Where to place your Adsense link units for best/maximum income
If you're an Adsense user, chances are you're using link units too - most Adsense users are using link units nowadays. Also, chances are that you aren't making as much money as you would like to be making off of them. Link units are a whole different ballgame compared to ad units - the way they work is different, as is where you should put them if you want the most clicks that you can get, and therefore the highest income that you can possibly get. They're not as easy a game, in my opinion, as the ad units. Your CPC is usually lower, as is your overall CTR.
So we all know this: The way link units work is, individual words appear as links, and when you click one, you get sent to a Google landing page with nothing but sponsored links/search results. Often users who click a link unit will see all of these as search results, and click on multiple ads. Or often, they will click none of them, and you get no revenue.
So how do you maximize the first one happening, and not the second one?
I've found three optimal locations to put your link units. First of all, before you take my advice: Don't put them in the same location as your ad units. You don't want them to compete with each other - you want them to complement each other. If you put an ad unit and a link unit next to, or right above each other, they will compete.
My favorite place to put your link units: your sidebar/navigation menu. You can very easily blend the color of the links in with the color of your navigation links, and when placing it here, you tend to get a lot of clicks from folks who want to see more of your site. The links here tend to have the highest CTR, in my experiences, but my next location isn't far behind.
Second best place for links: Right below the header. If you don't have any ad-units here, I recommend putting a straight line of link units up here. Up here, I get a lot of clicks as well, and the reason for that is obvious: More people see them up here. The more people see your links, the more people click them.
Third best place for links: The top of your first post/the top of your content. The reason here is just as simple as the last one: More people read, more people click. It's just the same as the reasoning for the last one. But again, do not put them here if you already have ad units here, as they will compete with each other and drive down each other's CTR.
Fourth best place for links: Between posts/content. Again, this is my favorite place to put ad units, so I do NOT put link units here. But because people will stumble upon them as they read your posts, this is a good place to put your link units if you do not put your ad units here.
I see a lot of people recommend the bottom of the page, but I've NEVER gotten any clicks off of the bottom of the page. Why? Dunno, I just know that nobody clicks ads down there, be they ad units or link units. Most users don't tend to read that far, and if they do, they're looking for something specific, so my guess is, when they see the bottom of the page and they don't find exactly what they want, they bounce.
Should you use both link units and ad units? Yes. Don't just use one or the other unless you absolutely HAVE to. Why would you minimize your chance for revenue? Maximize it by using both.
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