PPC Myth Busting! Myth 8: Ads Should Always Be In The Top 3

By Amanda West-Bookwalter | @Amanda_WestBook | Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing |

This is another one that I’ve been guilty of myself: thinking that ads should be in the top 3 ad positions at all times. Thinking the top three positions is the only place you can see good returns is a total myth. One that I plan on bustin’!

When you log in and see ad positions in 4s and 5s or lower, you think “ack! I’m buried on the side or on page 2! No one can even see me!” But, in reality, you should let the data tell you what the best ad position is.

Sean Quadlin did a nice tutorial video blog on how to use pivot tables to find your account’s optimal average position. Since he’ll be helping me out today, you can see above that I’ve ‘shopped him to look like Kari Byron, Adam & Jamie’s sultry sidekick on MythBusters.  The method my sultry sidekick uses in that tutorial lets you use data to tell you what’s best, not some dumb myth! So, I followed Sean’s tutorial for an account, and I came out with this screenshot here:

You can see on the left is my avg. position, which is segmented over 90 days by week for one campaign in the account. While my CTR very much increased with avg. position, my conversion rate and cost/conv was most optimal in the range of position 5.2 to 6.2. You can add whatever you want to this. So, maybe I want to factor in the number of conversions as well if volume is more important than cost/conv.  Maybe I want to do this by every half position to get more segmented. It’s up to you, but the point here is that top 3 isn’t always the best for your account, and you have to do some analysis to let the data do the decision making on what ad position you want to target.

Didn’t get your myth bustin’ fill? Try out our previous 7 myths!

Analytics is complicated to use

Display is really expensive

Display is terrible for direct response

adCenter isn’t worth my time

Broad Match isn’t worth pursuing

Quality Score is all about CTR

Tablet performs like desktop

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