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Ad Position vs Conv/Rate

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# 1
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What are people thoughts on conv/rate in relation to ad position. ie as a general rule of thumb, do high ad position convert higher?


Google and agencies will say you need to be avg. pos. 2-3 to ensure all site links are showing, which will obviously effect CTR, but does it effect conv/rate if you experience?


I have an account that as a decreased conv/rate over time (running conversion optimiser) and as conv/rate has decreased, so has the CPC to ensure the CPA is met. But now we appear to have lost traction (ie low avg. pos. therefore lower conversions) and i am being advised to increase bids to get back into the high positions. But i am wary.



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Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by James_Clemens (Top Contributor)

Re: Ad Position vs Conv/Rate

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# 2
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Hi @Michael B great question, and one lots of experts argue over!


From one point of view, Ad position should have no effect on conversion rates, the thinking being that a click is a click at any position, and each click is just as likely to convert as any other (provided those clicks are relevant and from customers ready to buy, etc.).  However, AdWords isn't really as simple as that and there are psychological arguments; it's known that some people respond to a premium pricing strategy and you could equate a high Ad position (with its attendant Ad extensions) as a version of this.  I want to buy from this store in the #1 position because it's got to be the best, right?


There are other complications when you start thinking about repeated clicks on the path to purchase, the effect of Ad extensions, and the overall perception of the company.  Traditional TV and magazine advertising has the same issue and you could think about the differences between a product that is advertised during every commercial break without fail, and a product that's promoted once at 2am.  Why do advertisers pay more to have their slots in the middle of popular new releases, why do they pay millions for a slot in the Superbowl?  It's not just viewer numbers (although that's part of it).


At the end of the day though, the best answer is to experiment and look at the data.  You need to run quite a long term experiment to iron out any daily or weekly inconsistencies, but if you were able to run one month averaging a position of #1, another at #2 and another at #3, you should be able to draw some conclusions about the effect on conversion rate - and bear in mind that effect is possibly specific to your vertical/products.  Of course, getting a good robust experiment is difficult if you have seasonal changes or other factors affecting conversions, but it's really the best way to make a decision.



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Ad Position vs Conv/Rate

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# 3
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Hi @Jon_Gritton


Thanks for the detailed response, very useful.


I have just looked at top vs other conversion rates on a few of my accounts.... interesting reading.


Account 10 months of data

Top 3.88% (winner)

Other 1.77%


Account 2 - 18 months of data

Top 26.33% (winner)

Other 13.43%


Account 3 - 7 months of data

Top 8.98% (winner)

Other 2.60%


Account 4 - 13 months of data

Top 1.83% (winner)

Other 1.35%


Account 5 - 8 months data

Top 15.91% (winner)

Other 15.38%


Account 6 - 30 months data

Top 6.18% (winner)

Other 3.09%


As you can see, not one account converts better at lower positions. A couple of close calls though.


Then its obviously a case of ensuring the CPC's are are not too high when in top positions.



Re: Ad Position vs Conv/Rate

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# 4
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I haved checked all my accounts and:

  • 18 from 24 accounts have better conversion rates at top positions
  • 12 from 12 accounts have cheaper CPA's at top positions

Anybody care to share similar results?



Ad Position vs Conv/Rate

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# 5
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I think that - as a general rule of thumb - high ad positions have a slightly higher conv/rate. Why? Because these high ad positions have a lower percentage of visitors that want to compare more websites/offers compared to low ad positions. Some visitors only click the first ads and make a buying decision. Especially in the case where they need something very urgent.

Ad Position vs Conv/Rate

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# 6
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Do not rule out Mobile search. This gives another perspective to a google searcher. On some phones only the number 1 ad is visible.

Ad Position vs Conv/Rate

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# 7
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