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How to Add Google Adsense to Your WordPress Website

If you’re a blogger or content creator, hosting ads on your website is one of the easiest ways to start earning money from your passion.

In this guide, we’ll cover how to start using Google AdSense to monetize your blog. By the end, you’ll be ready to start earning passive income from your WordPress website.

What Is Google AdSense?

In the simplest possible terms, Google AdSense is a way to get ads on websites.

For content creators, Google AdSense provides a way to monetize your website by hosting and displaying ads. For advertisers, it offers a way to place your ads on websites that are in the AdSense network.

In more technical terms, Google AdSense is an advertising network (or ad network) that allows website owners to host text, image, video, and interactive ads on their websites without working directly with advertisers. Instead, website owners need only sign up for AdSense, configure some settings, and Google will find the advertisers, run the ads, collect the fees, and send you the payments.

AdSense also takes care of targeting by looking at a site’s content and audience, so the ads that appear on any given website will almost always be relevant to the visitors. This makes advertising a lot easier for both ad hosts and advertisers as they don’t need to coordinate with each other.

Each ad is paid for on a CPC (cost per click) basis. Essentially, that means that every time someone clicks on one of the ads, the advertiser pays, and the hosting site gets paid. Each click’s precise cost depends on a slew of different factors, including the niche, ad size, website quality, geography, and ad viewability.

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Why You Should Consider Putting Ads on Your Site

If you’re a blogger, content creator, or another type of website owner, on-site ads are one of the easiest and most popular ways to monetize your site. The AdSense platform gives you a substantial amount of control over how obvious and intrusive your ads are, so you can maintain a solid user experience while still turning your blog into a business that generates passive income.

While there are lots of different platforms that will place ads on your site, Google AdSense is one of the safest and most reputable. Plus, the network is also one of the largest around, with over 10 million websites linked into it. As a result, the chances of getting matched with ads that are relevant to your visitors is much higher than other alternatives, even in very specific niches.

However, selling ad space on your website isn’t always the best idea. E-commerce stores, for example, generally shouldn’t host ads since they may just send your customers to other competing websites. For that reason, on-site ads are generally best-suited for blogs, news sites, and any other websites that aren’t directly selling a product.

How To Create a Google AdSense Account

Creating a Google AdSense account is easy. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance you already have one.

If you have a Google account for services like Gmail, Docs, or Drive, you already have access to Google AdSense. If you don’t, then you’ll need to create one.

To do so, navigate to the AdSense landing page and click the blue “Get Started” button in the top right corner of the site. From there, you’ll be brought to a signup page where you’ll enter some basic information about your website.

If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll be prompted to make one. If you do, your account will be automatically linked. All you need to do is hit “Create Account” when the button appears, and you’re all set.

After that, you’ll need to wait for your AdSense account to be approved. Unfortunately, not all accounts are approved, especially those from brand new websites.

If your account isn’t approved, Google will send an email that details why your account was rejected. This is usually because of a lack of content, issues with the site’s code, security vulnerabilities, or seemingly plagiarized content.

Brand new sites are often rejected because they don’t have enough content at the time of their application. If this is the case, you can reapply at a later time. However, make sure you’ve fixed any potential issues and added some more content before you reapply or you’ll get the same result.

How to Connect Your Google AdSense Account to Your WordPress Site

While you’re waiting for AdSense approval, you can start connecting your account to your WordPress site. There are several different ways to do this. However, Google officially recommends using Site Kit, the company’s Adsense plugin. If you’re new to AdSense, it’s the best way to get started!

Google’s Site Kit WordPress Plugin landing page

The process is simple:

  1. To start, navigate to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. In the Plugins menu, click Add New to add a new WordPress plugin.
  3. From there, search for “Site Kit by Google” and click Install Now once you’ve found it.
  4. Click Activate.
  5. Next, click Start Setup to begin the initial setup process.

Site Kit will take you through a setup wizard, after which Site Kit will be activated and ready.

To connect Site Kit to AdSense, navigate to either the Site Kit dashboard or the Settings tab, find AdSense, and click Add Service. Then, just follow the instructions to connect.

During the setup process, Site Kit will ask you to select whether you will allow it to place the AdSense code. Google recommends that you allow it to do this.

If you don’t want to follow Google’s advice, you can connect AdSense to your WordPress site by adding code to your site’s header. You can do this by using a plugin that injects code into the header and footer, like the Head, Footer, and Post Injections plugin. Just install the plugin and then use it to inject your AdSense code.

How to Create Ad Units in Google AdSense

The next step to getting ads running on your site is to create ad units in AdSense.

Essentially, an ad unit is one instance of AdSense code that’s used to display ads — think of it kind of like a billboard. You first need to build the billboard; then you can start placing ads on it.

However, you won’t have a say in the actual ads that go up on those billboards (ad units). That will be determined by the visitor’s history.

Google offers several different types of ad units to choose from:

  • Display ad: These are the most common ad type. They look like a typical banner ad, generally with an image and some text. They are responsive and can also display fixed ad sizes.
  • In-feed ad: This type of Google ad is displayed within a feed, such as a list of articles or products. For example, if you run a news or blog site, an in-feed ad would be displayed within a list of other articles on your site.
  • In-article ad: This kind of AdSense ad is displayed in between the paragraphs of an article or other piece of text content.
  • Matched content ad: These ads are typically displayed at the bottom of an article. They include a group of headlines and matching thumbnails for content that’s similar to the current page.

If you want to display several ads in different parts of your site — such as the sidebar, near the footer, and within your articles’ text — you’ll need to create an ad unit for each one, even if they’re all the same type.

To create a new ad unit, you’ll need your account to be activated. Once it’s activated, go to your Google AdSense account, navigate to Ads, then Overview, and click the Ad Unit tab.

From here, you will be able to choose which ad unit you’d like to create. Just make your selection, and follow the instructions to create it.

How to Insert Ads from Google Adsense in Your WordPress Site

If you’re using Site Kit, adding ads to your site is incredibly straightforward. In fact, once you’ve set up Site Kit, ads will automatically be added to your site as soon as your account is approved.

Site Kit is the easiest way to insert ads on your site because it analyzes your site and decides the best spots to place ads. Then, it will pick relevant ads for you. It’s essentially ad hosting on autopilot – all you need to do is turn it on, and it will do all the heavy lifting for you.

If you’d like to have some more control over ad placement, you can use a plugin to insert the ad code or insert it manually. This is a good option for more advanced users experienced with WordPress or coding, as it will give you the highest level of control over how your ads are displayed.

However, if you’re brand new to Google AdSense, it’s likely best to follow Google’s recommendations and use Site Kit until you get a better handle on the platform. You’ll sacrifice some control, but you’ll also spend a lot less time fiddling with code.

How to Change the Way Your Ads Look

Unfortunately, if you’re using Site Kit as Google recommends, you won’t be able to change the way your ads look — that’s the sacrifice you make for ease of use and hands-off ad placement. Site Kit is designed to optimize your ad layouts automatically, so it wouldn’t make sense for you to alter them yourself.

If you’re not using Site Kit, how you can change your ad layout will depend on the method you’re using.

If you placed your ads using a plugin, you can typically modify their layouts from within the plugin’s settings. If you inserted the code manually, you’ll need to manually edit the code to alter the display settings.

Getting the Most from Google AdSense with WordPress

The beauty of Google AdSense is that it takes a lot of the work associated with running ads out of your hands. No matter how you place ads on your site, you’ll never have to worry about dealing directly with advertisers and choosing which ads you want to run — Google does all that for you.

Site Kit takes things a step further by automatically optimizing ad layouts and placements for your site. That means that you don’t even have to choose where and how to place your ads — Google can handle that too.

However, if you’re not using Site Kit, it’s important to learn how to optimize your ads yourself. The most important thing to keep in mind when placing ads yourself is that visitors are coming for your site, not your ads. Even though ads may be your ticket to monetization, you need to ensure they don’t negatively affect the user experience — place too many ads, and your visitors will find your site spammy and stop coming back.

Placing ads on your site is a skill that takes a while to develop. A good way to start is to use Site Kit to get a baseline, manually copying what it does, and then making slight changes.

Overall, you’ll need to experiment and keep an eye on your analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t.

How to Use Google AdSense with Google AMP

Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an open-source project designed to optimize page loading speeds on mobile devices. Considering that a huge portion of web traffic is from mobile devices, using AMP can be very useful for your site.

Luckily, adding AMP to your site is easy. To do so, you can use one of the many AMP WordPress plugins, like AMP for WP.

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The Bottom Line

Google AdSense provides one of the best and easiest ways for bloggers and content creators to monetize a WordPress website. With the recent creation of Site Kit, earning passive income from your site is easier than ever.

If you’re ready to set up your blog and start earning passive income, the first step is to build a site. Be sure to check out  DreamHost’s WordPress hosting options; they’re ideal for bloggers and content creators.

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If you have questions or just could use some help figuring some thing out, get in touch. Our team of web experts has been in the business for over 20 years and knows how to help you figure out the right next steps.