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The Position of Your AdWords Ad is Critical for Success

adwords yellow box

If you’ve been using Google AdWwords for more than a few days, you probably understand that changing the maximum bid price that you’re prepared to pay will change the position your Ad will show in.

All things being equal (which they never are, but let’s assume that for now) if you bid more, your Ad will get displayed higher up the page. You’ve probably seen that yellow (sometimes blue or green) box at the top of the left side of the screen with an additional 1, 2 or 3 Ads in it.

Think of these Ads as ‘getting promoted’ from the right side of the screen to the left side. For phrases that get enough searches Google decides to show more than the standard 8 results.

Want this for your Ads? Before we get to the ‘how’, let’s look at why you might want to…

Why do you want your Ads to show in the top positions?

As you bid more for your keywords, your Ads move up the page (ie from position 7 to 5, from 5 to 2 & from position 2 to the left side of the page) and you’ll generally get more clicks on them. In other words, your CTR (Click Thru Rate) will increase: you get more clicks for the same number of times your Ads are shown (impressions).

The result of course is that you get more people coming to your website. The trade off is that you pay more to Google, as you’re paying for more clicks and you’re paying more for each click… at least to start with (if you use AdWords the right way, it actually gets cheaper the better you get but more on that another day).

So if getting lots & lots of traffic to your site is a priority (because of the business owner’s ego, or wanting to impress the board/investors!) and you’re prepared to pay, bump up the bid price & voila.

However most of the time, this increase in position does not mean an equal increase in sales (or sign-ups, or lead generation, or whatever your site is trying to do). Generally speaking, the higher the position, the lower the quality of the traffic.

Think of it this way, the harder someone has searched for you (ie the lower down the page your Ad appears), the more likely they are to stick around once they get to your site… and hopefully fill in that contact form, or add a product to their shopping cart.

Generally we advocate aiming for positions 3-5 in Australia & positions 4-7 in the USA or UK. For most keywords this gives the best trade off between the quality of the lead and the cost of that lead. As always we suggest testing for yourself.

How do you get your Ads in the top position?

Easy. Bid more. AND, write a quality Ad. You won’t get into those top positions (to distinguish between the ‘normal’ positions & these ‘top-left’ positions, Google labels these as T1, T2 & T3) with a bad Ad.

This is why testing your Ads is so vital. You should always, always have 2 Ads running for each AdGroup (if split testing confuses you, signup for our free 5-day AdWords video course & watch the video on day 4).

The short answer (which we’ll expand on over the coming days) is to make sure that your Quality Score is as high as possible. How? By making sure that the keyword you bid on closely matches the keyword the searcher typed into Google.
Then making sure that you Ad is highly relevant to that keyword (ie those words appear in your Ad!)
And lastly making sure that the page you take that searcher to, is closely related to both the Ad and the keyword.

Don’t worry it’s not as hard as it sounds & we’ll show you exactly how to do this if you want.

Are my AdWords Ads performing well?

Use the AdWords position report in Google Analytics to show all the data you could ever want for each of your main keywords.

adwords position report in google analytics

This image shows the number of visits for each position the Ad showed in. You can easily show the sales that you got in each Ad position, or whichever Goals you’ve setup (number of sign ups, conversion rate etc)

As always, you need to know your numbers. Test & measure the results. Then rinse & repeat.

Have experience with this report? Got a comment that might help other businesses? Please comment in the space below. Thanks 🙂

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