How to set up AdSense Matched Content Ads in WordPress

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Matched content is a free recommendation service that offers you a simple thanks to promote your content to your site visitors. By offering your readers more content that’s relevant to them, you’ll increase your site’s page views, the time spent on your site, reader loyalty, ad impressions, and ultimately ad revenue.Matched content recommendations are based on topic similarity and are personalized for the reader. Our experiments show that on average Matched content recommendations increase the number of pages viewed by 9% and the time spent on site by 10%. See this Inside AdSense blog post for more information.

How to Create Matched Content Ads?

If you have an eligible site under your account, there are two ways to create content recommendations. One is to create separate ad unit and other is to use auto ads feature.

Create Matched Content Ad Unit

We recommend to create separate ad unit as using auto ads may mess up the display on your site. After logging in to your account, go to “Ads > Overview > By ad unit” section.

Matched Content Ad

The process is same like creating any other ad unit and in this case select “Matched content” option. On the next page, you’ll see the display of content recommendations from your site with the options to customize.
1. Select the eligible sites from the list to view the recommendations in the preview pane.
2. A unique name for your ad.
3. Ad options – choose whether you want to monetize your recommendations. we will explain more on this below.
4. Style – customize the font, title color and background color for your ad area.
5. Size – you’ve got two options to choose from – responsive and custom. Unless, you have specific size of container on your site, we recommend to select “Responsive” option. If you want to use “Custom” option, Google recommends to use width:height ratio as 2:1 for horizontal placements and 1:2 for vertical placements.
6. in addition, you can also drag the slider to resize the ad area to adjust the ad size.

Custamize Ad Unit

After finishing your setup, click on “SAVE and get CODE” button. Copy the code snippet and insert on your site to display matched content ads. it’s going to take sometime for Google to show ads on your site, therefore wait for 15 to half-hour to see whether everything looks fine.

How to set up AdSense Matched Content

Follow these steps to generate the code for a Matched Content ad in your AdSense account.

  • log in to your AdSense account
  • navigate to My Ads > Ad units
  • click on New ad unit
  • select Matched content
  • choose the site this unit is meant for in the Your eligible sites option (only for the preview, though)
  • enter a name of the ad unit at the top right of the screen
  • set the necessary options (keep defaults or see below)
  • click on Save and get Code
  • click on COPY CODE SNIPPET
Matched content

Choosing additional options

The most important additional choice to choose is whether to monetize the Matched Content unit or not. The default setting is to use ads within the unit. it is entirely up to you whether you want that or not.

I would keep the other options to default, especially the size set to Responsive, since most themes have responsive layouts with different sizes for mobile and desktop.

Insert AdSense Matched Content code in WordPress

Once you copied the Matched Content code, you can place it on your site, preferably below the content or in the sidebar. You can do this manually for posts and use a simple WordPress HTML widget for the sidebar.

You can also inject Matched Content ads automatically below any posts and even customize it without ever touching the code by using the Advanced Ads plugin. Just follow the instructions below.

Installing Advanced Ads

To get Advanced Ads, just log in to your WordPress dashboard and follow the steps below or this video tutorial.

  • click on Plugins in the WordPress menu
  • click on Add New on top of the plugin page
  • search for Advanced Ads in the search field
  • select Advanced Ads from the results and click Install and Activate
Advanced Ads
  • After you activated the plugin, you can go to Advanced Ads > Settings > AdSense
  • Enter the publisher ID in the AdSense ID field. You can find it in the URL when you are logged into your AdSense account.

Placing the Matched Content ad below posts

Before you can automatically inject and customize the Matched Content ad, you need to create it in Advanced Ads.

  • go to Advanced Ads > Ads and click on New ad
  • you can keep the Wizard enabled or click on Stop Wizard to see all options on the same page
  • enter a title for the ad
  • choose AdSense Ad as the ad type
  • go to the Ad Parameters box and enter the code you just got from the AdSense account into the text field
  • click on Get Details
  • set more options for Matched Content (not needed, but see below for more information)

In most cases, you would want to show Matched Content only on posts and not on pages or other types of content.

  • scroll down to the Display Conditions box
  • choose Post Type and add it
  • select the Posts option like in the screenshot below
Display Conditions

click on the Publish button at the right to save the ad.

After you saved the advertisement, a box with potential placements should show up. Click on the placement that is highlighted in the image below.

display ads

After you selected the placement, the Matched Content code will be added to your site. AdSense might take up to 30 minutes to actually show the Matched Content unit.

Don’t forget to clear your cache if your site uses one.

Advanced Options for Matched Content

The Responsive add-on comes with the option to customize the layout and size of the Matched Content ad unit. Those options are not available through the AdSense backend.

Layout Display

Display Matched Content on AMP pages

The Responsive add-on can also convert your Matched Content ad unit into the appropriate AMP format automatically so that you can make use of it on this specific page format as well.

You can choose between an automatic conversion or set up another size through the additional options.

AMP Display

Reporting for Matched Content ads

You can analyze the performance of your Matched Content ads through your AdSense account.

  • Go to My Reports > Default reports
  • select Ad Types in the Report Type option

You should find the Matched Content performance in the report now.

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