Google Conversion by Ad Position

Google’s chief economist released a report stating  conversion doesn’t change much based on ad position.  That’s a bold, across the board statement.

Google’s PhDs have research to  backup their argument.  I’m sure it’s not an evil plot designed to set your sights on the top (more expensive) spot for all that extra traffic that you are missing out on.  Financial motivations should at least be somewhere way, way back in your mind though.  Smart people can make data prove lots of arguments.

It’s just blanket claims always make me uneasy.  For every rule of thumb, or best practice there’s always an exception.

Long copy vs. short

1 page checkout vs. 2-3 page processes

Long headline vs. short headline

….and the list goes on. There are case studies to prove or disprove just about anything.

A more practical matter.  An actual client, spending actual money, getting actual leads.

I wanted to share with you a 30 day position analysis we ran for a ppc lead generation client.

For this client, positions 4-8 brought in the most impressions, most clicks and highest conversion rate when compared to spots 1-3.  In fact the conversion rate in 4-8 was about 3  times that of spots 1-3 and received more impressions.

conversion by ad position

conversion by ad position

I don’t doubt the validity of Google’s research, but this client’s ads are staying in position 4-8. With conversions rates above 12% and cost per leads in the $6-$7 range vs. a conversion rate around 4% and cost per lead of $9-$10 in spots 1-3

Final thoughts:  I’ve just picked off a slice of data to make my point, it should be noted that this too is only a piece of the puzzle.  End lead quality may  be a whole other story.   What if the leads from spots 1-3  brought in significantly more revenue to justify the higher cost per lead and lower conversion rate?  Stay tuned…

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