CTR Theme Review – How We Set It Up

So after releasing our post about on page optimization, we were asked to do a more in depth ctr theme review. Needless to say, we’ve listened to you and decided to do just that. But first of all, why would someone use ctr theme to begin with? Is it really all that great? Does it really improve click through rate?

Well, If you guys know us by now, then you know we don’t promote anything that we don’t use and stand behind 100%. And if a better product comes out, or the product we promote starts to fail, then we immediately let you know.

The bottom line is, CTR theme works… and it works really well!

Some of our click through rates using the CTR theme:

adsense ctr theme

Now before you go thinking, “omg, this will change everything and I can now make millions with my low earning sites!”, I want you to know that I HIGHLY give MORE credit of this click through rate to the KEYWORDS that were chosen via our keyword research methods. The CTR theme only helped to capitalize on these winning keywords.

CTR Theme Review – Tutorial

* Click on the button on the bottom right of the video to make it Full Screen.

Sites/Tools Used In The Video
CTR Theme (affiliate)


These are the changes highlighted in the video:

– We do not use “pushdown images” because after Googles Panda Update, they made it clear that they like to see content above the fold. Therefore, we like to have a couple ads at the top of our page with content still showing up above the fold.

ctr theme

– You can change the site colors if you want to make your sites unique. We normally don’t change the color scheme.

– We disable the CTR footer link.

– The ad sizes we add are 160×600, 336×280, and 728×15.

– These are the layouts that we find work best:
ctr theme review

* The filled in arrow points to the layout that seems to work the absolute best.
** The Fact that CTR theme rotates ads every time the page is visited can increase the amount of times that the same visitor clicks on an add. This can lead to a much higher CTR.

– If you’d like to split test the layouts yourself you can do so by adding a custom channel in adsense and entering the name of the custom channel into the “Track Layout Performances” box.

– We don’t use the homepage SEO options provided by CTR theme. Instead, we like to use the Platinum SEO plugin. The details of how to set up this plugin are covered in our post here.

The Overall CTR Theme Review

Overall, this theme works wonders for niche sites. However, you can’t expect to have a high click through rate just because you slap this theme on. You MUST accompany it with good keyword research and a well written article. If you combine these, then you’ll have a winning recipe that will snag you high earnings.

If you like this theme and are considering purchasing through our affiliate link, thank you very much!

I hope you learned something new from our CTR theme review. If you did, make sure to like and share it below…

We wish you all the best!
Josh @ WSOtesters

"Start Making Money"
Learn How We Do It! Get An Inside Look And Never Miss A Beat.

  1. JojoJojo07-31-2012

    30% seems too high…

    • Josh E.Josh E.08-01-2012

      Hey Jojo, As long as it’s real clicks, and you’re not coaxing people to click on them then it’s fine.

      There really are just niches out there that get ridiculous click through rates. When you have an extremely high buying intent keyword combined with great advertisers who knows how to market, then you end up with pots of gold. When we find them, we capitalize on it them and build as many sites as we can around them. For example that screenshot came all from ONE niche keyword, in which we’ve built multiple sites around.

      • steve wymansteve wyman08-01-2012


        Using CTR on one of my sites it achieves 30-40% the average for July was 31.4%. this is very normal for a few of my site.

        The exact same theme and setup colors etc on another site yields 9%

        the reason is two fold i think 1) the target audience is looking for solutions to their needs and buy a lot on line 2) the ads delivered are very targeted for this group.

        So sure the niche matters but also the fit of the ads to the market.

        sadly the cpc is very low 🙁

  2. Paul KostoffPaul Kostoff07-31-2012

    Thank you for responding to my request and i will definitely buy the CTR theme trough your affiliate link. And i recommend everyone who is interested buying the theme to do the same, because you did some effort to make it easier for us and we have to appreciate that.
    Thank you.

    • Josh E.Josh E.08-01-2012

      Thanks Paul. We really appreciate your support! I wanted to make it clear that we do listen to everyone’s input so if anyone ever has a request, don’t be afraid to ask.

  3. darrendarren07-31-2012

    I read somewhere in the past updates, that having adds at the top of your content, within the body, was negative in seo. I can’t confirm this, however I see that CTR rotates the ads. That my null the negative seo

    • Josh E.Josh E.08-01-2012

      Hey Darren. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but if it is, then the negative affects are not enough to keep the sites from ranking. Googles team needs to start talking to each other though. I read somewhere that someone received an email tip from Google recommending an “aggressive ad layout” for his page; and on the same day the panda update for “too many ads above the fold” came out.

      • steve wymansteve wyman08-01-2012

        there is no negative seo effect from having adsense ads placed in these areas. their images after all and not text even when they look like text.

        Google doesn’t index the google adsense ads. they are dynamic and not part of the text or seo of the site.

        The ads do “rely” on seo of the page for context to display ads.


  4. Tyler HermanTyler Herman07-31-2012

    That theme is insanely ugly but I guess if the sole purpose is getting attention to your ads that may be a good thing.

    I like the ad display swapping feature, never tried anything like that before. I don’t really care for WordPress cause i like making more customized, larger sites but I’m going to try to come up with a little script to accomplish it if possible.

    • Josh E.Josh E.08-01-2012

      Yea, it’s really a basic looking site. But it gets the job done.

  5. Mike From MaineMike From Maine07-31-2012

    Hey guys,

    I also use the CTR theme on all my sites…it gets great results. I think the Adsense Flippers are coming out with a theme in the next few months that will directly compete with the CTR theme. I’ll definitely be checking that out too and comparing them.

    If you want a theme that will get great clicks for now then definitely pick up the CTR theme.

    • Josh E.Josh E.08-01-2012

      Hey Mike. I’m exited to see their theme as well. I’m sure it’ll be gold.

  6. JayJay08-01-2012

    Another great video by wso testers!! For the layouts do you select all 3 at the same time for each sight or pick 1 at a time? When I decide to buy I will buy through you link.

    P.S Any backlinking videos….would like to buy Magic Submitter but wouldn’t know where to start.


    • Josh E.Josh E.08-01-2012

      I tell our VA to randomly select either the top 2 or select all 3. I know that’s not a direct answer, but to put it simply, you shouldn’t think too much on it because any combination of those 3 work well.

  7. steve wymansteve wyman08-01-2012

    Hi Josh

    Very usefull review and explanation of the theme. After penquin and the above the fold issues I stopped using the road block layout. (two 336×280 blocks at the top) as I was concerned by the space it takes.

    It is the best conversion though!

    So are you using it on all your sites (with the rotation of course)?


    • Josh E.Josh E.08-02-2012

      Hey Steve, We don’t use it on all of our sites. Our other favorite is the Niche Website Theme. And our 3rd favorite is prosense – with a few minor edits to the color.

  8. rafarafa08-01-2012

    Again, usefull info!
    Next up backlinking? Have been looking out for that video 🙂

    • Josh E.Josh E.08-02-2012

      Hey Rafa, I’ll cover indexing first…and then backlinking 🙂

  9. RayRay08-01-2012

    Hey Josh, I was looking at seomoz links on Long Tail Pro. I think they are quite unreliable. For example I found a keyword with 8 competitors with 0 page rank, but had really high page-links according to SEOMOZ, roughly a few thousand in each. But those back-links I’m guessing are for the main site and not for the actual page. So in short, SEOMOZ links does NOT ALWAYS show SINGLE Page backlinks but the actual website backlinks. I’m confused?

    • Josh E.Josh E.08-02-2012

      Hey Ray, I’m going to guess those competitors you were referring to were sites like amazon or other huge store sites. These are the sites that I find to be a little ambiguous and can be low or medium competition. Amazon could be really easy to beat for on keyword, but then on another keyword they seem unbreakable. You’ll want to examine the other sites in the Top ten to get a better understanding of what you’re up against. But honestly, the real factor here is experience. If you know the niche your in has an open door from your previous experiences, then it may be good to just go for the new keyword. Lately we’ve been breaking our “guidelines” for the sake of experimentation and learning.

  10. DionDion08-01-2012


    Nice!! Been following you and doing research for some keywords. Ordered a few articles and will try your methods. Still looking forward for your back-linking video..

    This is where I’m struggling.

    Could you give us an idea how long the site would take to rank on page 1 on google after you submit your first article


    • Josh E.Josh E.08-02-2012

      Hey Dion, the site can rank in as little as 1-2 weeks if we get an EMD. Otherwise it can take 1-2 months. I’ll explain a lot of why this is in the backlinking post that will be coming soon 🙂

  11. Danny NguyenDanny Nguyen08-02-2012

    Hi Jose, these CTR themes are looking plain and simple and purposes visualize for Ads display. Whether it pay attention to Google and leave footprints to get yourself Adsense account ban? I am not sure G engine like theses wp themes? Regards, Danny Nguyen

    • Josh E.Josh E.08-02-2012

      I’ve actually heard some people ‘speculate’ this before, but we still see this theme ranking all over the place on the internet, and even customized themes that target adsense follow the same site structure. Basically I just don’t see any evidence that would support this theory.

  12. aaronaaron08-02-2012

    OK, if my niche sight ranks in the top 10 with your strategy how much approximately should I be making weekly to determine if it’s a winner to keep or just throw it in the archives? Also, what is your best CTR sub theme? Can’t wait for back linking videos….once you show us how to use magic submitter or UAW I will buy through your links….you guys are worth!!!

    Thank you

    • Josh E.Josh E.08-02-2012

      Hey Aaron, If the site makes any money, I would keep it and build it. Even if a site makes $5 per month, it’s still worth something and at the very least you can stick it with a group of other similar sites and sell it. Substitutes for CTR theme include Niche Website Theme and Prosense. If you don’t have any money for CTR theme, prosense is a great free option. The only thing is it’s not as easily custimizeable for wordpress beginners, and it doesn’t have the split testing capabilities of CTR theme as well.

  13. OscarOscar08-02-2012

    Hey Josh, What backgrounds do you usually use for the CTR theme…for the general site options? Any do you think its a good idea to change the background on the theme or leave it alone?

    Thanks man

    • TrevorTrevor08-02-2012

      Hey Oscar, out of the five CTR subthemes to choose from, we usually mix it up and go with any of them.

  14. NickNick08-04-2012

    Hi Guys

    I cannot for the life of me figure out how to track the 3 different ad channels. I create a custom channel and add the three different ads to that channel. The 336x, the 160x and the Link unit. I then enter the ad codes to CTR theme.

    Then I create two more channels and ad those ads to those as well and copy/paste the channel id to the CTR theme.

    However in my tracking I see the same statistic for all 3 channels..

    Any chance you can create a new video with a little more information for us dummies how to do it?:)

    • Josh E.Josh E.08-05-2012

      Hey Nick, I’ll look into what could be the reason behind this. Do you have the most updated version?

      • NickNick08-06-2012

        Hi Josh

        I have the most updated version 🙂 Simply cannot figure out how to do it. I’ve googled alot and it seems like alot cannot figure it out as well.

  15. DanielDaniel08-05-2012

    Hey Josh,

    I bought the CTR theme as well, but I have one little problem.
    Whenever I see someone else use the CTR Theme they have just one article on the homepage.
    But when I add a second article to my site, despite the setting show just 1 article in the Reading settings, the CTR Theme shows an excerpt of the second article below the first one on the homepage.

    I haven’t seen that behaviour anywhere else. Can you help me get rid of this or is this normal with the latest CTR Theme?

    Thanks in advance.

    • timtim08-05-2012

      mine does that too….I think its normal.

  16. NickNick08-06-2012

    Make the frontpage a static page and select what page/post you want to go there.

    • Josh E.Josh E.08-18-2012

      Hey Nick, thanks for answer that for everyone 🙂

  17. Tung TranTung Tran08-07-2012

    Hi Josh,

    What is your average CTR with Niche Website Theme? I’m considering buying it or CTR theme. Do you have any advice for me?

    Tung Tran

    • Josh E.Josh E.08-07-2012

      Hey Tung, they are both really great themes and I like them both. As far as CTR goes, I haven’t seen too much difference between the two. The differences that I do see, I would attribute to the keyword selection and not the theme itself. Sorry if that answer wasn’t what you’re looking for. To put it simply…we don’t like one over the other, they are both great themes…so just flip a coin 🙂

      • Tung TranTung Tran08-07-2012

        No, It’s a very good answer. I will focus on keyword selection instead hehe.

  18. RonyRony08-13-2012

    I was planning to buy either ctr or heat map pro theme. but after reading your article i have set my mind to CTR theme. 🙂

    • Josh E.Josh E.08-13-2012

      Hey Rony. It’s a pretty good theme and it’s been doing well for us so far.

  19. RainyRainy08-16-2012

    hi josh

    i got a question is it a problem if i have an new adsense account ( about to weeks old) and use the ctr theme and what if it’s an day old . i’ve got one account thats about 2 years old to. but i”m a little bit scared to use that one because i use it for my youtube partnership.


    • TrevorTrevor08-17-2012

      I wouldn’t worry about it. If you are concerned about using a new account + CTR Theme, I would start out being conservative with your layout. There are many different add layouts that you can choose from.

      • RainyRainy08-23-2012

        okay thank you travor

  20. RogerRoger08-19-2012

    First of all congratulations on your success so far!! The information you share is so helpful. I have a few questions if you don’t mind.

    1. Do you guys use image ads? If so do you use it for every ad size?

    2. After putting ads up, how do you look at your website to make sure its running correctly? I might be wrong but is going to your own website inflating impressions? Is that against adsense?

    Thank you & Goodluck

    P.S I will always buy through your link since you guys offer great info:)

    • TrevorTrevor08-20-2012

      Hey Roger, thank you for the support.
      1. We use image and text ads… and we tend to use 160×600 and 336×280.
      2. We mainly use google analytics to check our sites and it is definitely not against google’s policy to visit your own site; just don’t click on any of your own ads (obviously)!

  21. DougDoug08-19-2012

    Hey Josh,
    I was wondering if you’ve done some comparative analysis with the CTR Theme and Niche Website Theme?

    • Josh E.Josh E.08-21-2012

      Hey Doug. We haven’t done any in depth analysis. All I can say is that they both are great themes and they both yield very high CTRs.

  22. MichaelMichael09-02-2012

    Hi, I have the CTR theme which is great and I recommend it to everyone. My question is with the other theme you use niche website, is it as easy to place ads like the CTR theme? Also, with the ctr theme do you use the roadblock a lot?

    • Josh E.Josh E.09-08-2012

      Yea, the niche website theme also makes it easy to place ads. And we do like to use roadblock a lot with the CTR theme.

  23. RyanRyan09-05-2012

    Have you ever tried socrates or heat map? Thanks

    • Josh E.Josh E.09-08-2012

      Hey Ryan, we haven’t tried those themes yet.

  24. ThomasThomas09-09-2012

    If you have another theme you guys use a lot will you make a tutorial for that?

    • Josh E.Josh E.09-10-2012

      Hey Thomas, If enough people want it, i’ll make it.

  25. ScottScott09-09-2012

    Whats up Josh and Trevor? For the CTR theme or any theme what colors are your Google ads? What is a no no..blending your ads or having colorful ads? Thanks guys! You rock:)

    • Josh E.Josh E.09-10-2012

      Hey Scott, we typically always blend our Ads. I don’t know why people keep thinking this is a bad thing, because I heard Google encourages blending ads. They also included scripts in adsense so that you can easily edit text colors for blending purposes. Why would they include that and then tell you not to use it?

  26. abbieabbie09-11-2012

    Hey great tutorial! I already own CTR theme and this should help. Do you keep changing layouts on each sight to see what performs best? Also, if you do another tutorial on another theme…I will buy through your link:)

    • Josh E.Josh E.09-13-2012

      Hey Abbie. Thanks for the support. At the moment we have already figured out which layouts have been working the best for us. These are the ones mentioned in the original post.

  27. Joey LJoey L09-12-2012

    Hello, so for the CTR theme do you recommend building a custom header? Also, is the 728X15 OK? I hear its not good from others then its good. Thank you

    • Josh E.Josh E.09-13-2012

      Hey Joey. Right now we’re not building any custom headers for each site. The sites seem to be doing fine right now without them so we find that adding headers is extra work/money that we don’t need to be spending on.

  28. MelanieMelanie09-16-2012

    Hello, with the niche website theme what ad sizes do you use for the layout. I believe it don’t have the skyscraper 100×600? Thxs

    • Josh E.Josh E.09-18-2012

      Hey Melanie, for the niche website theme we’ve been using the 160×600 and 300×250 ad sizes.

  29. cesarcesar09-17-2012

    Hi Josh & Trevor’

    What layout do you use for the niche website theme? and what ad sizes if you don’t mind sharing.

    Thank you much

    • Josh E.Josh E.09-18-2012

      Hey Cesar, we’ve been using 5,7,9, and 10. We also use the 336×280, 300×250, and 160×600 ad sizes.

  30. NateNate09-19-2012

    Whats up guys! I don’t have the CTR theme yet but I will get it through your link when I do. I’m just starting out and already purchased niche theme website and notice you guys use it. I have few questions if you don’t mind answering because their tutorials don’t really help:

    – for display banner do you select yes or no

    – wrap text yes or no

    – Banner Position left center or right

    – I don’t want the ads appearing on top (like roadblock) what ad size would that be for this theme.

    Thanks so much!!


  31. http://www.warocks.com/

    Josh what do you think about my website. I just bought CTR theme 1.4.9.

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