I get to see WordPress Twenty Thirty Theme with the WordPress 3.6 upgrade. After some initial tests I activated it on my primary domain. After running it for a few weeks, I observed a slight drop in CTR. Though this was my primary domain, this slight drop in Click Through Rate highly impacted my AdSense earnings of previous month. So I took a brief look of this Twenty Thirty Theme and found some possible problem areas which were root cause of drop in AdSense CTR. After fixing the basic problems my site is looking more beautiful in the same theme and I am gaining back a good Click Through Rate since last couple of weeks. Here are some minor customization I did with Twenty Thirteen Theme.
The header of this theme was too big, it was occupying almost 40% of the area on the screen when the page is loaded. Further scrolling was showing the content and Ads. This elegant look was very friendly for readers and looking like a vintage newspaper look for the blog. But I doubt that all users really liked this idea. However, I didn’t. Hence i reduced the header size.
There is a simple way to reduce the header size in WordPress Twenty Thirteen Theme. Just replace the first code below with the later one.
But before doing this, remember to take the backup of your style.css file so that you can restore it in any mishap.
The font size of Post Title was too large, and it was causing problems to get users to actual posts and Ads around that. There is no direct option in the theme to reduce the post size of title but you can do that from style.css file.
Change the below code in style.css to the later
margin: 0 0 5px;
margin: 0 0 5px;
This changed the size of post titles and after this change the main post body came upwards in the page and visible in the first look.
Link Unit in Menu Bar
There is a menu bar beneath the header in Twenty Thirteen theme which is don’t use because I have very high number of categories in my site. Rather than wasting this space, I put a link unit in the menu bar which is engaging and appealing compared to a blank space. But for this you have to do little customization in your site and adsense code. Follow these steps
- Look for string <?php get_search_form(); ?> in header.php file
- Put your adsense code for horizontal link unit just before this string
- Keep the adsense code in <center> </center> tags
- While generating adsense code, keep the background color #f7f5e7; as it will match the background color of menu bar
Smart Ad Placement in Twenty Thirteen Theme
Now the blogging world is changed and aggressive advertisement will not earn you good revenue, but it will penalize you in terms of SERP. Hence write the blog for readers and not for making money. For Twenty Thirty Theme Ad placement, you can accommodate 3 link units and 3 ads (and possibly one search bar) gracefully which will result in greater CTR without impacting user experience. Follow below steps
- Get some adsense plugin i.e. Quick Adsense and put a large rectangle just before the post content. Believe me, this will become your highest earning Ad Unit.
- Put your categories and 5 to 10 recent posts in sidebar. Then put a 250 x 250 square in sidebar, it will fit so gracefully that sometimes user my not recognize it as an advertisement.
- Put 300 x 600 verticle bar, which is one of the best adsense ad unit at the bottom of the post, just after the content. Make a table and put this ad unit in left and keep two link units in right.
- See this site for the live demonstration of above steps.
These simple steps will help you to improvise the WordPress Twenty Thirteen Theme from end user experience point of view and also get you a good CTR without any compromise on user experience.