Today we are looking at a plugin named AmpedSense, which is a plugin for displaying Adsense ads by Google on your WordPress website. As well as provising an easy method for inserting the adsense code into your WordPress site, it aims to increase your earnings by allowing you to run A/B split-tests to determine which ads perform the best for your site.
You can use the plugin to test out different placements, different size banners, different types of unit ( Banners, Text or Link Units etc ), the quantity of ads on the page and it comes with integrated reporting so you can see your stats from within WordPress.
In this review, we will take a look at how to set up the plugin, create split-tests for ads and segment your traffic.
Here is a full run-down of the features of AmpedSense taken from their website:
- Optimize ad placement - Do you know if it’s better to place your ads above or below your content? In the sidebar? What about embedded within your articles? Test various standard positions as well as custom positions with our widget.
- Optimize ad size - There are 18 different ad sizes (that’s a lot!). Does bigger get you more revenue?
- Optimize ad type - Display ads vs text ads vs link units? Which give you the most earnings?
- Optimize ad colors - Stick with Google’s default, or try to match the color scheme of your own site?
- Optimize ad quantity - Will you get more earnings if you place multiple ads on your page? Test one ad vs many ads to see if it’s more profitable, or just more annoying to your visitors.
- Easy to use - No need to insert code or modify any html files. Just upload the plugin and everything’s done through a simple settings panel in wordpress.
- Integrated reporting - Easily view stats within wordpress (we’ll pull the essential analytics from AdSense automatically), or go direct to AdSense and run custom reports.
- Test unproven AdSense ads - Google just released a new ad type? Test beta ad units (such as their new ‘responsive ads’) before they’re proven.
- Multiple tests for different content - Want to run some ads on pages, and another set on posts? No problem. Want to place specific ads on your homepage vs the rest of your site? Simple.
- Exclude specific pages/posts - No one wants ads on their contact page. Easily choose which pages or posts to exclude from receiving ads.
- Desktop vs Mobile - Do responsive ads work better on mobile than on desktop? Segment different ads to run on your mobile traffic.
After uploading and activating the AmpedSense plugin, you will see a new menu item added to your admin named "AmpedSense", once you visit this for the first time you will see a welcome message which prompts you to authenticated your account.
Clicking through you will be taken to Google where you can authorise the application to view your adsense data. After clicking the "Allow" button you will be redirected back to your WordPress site.
The next step is to choose your Adsense publisher ID from the dropdown menu and enter a 3 letter site abbreviation which will be used as a prefix in reports. Once that's done, you can being the process of adding Adsense to your site and running some tests.
Creating a Split Test
To get started using the plugin, you should visit the "Split Tests" link and click the "Create New Recipe" link. From here you can then choose how many ads to show on the page, and choose from an Adsense, Responsive or Custom HTML advert to place. If you choose the responsive option you will need to grab the code directly from your Google Adsense account, the custom HTML option is if you wish to use the plugin to place normal banner codes.
If you select the Adsense option, you can then choose the Ad size from a drop down box, and choose an ad type from Text & Image ads, Text Ads or Image only ads.
Next, you can choose a location for the ad to be placed, luckily there are a lot of available positions to choose from such as above the post, inside post ( you can choose a place within the post text), alignment options, sidebar positions and shortcode positions.
After selecting a position, you can give the ad some padding and choose between default ad colors or customize them to match your theme. The colors are set using a slider or you can enter the hex values directly into the box.
The final step is to give your recipe a name, the plugin will then generate a channel name for the test which you must enter into Google Adsense by clicking the link and once in Google, click the "New Custom Channel" button and pasting it in. Save your Ad recipe and it will start showing on your site.
Of course, to make the most of this plugin you will want to run some split tests so you can determine which ad performs best for you, so go back to your "Split Tests" page from the menu, click the "Duplicate" icon and you can set up another variant using the same data.
You should then choose something to change about the ad which you can test, common things to change would be :
- Position of the Ad
- Color of the Ad
- Size of the Ad
- Ad Type
I would recommend testing one change at a time, depending on your site's traffic levels it could take a few days or weeks to get the relevant data you need to make a decision.
Another feature of this plugin is the ability to use "Segments" which means segmenting your traffic into smaller groups. For example, you can show different ads on your homepage to your posts, prevent ads showing on specific pages, change to responsive adverts for mobile visitors and so on.
To use this feature, visit the "Segments" link and click to "Create a New Segment". You can then choose to target specific devices such as desktops, tablets, phones etc.
You could also choose to segment by criteria such as pages, posts, homepage, specific pages and posts or by post category.
Once you have created your segment, you can go back to the "Split Tests" page, and create new recipes for that specific segment and refine your testing even further.
Your stats are located under the "Split Test" menu link, you will see all your recipes you created listed along with the start date and you can view the page views, clicks, CTR, RPM and your Earnings to help you decide which is the winner to use.
There are 2 pricing points for this plugin, the standard license allows you to use it on one website with 3 months support for $59 and the ultimate includes lifetime support and usage on unlimited websites for $79.
A nice touch is the fact that the plugin comes with a 30 day money back guarantee so its a risk-free proposition - you can test it out to see if you like it and whether it helps increase your income.
AmpedSense feels like a very well made plugin to me, setup was very easy to do and the interface is clean, clear and easy to see what you should be doing. It uses the native WordPress admin UI which is always preferable so you should feel right at home using it.
The amount of testing options and variants available is very good but not overly complicated to use. I can see how this would be successful in helping you optimize ads for your site, depending on your traffic levels you should be able to see results fairly quickly and with some well thought-out testing I'm fairly sure you will be able to increase your income using it.
One thing I did notice that was missing was in the segment section, there is no option to segment custom post types - It would be nice to be able to target these as well. It's not a huge problem though as you can use the shortcode feature to manually place the code in your theme files, so you would need to add the provided code into the template file for your custom post type which might be a little daunting to beginners so I'd like to see this added to really round out the plugin.
In conclusion, this is a very accomplished plugin which worked brilliantly under my testing, take a look if you are thinking of using Adsense with WordPress and would like to increase your income via split-testing.