Some WordPress themes have built in features for this, but as the theme I chose for my new blog was without them, I needed to find some other way of handling my AdSense ads within my content and sidebars.After reading up on and trying out several different WP plug-ins I settled on AdSense Optimizer. Having set it up and used it over both the initial blog build and my first few posts, I thought it might be of use to post a quick review of its features. Who knows it may be just what you have been looking for for your own blog project!
What is AdSense Optimizer?
Putting AdSense code into an HTML widget in your blog’s sidebar is straightforward enough, but what if you want adverts in every post, or in the middle of longer posts, or banner ads etc? What if you want to customise the appearance or colour scheme of your ads, what if you wanted to do that after your blog already had 100 posts?
All of the above things could take a considerable amount of work up front, or require in-depth skills to change your theme’s code, and also the thought of altering them retrospectively is not an enticing prospect!
AdSense Optimizer is a useful plug-in that can handle most of this work for you and give you the flexibility to easily experiment with ad placement, ad type and ad colour schemes.
Another useful aspect, is that since AdSense has strict rules on how many advert blocks can be visible on a single page, AdSense Optimizer can help you to stay within the rules. If the rules were to change in the future, it could also help you to get your blog back into compliance.
How do I Install?
Installation was painless and it did not interfere with any plug-ins I already had installed. I searched for the plug-in and used the auto-install functionality in WP, but you can just as easily download from the link above, unpack and manually copy the files into your plug-ins directory. The site also has fairly comprehensive setup instructions once you have the plug-in installed.
How Flexible is it?
Very flexible, has to be the answer to that question. Once you have put in your AdSense publisher ID and an AdSense tracking code if you want to use one, you then go on to set up what type of ads you want to display and where you want to display them.
First off, in the “Adjust Your Ads” section you can pre-define eight different ad types, name them for easy reference, set the colour scheme etc.
Then, under “Where to Show Ads”, you can set where the above ad types appear within both individual posts, and on pages with multiple posts, such as your home page and archive pages.
One other nice feature worth mentioning is the ad test. If you turn this on, then when logged into your blog as an admin you can test click your own ads without upsetting the powers that be at the big G.
All really simple and straightforward, but also very flexible.
One other thing that I wanted to do with my new blog was to have an AdSense category bar right across the top of the page carrying five AdSense categories. I achieved this using the AdSense on Top plug-in which is available from the same site, and requires AdSense Optimizer to be installed first.
I’ve already seen how much time and effort the AdSense Optimizer plug-in is going to save me on my new blog project, so if you are using AdSense on an existing WP blog or new project you might want to give it a try.
If you already use this plug-in or you have your own favourite plug-in for AdSense, do leave a comment a let us know what you think.