AdSense 101 Tip: Controlling Page Width for Readability and Profitability

Apr 14th

Fluid page designs are supposed to be nice, at least in theory, but if you don't control the page presentation it is hard to maximize the advertising offer opportunity and to blend ads into the layout as best you can.

A page width set to 100% gives the ads a relatively small % of the screen width unless the ads are huge, and huge ads get ignored because they scream I AM AN AD.

If the content area is exceptionally wide it makes a page hard to read due to making the eye move further left to right on each line than is comfortable.

If you limit the page width but align it to the left the ads still may not get clicked as much because they may not be viewed as well if they are on either side of the content.

So, to make more bank per page view, it makes sense to set a page width and center the page. If you still want to make the page somewhat liquid but controllable to a maximum width you may want to use max width.

760 px is a common page width. People are migrating to bigger browsers, but more people will also be connecting to the web on mobile devices.

Another good AdSense tip is to match (or nearly match) your text size and font to that of the AdSense ads
font-size:13px
face="arial,sans-serif"
Depending on your ad units sometimes the size may change. If you right click on an AdSense frame you can view the source of that frame to get that information.

Many designers recommends setting text sizes using em instead of pixels.

Published: April 14, 2006

Comments

April 17, 2006 - 2:14am

Thanks Aaron. These are fantastic tips for those who are new to advertising on their blogs. I will be using these tips on my own site. Thanks again.

April 19, 2006 - 9:38am

Another subtle tip I discovered was to create relevant images to be placed near the ads. Not any images, but RELEVENT ones that virtually rivet for people to give some attention to the ad text (in an informative manner of course). For example, I've tried this with Adsense on a site about surfing. Next to each ad, I'd strategically place a fun, cartoon figure that pointed at the ad in a suggestive way. This does no violate the TOS so it's nice.

April 22, 2006 - 11:13pm

I am half way thru the book and am blown away at the amount of information. Not only is it incredibly informative, but I am having a hell of a lot of fun.

April 15, 2006 - 1:41am

Some sites like to exactly match the widest AdSense unit size of 728 pixels. Single-page sites often do this so they can slap a leaderboard at the top of the page. This size also works well for horizontal link units.

Also, some of the AdSense ad formats use Verdana as the font, not Arial. Drop me a note if anyone wants to know how to fake a 234 by 60 ad in HTML... it's just a bunch of nested tables.

April 15, 2006 - 1:44am

Forgot this additional comment: remember that max-width and min-width are broken in IE, use the minmax.js script (available here) to counteract it.

April 15, 2006 - 11:18am

Aaron, You are absolutely correct. The Ad CTR definitely improves if the font size matches the font of your Adsense Unit and content is centered.

I moved from a wide-screen layout to a centered fixed-width layout and have seen a nice jump in my earnings.

Thanks for sharing this with all.

May 31, 2006 - 5:01pm

Thanks for the following...

"If the content area is exceptionally wide it makes a page hard to read due to making the eye move further left to right on each line than is comfortable.

If you limit the page width but align it to the left the ads still may not get clicked as much because they may not be viewed as well if they are on either side of the content."

It's so true and something everyone should know!

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