How to increase Google AdSense click-through rate (CTR)
CTR or clickthrough rate in Google AdSense is the number of clicks your ads receive vs. the number of times the ads are displayed. If your site has 100 pageviews and your ads receive 2 clicks, your site's CTR is 2%. CTR can be as low as 0.05%, or it can be more than 20%. Optimizing your site to get higher CTR could help improve your Google AdSense earnings significantly.
Steps to increase Google AdSense click-through rate (CTR):
Positioning your AdSense ads units at the right place will make a world difference in whether your site's visitors see them or not. There are certain hot spots to place your ads, though different site types would require different approaches.
Using the right color will help make your AdSense ad units more visible to your site's visitors. Color also plays a significant role in whether making a visitor click or stay away from the ads.
Ad format / size.
There are many ad sizes available to choose from for publishers in the Google AdSense program. Some ad unit sizes generally have higher CTR than the other; Google AdWords advertisers even bid more on the popular ad sizes.
Image or text ads.
Google AdSense provides the publishers with the option to display text, image, and multimedia ads for each ad unit. Publishers can also choose to let Google display both types of ads. Choosing the right ad type will help increase the CTR for your AdSense ad units.
Having more ad units would mean more ad visibility to your site's visitors. That would translate to increased clicks. Not everyone reads your site's content through your ad-optimized site. Those reading from their RSS reader can also be targeted for AdSense.
Related: How to add Google AdSense ad unit to feed
Most websites on the web today are based on Content Management System (CMS), and one thing in common between them is that they provide a search function to the site's content. Replace it with AdSense for search, and you might earn some extra money every time a visitor search on your site.
Designed for AdSense.
Most webmasters use readily available templates for their sites and then try to add AdSense units to them. It often results in bloated page design and does not provide a good user experience and low CTR. It's worth spending some effort in building or buying a template optimized for AdSense.
Google AdSense works by displaying ads relevant to a page. Relevant ads normally result in higher CTR, thus giving you higher earning. Google may sometimes have difficulty displaying relevant ads for your sites, and some things, when done to your site, will help display more relevant ads.
Different type of visitor has different CTR for your ads. Search engine and referral traffic normally give higher CTR than social and direct traffic.
Making changes to your Google AdSense strategy by applying any of the tips on this guide will require you to dig deeper into your Google AdSense earning tracking, as you'll need to know which changes work and which don't. It goes a long way than just observing the total of your Google AdSense earning.
Related: How to track Google AdSense earnings using custom channels
Related: How to track Google AdSense earnings based on URL
Related: How to track Google AdSense earnings in Google Analytics
When visitors get used to a website, they tend to develop ad-blindness, a condition where they (sometimes subconsciously) ignore ads placed on a page. Though you can't avoid it completely, there are ways for you to reduce the effect of ad blindness.
You might be tempted to optimize your site for Google AdSense to get the highest possible CTR, but you should always remember that overdoing it might cost you your visitors. Some people take ads as offending and so keeping your site clean will ensure higher earnings in the long run from increased visitors.
Related: How to increase website traffic
While all the above tips generally work, you will still need to experiment. It is because there's no one size fits all solution in implementing Google AdSense strategy, and so you'll need to make one small change at a time and see if it works for you. Keep experimenting until you're satisfied with your AdSense income.