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Does position on Adwords make any difference?

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have read many articles from well known folks who claim that postion 1,2,3 on the right hand column vice 1,2,3 front and center is a better result.. They suggest that there are more tire kickers on the front and center than on the right hand column. they suggest that you will get many less clicks on the right hand column but the leads in that area will be better or more likely to fill in your form.


Has anyone run any analysis that indicates that this may be true or just another fairy tale?

 

 

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Accepted by topic author master
September 2015

Re: Does position on Adwords make any difference?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
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You know in Adwords I find as many answers to your questions as the number of folks you ask... In my research I just came across an article where Brad Geddes says your conversion rate will be higher and your position becomes higher... actually it makes more sense what the adwords person said... they don't find a measurable difference.... however the lower cost will make a believer out of me for the best solution.

 

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Re: Does position on Adwords make any difference?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi there;

As you already mentioned, this is a controversial and debatable issue. I have seen cases which support the "above the organic" and others which support the "right hand"

The benefit of the "upper - above the organic" is the option to have an ad with sitelinks. This, definitely, gives the  ad more "presence", and should increase CTR. (Assuming that sitelinks are set correctly to attract users)

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Does position on Adwords make any difference?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
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Just came across what google has to say about this and very clearly they are suggesting that the right column is better.... why do I say that... they say the conversion rate is similar... and we know for a fact that the click cost will be lower than front and center... so if conversion is same and cost is lower.. then I know which way I would go..... LOL.

 

Google's statement on position:

Some advertisers have asked how clicks from different positions tend to convert. In general, we've found that conversion rates don’t vary much with the position of the ad on the page. An ad in a more prominent position on the page will tend to get both more clicks and more conversions than an ad in a lower position, but the conversion rate (conversions/clicks) will tend to be about the same for the two positions.

 

Re: Does position on Adwords make any difference?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Could you please provide a link to this quote?
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Does position on Adwords make any difference?

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# 5
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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author master
September 2015

Re: Does position on Adwords make any difference?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

You know in Adwords I find as many answers to your questions as the number of folks you ask... In my research I just came across an article where Brad Geddes says your conversion rate will be higher and your position becomes higher... actually it makes more sense what the adwords person said... they don't find a measurable difference.... however the lower cost will make a believer out of me for the best solution.

 

Re: Does position on Adwords make any difference?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

Hi master, great question, and one of my favourite topics.  I'd like to look at the quote you reference again, I'll repeat it for clarity:


"In general, we've found that conversion rates don’t vary much with the position of the ad on the page. An ad in a more prominent position on the page will tend to get both more clicks and more conversions than an ad in a lower position, but the conversion rate (conversions/clicks) will tend to be about the same for the two positions."

 

Note that what's being talked about here is the conversion rate and this makes total sense.  I've never seen a good argument that suggests someone who clicks an Ad will be more likely to convert because it was in one position rather than another.  Yes, you may get more "tyre kickers" in some positions but over time and in the larger picture, if someone is attracted by your Ad then they'll have X chance of converting and the position of the Ad they clicked is largely irrelevant.

 

However, you said:

 

"... and we know for a fact that the click cost will be lower than front and center... so if conversion is same and cost is lower.. then I know which way I would go..... LOL."


Firstly, we don't know that the click costs for Side Ads is lower than the Top Ads.  Actual CPC is governed by Quality Score and it is entirely possible for a click to cost less for a higher ranked Ad than for one with a lower rank where the Quality Scores are different.  We do know that CTR is a primary factor in Quality Score and that CTR tends to be higher with Top Ads and higher still with Ads showing extensions, as mentioned by @MosheTLV, so it's actually quite likely that Top positioned Ads will have a higher Quality Score than lower positioned Ads and therefore could be paying less for their clicks, not more.

 

Secondly, since CTR is higher for the Top Ads, if the conversion rate is roughly the same you'll get more sales per day from a Top Ad than you will a Side Ad.  OK, you'll be paying for more clicks but why wouldn't you want as many sales as you can possibly get each day?  Even if you do pay more for the Top Ads, it'll only be a few cents at most (it is only 1c that separates each Ad position).  The point I'm making is that it's easy to focus on CPC and forget that it can be quite a small part of the overall equation once you factor in QS and conversion value. 

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Does position on Adwords make any difference?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Let me see if I understand what you said Cobnut, if all other factors are identical for two advertisers and 1 is in postion 1 front and center and the other is in position 5 which is right site postion 2.... The guy in position 1 may pay less then the position 5 even though they both have the same identical average CTR and quality score etc..... I find that hard to believe...

Now of course when you compare apples and oranges then that might be valid... but of  course when I made the statement that since google believes conversion will be similar... and of course all other factors must be identical for my statement to work... and when all other factors are the same the guy in position 5 will be getting the same conversion for less cost per click...

we cannot assume one has better CTR or anything else or its apples and oranges...

 

Re: Does position on Adwords make any difference?

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

Hi master, not with the same Quality Score, no.  Your posts hadn't mentioned Quality Score, which was why I raised the issue.

 

Simply put, your "effective bid" is your Max. CPC multiplied by your QS expressed as a fraction of 10.  So, for example, if your Max. CPC is $1 and your QS 7, your effective bid is $0.70.  If another advertiser matches a keyword in the same auction that has a Max. CPC of $0.80 but a QS of 10/10, their effective bid will be $0.80 - more than enough to cover a big difference in position.

 

It's not realistic to imagine a scenario where CPC is the only factor affecting position since Quality Score is evaluated for each and every auction, for every advertiser competing in that auction.  Even if there were a simplified version of AdWords where everyone bid the same for the same keyword so what you paid directly influenced position (which, of course, could never work because there'd be no way to rank Ads) I'd still go for the higher positions because of the increased CTR.  If I'm making a profit on every sale (and if I'm not, I shouldn't be running Ads) why would I not want to capture as many sales as possible from a given number of impressions?  If conversion rates remain largely the same across position (and, as I've said, I've no disagreement with this idea) but we do know that CTR can be dramatically higher for higher positions, I'll get more clicks by being higher, which means I'll get more sales.  As long as my ROAS is positive, I can't see why I'd do anything else unless there was a practical reason for limiting how many sales I make in a day (e.g. processing capability).

 

Jon 

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Does position on Adwords make any difference?

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor
Great points.... however, there isn't a fast and hard rule.

As Jon suggests you can generate sales from ads in any and all positions - if you use pivot tables you can figure out where the sweet spot is between ad position and return on investment...

But here's the point... again as Jon suggests - we need to look at the volume we can generate. Would you prefer 1,000 visits with a 25% profit or 10 visits with a 100% return.

Whilst campaigns - and ad positions within those campaigns are giving a return, they may well be worth maintaining. If, your budget is limited (and most are) then we might look to make sure that we spend as much as we can in the most profitable areas, and once we have reached saturation extend out into the less profitable areas.

But to come back to the original question - is the top better than the side? The real answer is no-one knows. You need to test and track - and get a lot more granular than the overview reports of top vs side - to determine where the sweet spot is for your business.