Bid According To PerformanceBack in July Google, announced it would provide advertisers a new AdWords reporting segment.  This ad performance segmentation is called “Top vs. Side” and allows pay-per-click (PPC) advertisers to analyze how their ads perform in the top three positions (above the natural search results) compared to the ads that appear on the right side of the results.  This wealth of information will help with Google AdWords campaign optimization and bid management because we can now see the cost-per-conversion data for the different areas of ad space.

For example:  Imagine that I sell blue widgets online.  I have conversion tracking installed and it is working very well.  My average cost-per-conversion is $10.48 but I would like to try to get it under $8 in order to increase my ROI.  Using the Top vs.  Side segment, I can see that when my ads appear in the top three positions, my cost-per-conversion is $7.45 with an average CPC of $0.14 and a conversion rate of 1.93%.  However, when my ads appear on the side, my cost-per-conversion is $13.51 with an average cost-per-click (CPC) of $0.12 and a conversion rate of 0.85%.  In this example, the ads that show in the top positions are clearly performing better than the ones showing on the side.  This data shows me that I need to make sure that my ads are always seen at the top of the page, but how do I do that?

Enter Google’s Top of page bid estimate metric.  This new feature from Google AdWords gives an approximation of what your CPC bid needs to be in order for your ad to consistently appear in the top positions above the organic search results.  Google is quick to point out, however, that setting your bids higher than the top of page bid estimate does NOT guarantee top ad position and that Quality Score is still a factor.  To see your top of page bid estimates, log into your Google AdWords account and choose the Keywords tab.  Click on the Columns button, then on Customize Columns.  From there you can choose from Attributes (where the Est. top page bid button can be checked), Performance and Conversions criteria.  Click on save and see your extra column appear.  Now you know exactly how you need to be bidding to keep your ads in the coveted top positions.

Thank you Google for bringing us yet another update that allows us to better manage Google AdWords accounts for our clients.  We love when new innovations come along and allow us to be more proactive, productive and efficient for our clients – especially when it also helps us optimize.  Keep the new metric improvements coming; we love data!