We have learned, in PPC management, that there is a very strong correlation with your Ad Position on the page and your Click Through Rate (CTR).  In almost every case (I have to say “almost” for those exceptions that always exist), the higher the Ad Position, the higher the CTR.

However, conversion is an entirely separate issue.  Do not assume that just because a keyword converts at a certain rate at one ad position that PPC Managementit will only convert better if you bid it to a higher position.  In fact, that is probably not going to be the case.  And once again, we need to look at the intent of the search to understand why.

In general when a visitor clicks on an Ad that is positioned further down in the results page – sometimes even page 2 or page 3 – they are highly targeted and interested in what you are offering.  The key is to find the “sweet spot” where the CTR (which will be lower at a lower position) combined with the Conversion rate brings you the best ROI.

Of course there are always exceptions to every finding, but the higher positions tend to bring less targeted traffic for several reasons.

  1. The searcher is testing out their query – Did they type it in correctly? Are the results even close to what they are looking for?
  2. The searcher is just beginning their research process and will click on the first couple of ads just to get some high level information.  They may come back and buy later but they are not in the “buy” stage quite yet.

What is the best way to find out your Optimal Ad Position? Test! Every industry is different. Every keyword is different .  You will find out the most about your ad position and your conversion if you have installed Google Analytics on your website.  Google has some good information on their adwords blog on using the two tools together to optimize your position.