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Pausing Keywords with Ads not Showing Top Right? Anyone do this?

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# 1
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When you get an ad to appear on top of the page (on the left) you sometimes (depending on the punctation in the ad) get a headline that includes part or all of your 1st ad text line appended to the headline.

Let's assume there is something in the 1st ad text that makes the ad much more highly targets. Like say the heading is "Buy Carpet Now" and first text line is "By Appointment Only"

If the ad appears on the left, the "By Appointment Only" is not going to be in the heading and you can bet you are going to get at least some clicks by people that scanned the page and didn't read the full ad.

If the advertiser wants to maximize conversion rate and maximize ROI on their spend, would it not be a great strategy to pause all keywords where the average position is greater than 3? (I realize sometimes no ads appear in top right or only two ads do.)

Let's assume there is not a huge difference in cost per click between positions 2-3 and positions 4-5.

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Re: Pausing Keywords with Ads not Showing Top Right? Anyone do this?

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# 2
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This is certainly something you can do - but it is quite common to see the CPA in the lower positions outperform the top positions... so be careful...
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Accepted by CassieH (Community Manager)
October 2015

Re: Pausing Keywords with Ads not Showing Top Right? Anyone do this?

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# 3
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Hi @Jeff C I certainly recommend that all (Search) advertisers pay close attention to their Ad positions in relation to their performance, but it's rarely (if ever) as simple as pausing a particular Keyword against a particular average position.

 

The key problem is the "average" bit.  Life would be a whole lot simpler if we could say that "this Keyword" with "this Ad" and "this bid" always hits position #4, but we can't.  There are so many variables that affect position that it's impossible to be anywhere near that precise.  The "Top vs Other" segment is a good one to look at to get an idea of how badly "spread" positions actually are for a particular Keyword.  If you looked at a Keyword with an average position of #4, you'd likely find it has a lot of impressions/clicks way above that, possibly even in the #1.X positions.

 

Some of these variations you may be able to account for; for example, it could be #1 in Texas and #6 in Maryland, or it could be #1 from 6pm to 10pm and #4 from 8am to midday and this is why I always recommend using quite low-level location targeting splits and custom ad scheduling, but most are going to be combinations of factors outside your control (or, more accurately, outside of sufficiently granular control for you to do anything about it).

 

Jon

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Re: Pausing Keywords with Ads not Showing Top Right? Anyone do this?

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# 4
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Jon, you hit the nail on the head for the most part I think.  Looking at the top of page versus non top of page conversion rates is the tell tale sign (as each account can be unique.)  Problem is unless you have a high volume traffic account, you could be waiting months to build up enough data to be statistically significant to make a reliable conclusion with.  

 

I was hoping to find if there's a pattern among users who HAVE accumulated that kind of data that DID have critical targeting information in that 1st line after the headline.

 

Re: Pausing Keywords with Ads not Showing Top Right? Anyone do this?

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# 5
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@Jeff C it's a very good question, and one that's been explored here (and elsewhere often).  I seem to recall our own @ScottyD having a theory about the "top right" position at some point (as opposed to top left).

 

I fully sympathise with the low volume issue.  I've managed many low volume Accounts over the years and there's no doubt they're a lot harder to optimise than high volume ones.  In the high volume Accounts I do have, I've never seen any concrete theory evolve about position, other than that the higher the position, the higher the CTR (although within that there are theories above the value of those clicks as position changes).

 

 

The key problem is that there are so many variables, as I've said, and that many of those variables are outside the scope of AdWords itself.  For example, if you wanted to know the best tyres for a particular make/model of vehicle, a few short hours online would probably get you a pretty short list of contenders, possibly even just one overriding recommendation you see everywhere.  This is possible because that make/model has fixed performance/build/behaviour specifications.  With AdWords, although you can determine that a particular setup is best for you, that setup success is reliant not only upon AdWords but also upon the website and, to varying degrees, the company itself.

 

We very often see posts here of the nature "this is the best way to setup for (whatever)" and 99 times out of 100, the theory overlooks this essential nature of advertising.  Much of AdWords setup cannot have a "best" way of doing things because there aren't the fixed points that there are in something like tyre choice.  Yes, we can say generally that higher positions get higher CTR, that certain calls to action are more effective than others and there are many useful guides to writing/building good creatives, but because there are so many ways to say or show something, even tiny differences can have a huge impact and those differences can then be magnified by tiny differences in the website, checkout procedure, customer support, brand reputation, etc.

 

Jon

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