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General Searcher Behavior

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 1
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

Out of curiosity...is there any data on what ad positions searchers tend to choose when they click on an ad?

 

I'm assuming searchers don't always click on the #1 position, since industry, intent, ad text, etc., etc., etc. all play a role in getting a click.  I was just curious if there are any general trends in searcher behavior and if there is any way to know -- on average -- what position tends to get the most clicks?

 

I know this would probably be very general information and may or may not have any direct relation to my industries...I was just wondering...

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: General Searcher Behavior

[ Edited ]
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello,

 

For me, the Analytics shows this in the section : Traffic Sources / Advertising / Adwords / Campaigns and selected [Secondary dimension : Advertising / Ad slot ]  the following info :

 

Top / RHS (right hands side) for Campaign1 = 5.57 (running during the night )

 

Top / RHS for Campaign2 = 5.86 (running during the day)

 

but that just means that i have a bid that places my ads mostly in the top 3 positions.

Re: General Searcher Behavior

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 3
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

Thanks for the input...my mistake, I should have been more specific...is there any way to get this info across all AdWords, not just in my own accounts?  Just some very general data about the most "popular" ad position(s)?

 

I'm sure this is info that Google has but is not available in regular AdWords or Analytics reporting as it may not be too useful for anybody.  Just something I was curious about.

Re: General Searcher Behavior

Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭

This is a good statistic for you : conversion is not affected by the ad position, but traffic is.

 

http://adwords.blogspot.ro/2009/08/conversion-rates-dont-vary-much-with-ad.html

 

This means if your business usually works in a slow rate, like a dentist office which can only serve a few clients a week with 2-3 employees, this means you don't need that much traffic.

Re: General Searcher Behavior

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

Hello;

I am sure this data is somewhere;

However; Google only discloses "top vs. Other";

 

Read more:

 

How do I use top vs. side reporting for bidding

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: General Searcher Behavior

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 6
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

Don't know of any official data but compiling my own (dozens of clients over the years) it's clear that the highest click rate is the top one and goes down gradually from there. In other words, searcher behavior is pretty much the same for ads as it has been reported for the SERPs.

 

Since the best ads will naturally move to the top - that's the QS system in action - that may not be surprising. But I've checked on individual ads and the tendency is the same. The difference between one position to the next can be very dramatic at times.

 

So my data at least suggests that searchers will click the top ad just because it is the top ad. It doesn't seem to be because of the quality of the ad, more like laziness and/or trusting the top result is the most relevant, much as they do for the SERPs. There is a certain percentage who don't know these are ads but I don't know if this factors in. Myself, if the ad seems relevant, I'll click, knowing full well I'll be given a sales pitch but that's usually the point as I'm shopping for something.

 

As for conversions, in most cases, the best ones tend to be the top position.

Re: General Searcher Behavior

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

Hi curlygirl, great question, one I've often pondered myself.

 

I think there will be definite variations, it will never be as simple as everyone clicks the top Ad.  We know this because I sure we've all got Keywords that have an average position lower down the ranks that still get clicks.  We also know this I think from our own browsing trends.  We're perhaps not good representatives of the wider population because of our awareness of the Ads themselves but I know I always look down the Ads, I don't just focus on #1.

 

I like the point about laziness from Lucid, because I think it's an important consideration when looking at the #1 spot.  It is, without a doubt, the most frequently clicked but is it the best converter?  If an Ad is relevant to the search then almost all of the final "capture" of a conversion happens on the website and the position of the Ad becomes irrelevant.  If you have a lot of "lazy" clicking, people clicking the first result they see without really reading it, and if that's coupled with less than ideal relevance in your own Ad copy, this high number of clicks could seriously impact your cost/conversion figures.  For this reason I actively avoid always being #1 (at least as far as Ad position is concerned Smiley Happy ).  I like to keep my best performing Keywords between 1.2 and 1.4 as an average (inclusive).  I do this for two reasons.  It does help filter out this lazy clicking but more importantly it can bring the average CPC down a little and prevent a bidding war with my competitors.  If you're getting 80, 100 thousand clicks a month, the difference between $3.00 and $3.05 per click becomes noticeable.

 

Getting back to the point - about behaviour - yes, I think it varies but I think it will be complex.  I think there may be broad trends we could see but they'd have to be grouped by demographics, both regional and personal, and by product, I think.  I can see parallels with how people shop in the high street.  For virtually any product you consider, some shoppers will take the first one they see - often the cheapest - and walk away.  Others will take much longer comparing all the variations before making a choice.  It seems logical to me that these trends will become enhanced the greater the value of the product so more people will take their time buying a $2000 TV than they will a $2 item of grocery.  Although it's not a direct parallel, I can see this in Ads as well.  I can see that there will be people who'll hit the #1 position most of the time and do little other research, and I suspect this happens most frequently with lower value, high volume products.  I can also suspect that there will be others who will take their time and perhaps click every Ad on the page - I'm sure most of us managers have seen clicks still being received at positions down beyond #8.

 

However, I think it would be an enormous task - one probably only Google could do - to try and publish any kind of usable data.  You'd have to know the type of product, the value, the demographics, the time of day, the "quality" of the Ad, etc. etc.  Even if you could do all that, and this wondrous machine said "Your Ads should be at position #3 to work best," I'd still suspect that you, personally, with your own circumstances, might find they work better at #2 or #5 or whatever.

 

Jon

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

Re: General Searcher Behavior

Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭

While you cannot get a 100% bulletproof answer for your choice of Ad position.

 

" I was just curious if there are any general trends in searcher behavior"

 

You can use this Google Trends tool to see from all your keywords which one has a positive trend and when, in order to bid on it higher in certain times of the year and get more visitors

 

http://www.google.com/trends/?hl=en

 

You should also know that the Avg. Ad position is calculated ignoring the positions lower than the first page.

 

For this you can read the following article

 

http://www.ppchero.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-ad-position-in-adwords/

 

And if you really want to get into more advanced things, you can try finding the "sweet spot" via the Adwords scripts, check out this page :

 

https://developers.google.com/adwords/scripts/docs/tutorials/bid-testing

Re: General Searcher Behavior

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 9
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

That's an interesting idea -- that some are clicking the first ad just because it's the first, not necessarily because it's the best for what they're searching for.

 

I think of the ads and organic results as 2 separate things...it never occurred to me that some people don't think like me (Smiley Wink) and might just respond the same way to the ads as they do to organic: top result must be most relevant to what I want, so I'll just click.

 

So darn hard to get into the heads of the searchers!

 

Thanks!

Re: General Searcher Behavior

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 10
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

Thanks, great information.  Lots to think about.

 

At the moment I don't have to worry about trying to keep my ads from always being at #1 -- first trying to get them to appear sometimes at #1!  But I understand your point about position and conversion cost and am working that line of thinking into managing all of this.

 

I also like the idea that the searcher looking for a more expensive product is going to be more thoughtful about their search and which ads they click on because they're really reading the ads because they want to be sure they get what they're looking for.

 

Great stuff, thanks!