each post. As long as the code is pasted in on the HTML tab, it can be put anywhere in the post. To make the text wrap around the ad, paste it in like this:
<div style=”display:block;float:right; margin: 5px 5px 5px 5px;”>
(your AdSense code)
Change the “left” to “right” to adjust what side the ad will be on and the numbers to adjust the spacing around it.
The obvious drawback to this method is the extra time it will require for each post. More importantly, if you decide to experiment with different ad sizes, positions, colors or networks, it will be necessary to go through every single post that needs changing.
Directly into theme templates
For those comfortable working with code, it is possible to put the AdSense code directly into the theme code. By going into Editor in WordPress and selecting different theme files, for example, Header for the top of the theme and Single Post for individual blog pages, it is possible to drop the AdSense ads directly into the theme code and have them display on the areas of WordPress the theme controls.
The drawback of this method is that you will need to go into the code every time you would like to change something and will have to enter everything again if you change the theme.
As a WordPress widget
AdSense code can simply be put in a text widget (more details here) and displayed wherever that widget is placed. One limitation of this method is that the ads can only be displayed where it is possible to place widgets.
Themes with built in AdSense support
Many WordPress themes have features that make it very easy to place AdSense in the site. In fact, some themes claim to be specially designed for AdSense and thus higher rates in which visitors click on ads. These claims should be looked on with some skepticism if they appear hyped, but there are themes that work very well with AdSense. For example, CTR Themes are highly rated. While this is a factor to be considered, it is important to choose a theme based on its overall appeal and not just on how it handles AdSense.
For those who would like an easy, flexible and automated way to insert AdSense into WordPress, a plugin is usually the best way to go. While a complete listing can be found here, some of the top ones for AdSense are as follows:
AdRotate makes it easy to manage ads from the dashboard and organize them into groups to appear on different areas of the website. Other features include email warnings when ads are about to expire as well as the ability to set the number of views, and previews in the editing stage.
Ad Injection allows for ClickBank, Amazon Associates and other networks besides AdSense. The number of ads can be set according to the length of the post, and their positions in the post can also be determined. Furthermore, there is ad rotation and many other features.
Ad Rotator is a simple plugin designed for what its name suggests.
Advertisement Management specializes in giving the ability to add advertisements into a site directly from the backend into eight different ad spots.
Simple Ads Manager
This plugin offers a lot of flexibility in displaying ads. Its numerous features include the ability to display ads by zones, support of various types of ad codes and displaying ads by types of pages or by page tag.
The placement of ads can make a big difference in click through. Places ads are frequently found include above, below, within and to the sides of content. Google heat map shows what areas of a page are typically the most effective areas to put ads.