While it’s certain that PPC ads in the #1 position on search engines receive more clicks than ads in any other position, it doesn’t mean that they generate more sales. In recent studies, we found that “real buyers” want to look around to get the best price, the best shipping, the best quality, the best guarantee, and, of course. the best product. According to a Planet Ocean article (May 2006) on PPC campaigns, the #2 and #4 PPC positions on search engines generally convert more lookers than the number one spot. Here’s why.
Generally, online shoppers are just looking for information on products and services, educating themselves on the possibilities, prior to making their purchasing decision. While most “lookers” or shoppers click on the top ad to see what’s out there, most buyers, or in terms of the lodging industry “bookers,” will click on the ads below that appear to offer the deal they truly want. In most scenarios, the ads in positions #3 or #4 snag the buyer because the education process and the buying decision take place almost concurrently. The online shopper uses the ads in the first two or three positions to gain awareness, and by the time they scroll down to positions #3 or #4 they realize that basically everyone offers the same deals . . . and end up buying where they are.
It’s been our experience that this is a very consistent buying behavior. In conclusion, we find that positioning your ads between spots #2 and #4 generates the highest conversions and profits. Think like a shopper and you’ll be unstoppable.
Google AdWords Adds Position Preference Feature
Fortunately, Google AdWords PPC now gives you greater control over exactly what position your AdWords PPCs will appear and lets you specify where your ads should not appear.