AdSense Link Units are the text links that are being provided by AdSense for advertisements. They are a continuous list of links which are actually ads. A recent update on link units specify that the number of topics in link units is reduced to 4 in case of horizontal orientations and 3 in case of vertical orientations. Links units can be easily blended inside a website, if done properly. This process is called link units optimization.
As the name implies, they only contain links as opposed to other AdSense ad types which contains some kind of information. AdSense link units are highly popular as they can be blended easily in overall layout of your site. They are non-intrusive and take very small space on the page. This does not mean that you place them anywhere within your site. There are some specific hot spots where they perform really well. Here are some rules for optimizing link units.
AdSense link units should be easily visible to the visitor as soon as he/she comes to your site. For this heat maps are used. The most preferred place for link units is to make it left align with the content of your site. Also one can place link units at the top of the page above the fold where it will be easily visible to users.
This is a crucial factor in determining the performance of adsense link units. The color of the link units should be of the same color as all the other links in site. This is done to make to link units an integral part of your content. This way you can increase your Click through rate. Although some webmasters think that it’s deceptive to use this tactic. But as long as Google has no problem, you can use this technique.
Remove the borders:
When you have border around your link units, people tend to perceive that it’s just another advertisement, thereby resulting in ad blindness. You want your audiences to take a look at your advertisements. Remove the borders around your links to integrate it with your web design.
It’s a good practice to place your AdSense link units in such a manner that they appear as a part of navigation scheme. This forces the visitors to take a look at units. The number of clicks on the ads increases in this manner.
Main content unit:
Place link units within the main content area. These units perform well as compared to other units which are placed at a separate distance from main content as they are bound to be seen by your audiences, provided they read your content.
Surround them with targeted content:
The performance of a link unit depends greatly on the content surrounding it. People click on link unit depending on the surrounding content. Surround link units with keyword rich content which helps visitors to explore new information.
Section targeting should be done to avoid irrelevant advertisements to get displayed on your page.
Some publishers think that using more and more link units will increase their revenue. But this is not the case. Avoid congestion and clutter of link units in content. It really annoys visitors.
Use Ad channels to track performance of each link unit and to do a comparative analysis. Knowing your fault and rectifying it quickly will be easier with ad channel.
Do not reuse colors:
Check off the option of Reuse colors in the settings of Link units. It reuses the same settings of color once the link unit is clicked. Checking off the option will display list of links with white background and blue links which is the best for maximum CTR.
Do not place link units adjacent to each other:
Placing them side by side implies that they are competing with each other to get clicks. Home them at separate places which gives them chance to prove their worth.
Below is the picture of actual AdSense link units used in a website/web page.
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