What is the Best Google AdWords Ad Rank Position?

7 Comments Written on August 18th, 2009 by
Categories: Google Adwords

The Google AdWords blog shared some research on conversion rates by ad position:

We have used a statistical model to account for these effects and found that, on average, there is very little variation in conversion rates by position for the same ad. For example, for pages where 11 ads are shown the conversion rate varies by less than 5% across positions. In other words, an ad that had a 1.0% conversion rate in the best position, would have about a 0.95% conversion rate in the worst position, on average. Ads above the search results have a conversion rate within ±2% of right-hand side positions.

The bottom line: conversion rates don’t vary much by position.

I suspect in some instances the ad position may have a larger influence than others (areas with news spikes, lots of curiosity clicks, and broad matching that goes to broad). But its nice to get confirmation that in general the conversion rates are fairly flat by position in most cases.

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7 comments “What is the Best Google AdWords Ad Rank Position?”

Ofcourse the conversion rate would not change much. That is determined more by the actual website. The ad position would only really affect total traffic figures. The higher the ad position, the more exposed the ad and so the more traffic to the site. After that, it is the work of the website and the ad copy to sell in the product or service.

yeah come to think of it, i never really valued higher positions over others….as a consumer/ad clicker

Obviously one doubt here is that if you are in position #1 it really can’t convert as well as say being in position #5. The reasoning is that on #1 you get a lot of happy clickers…

It may be more like this if you advertise on a more general term in contrast to a very specific term, where being #1 may be the best thing because all users entering that specific term are likely to buy.

But users who enter the term “cars” are not the perfect converters and may click faster on the #1 ad without studying it much and seeing the negative qualifier like “buy for only $10k”.

What do you think?

I disagree. The analysis I have done shows a 20% difference in conversion from the ads that not only placed on the first page but placed in the top 10. A one size fits all strategy for SEM may be fundamentally flawed depending on the audience you are trying to attract.

What I have found is not only did conversion rates decrease with ad-position but so did ctr%. So why should that be concerning? Well its a two hit combo. CTR equates to click volume and with the decreased conversion rates you are seeing a depressed conversion rate. So really by pushing your ads lower you are decreasing total acquistion by 2x.

I agree with RYan. The position can make a difference in conversion from ads. It also depends on the quality of the ad copy and products or services that are promoted. But generally higher position generates more conversion.

Each case has different circumstances so there are positions that will convert 2-3 times better but you need to do some testing to find out which positions. Google uses aggregated data to make such conclusions but if you work with specific niche your results might be totally different than in other niche which on average results in what Google discovered

In my experience so long as ads are in the top 3 and in some cases, if you have a really unique USP, then top 5 the conversion rate doesn’t alter much.

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