PPC Ad Performance by Page Location

Written by Debra Leitl on November 15, 2011. Posted in Search Engine Marketing

PPC Ad Performance by Page LocationPPC ad placement takes on two different forms which include top ad placement and side ad placement.  Top ad placement means that your ad appears on the top of the search engine results page (SERP). Side ad placement refers to where your ad appears on the side of the page of the search engine results.

If you have a top ad versus a side ad there is a difference in the results you get in terms of the number of click throughs you receive.  Typically the ads at the top of the SERP will produce better results than the ads on the side of the page.  For this reason, Google recently implemented report segments which allow you to compare the progress of your ads on the top of the page versus your ads on the side of the page.

How Top vs. Side Ad Performance Works 

The report segment for top vs. side ad placement analysis is located in your Google AdWords account.  The report shows you how your ads perform on the top of the search results versus the side of the page.  The report is easy to view and understand but you must know what to do with the information once you are able to access it.

  • Look at the Entire Account:  It is important to look at the account as a whole entity so you can eventually focus on specific aspects such as click through rate (CTR) and cost per conversion.  Then you can compare top versus side to help you make wise bidding decisions for specific segments of your AdWords account.
  • Keywords:  Specific keywords that may work for side ads may not work as well for your ads “above the fold.”  If you are paying top dollar for ads at the top of the page but the keywords are not performing you need to be aware of this so you can make the proper adjustments and get the most out of your advertising dollars.
  • Improve Ad Copy:  If you are aware of how your ads are placing you can use the top vs. side report segment to view reports of your ad groups that are pulling a high number of clicks.  When you look at the reports you can view the ad placement.

If your ads are appearing on the side of the page frequently then improving the ad copy may increase click through and conversion rates.  If your ads are frequently distributed at the top of the page then it may be just enough to map your ad to the keywords that are performing and then bold the keywords to attract the attention of your potential visitor.

The Importance of Top vs. Side Ad Analysis 

Some PPC advertisers wonder whether or not the new report segment for top versus side ads is really useful.  The answer to this relates to how well you manage your PPC advertising campaigns.

If you have ad groups that clearly demonstrate excellent results you may question the importance of ad performance analysis by page location.  On the other hand, if you want to improve the structure of your campaigns, landing pages and bidding process you will likely benefit from using the top vs. side report segment in your Google AdWords account.

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