Thanks to my work helping clients to set up and improve their AdSense ads, I am constantly looking at WordPress plugins for AdSense implementation.
My overview is a bit different than your usual Best WordPress AdSense Plugin article.
I am not adding any WordPress AdSense plugin to the list. Instead, I will focus on different use cases and the best solution for each.
The use cases are:
- A feature-rich WordPress AdSense plugin with a lot of flexibility
- Enabling AdSense Auto ads for users of other Google products
- Not using any AdSense plugin
- Alternative plugins to give a try
To add an AdSense plugin for WordPress, there needs to be some proof that it is a popular solution and can be used to manage AdSense ads.
If suitable, I will also look at each of the solutions based on the user’s persona.
- The publisher: Wants as little work with ads as possible and not get used to “just another tool”.
- The developer: Likes to play around with things and maybe even extend them, but also wants to be able to hand off tasks to users without spending too much time explaining.
- The AdOpt: Manages ads daily and needs powerful tools to do so.
I am not treating paid WordPress AdSense plugins differently than free ones. In the end, I assume that you display ads to make money.
The order of plugins is indeed expressing my preference.
Advanced Ads – The Best AdSense WordPress plugin
Advanced Ads is a powerful WordPress ad management plugin for any ad type, including dedicated AdSense support. This plugin is a no-code solution to manage your AdSense ads with rich options.
Advanced Ads is also the best free WordPress AdSense plugin with a version of Advanced Ads hosted on wordpress.org. The plugin is now installed on over 150,000 websites and covers many tasks to get started with website monetization right away.
Google AdSense users can enjoy the plugin’s convenient AdSense integration, allowing the import of AdSense ads with one click. Do you want to enable Google Auto ads? No problem. The plugin lets you do that with one click, including Auto ads on AMP pages.
Advanced Ads is the only AdSense plugin for WordPress that reports on the ad performance of the whole account, website, or individual ads.
You can also change the size of AdSense banners or, in some cases, even the type directly in the plugin.
Among these special AdSense features, Advanced Ads can automatically inject ads into existing and new content, rotate ads, and target them to specific users.
Publishers like Advanced Ads for the mentioned AdSense integration, which allows them to publish their AdSense ads without touching any code. The convenience goes so far that AdSense ads even work on AMP pages.
This WordPress AdSense plugin fixes common issues and potential policy violations, like placing AdSense on 404 pages. The Ad Health feature catches common problems and helps with their solution.
Finally, the plugin integrates perfectly with the TCF 2.0 consent standard, which is needed to serve Google AdSense ads to visitors from the EU.
A team of publishers developed Advanced Ads, so they know your situation. Their support is rated #1, and their extended manual goes far beyond simple plugin descriptions.
Developers like that the code of the Advanced Ads AdSense plugin follows WordPress standards in both interface and code. More than 100 hooks make it extremely easy to extend the plugin with your own features.
Due to their status in the WordPress community – including being WordCamp organizers and speakers – the team works closely with many other plugin developers. They are open to collaborating on integrations and resolving conflicts.
AdOpts like the scheduling feature to plan future ads, tracking ad impressions, adding frequency capping, and online and email reports. Experienced AdOpts will also like the Google Ad Manager Integration that comes with the same convenience of a no-code solution as the AdSense integration in the base plugin.
Google Site Kit – for AdSense Auto ads
Google launched its Site Kit plugin to onboard publishers into various services like Google Search Console, Google Analytics, or even Google AdSense.
One could say that Google Site Kit is not a proper WordPress AdSense plugin because it only allows to place the Auto ads code and shows basic statistics in the backend.
If you don’t know, Google Auto ads is an AdSense feature that places ads automatically on your site. They decide on the amount and size of them.
I am still ranking this plugin fairly high in my listing because placing AdSense Auto ads is enough for many publishers, so they don’t need a specific AdSense plugin for WordPress to do this. Especially those who don’t make a lot of money anyway and use other Google services as well.
Neither publishers, developers, or AdOpts find customization features when using AdSense through Site Kit. It is “set up and forget.”
If you have serious ad revenue, you will want to test different ad positions and even ad networks. Also, publishers from the EU need to implement a proper consent mechanism. This is when a dedicated WordPress AdSense plugin like Advanced Ads is needed.
For those who just started out using AdSense, check out the free Google Site Kit plugin on wordpress.org.
Not using any WordPress AdSense plugin
If you are only using Google Auto ads and don’t use any other Google services, or if you only have the Auto ads code or a single AdSense code on every page, then you might not need to install any WordPress AdSense plugin.
When you decide to use Google Auto ads, they tell you to add the code in the head of your website’s code.
After you’ve generated the AdSense code, you need to paste it between thehttps://support.google.com/adsense/answer/9274516
</head>tags of your site. We recommend you place the AdSense code on every page across your site to get the most out of AdSense.
This is what plugins like the above-mentioned Advanced Ads do when you enable their Auto ads option.
If you don’t want to use an AdSense plugin for WordPress, you need to edit a theme file, normally the
The caveat of this method is that any update of the theme files will override this change, and you would need to add the AdSense code again. If you use a constantly updated theme and have the technical skills, you could create a child theme.
For anyone with less technical experience, you could use the Custom HTML block in your sidebar or – when using Full Site Editing, anywhere else in your theme where it shows up on every page.
While AdSense does not recommend this approach, it works and will not be overridden by updates.
The downside of this method is that I have seen many publishers forget where they inserted the AdSense Auto ads code and repeat the process with the same code in multiple positions. This makes it hard for anyone else to find all the code instances later.
As a developer, I used this approach on multiple of my websites. As a publisher, I prefer an AdSense plugin for WordPress like Advanced Ads to enable the Auto ads code or manage individual AdSense codes. This allows my AdOpts to find and adjust them anytime.
While you can manually place specific AdSense ad codes into the content of posts using the Custom HTML block, I’d recommend using a plugin that can auto-inject such codes, like the content placement in Advanced Ads. These plugins automatically add the code to any old and new post, saving you a lot of time.
AdRotate – the plugin alternative
AdRotate is the oldest plugin in the list and might once have been called the most popular ads and AdSense plugin for WordPress. I still remember when people first told me about it in a session I gave on ad optimization in 2012. Since then, the developer has focused on other projects.
The free version offers flexible ad management with basic settings. The interface is simple and clean.
Once you have installed the free version from the WordPress repository, you will notice many disabled options. It seems like 2/3 of the backend content is just a dummy of features from the pro version. I sympathize entirely with a plugin author offering additional paid services. In this case, however, I think he overdoes it a bit. There is surely a benefit in the commercial version, e.g., the advanced reporting and planning. Still, the great usability from the first glance loses a lot when you desperately click dummy checkboxes.
Overall, AdRotate has a nice interface presenting the available options. While not necessary for a WordPress AdSense plugin, the scheduling section is also nice if you decide to publish AdSense ads only for a while. Only the click tracking doesn’t work on AdSense ads. That is a challenge that Advanced Ads has already resolved.
Quick AdSense – the simplest plugin
Based on the reviews and downloads, the Quick AdSense plugin is slim, simple to use, and comes with an option to experiment with ad placements in posts. For someone who needs only up to 10 ad codes and doesn’t know how to edit template files, Quick AdSense seems to be an ideal solution.
As significant limitations, even for smaller websites, I would mention that placing ads outside the post content or widgets isn’t supported. In most cases, publishers also want to use banners outside the main wrapper or in the header.
Suppose you don’t like plugins that have a paid offer and neither need to inject ads automatically into the content of posts nor need statistics and conditions. In that case, Quick AdSense is the simplest AdSense plugin for WordPress that I can currently recommend.
Find the Quick AdSense plugin on wordpress.org.