• John Rampton

    What niche is this in? I’ve tested this out with several clients and found very different results. Some turn out like this, most don’t. I think it really depends on the niche and how educated the people clicking are. Could also deal a lot with the competition. If you have horrible competition above you, you’ll be what they want and buy from you. In some cases you’ll even get free clicks cause of them clicking on multiple ads. I find that more savvy users click till they find what they want (which would be further down the list) in your case! Great article.

  • Advantage Play

    The time of the year that you are looking at specifically also plays a key role in how many clicks you are going to get on your ad. August and even into September have lower rates for usage on most pages, unless it has to do with back to school, and starting in October rates seem to go up based on the weather change and holiday season.

  • Roshan

    there is little reference to determine for sure that lower bid is causing greater CTR and conversion. what about change in content of the ads itself or landing page? also seasonal industries might experience higher CTR – say seasonal holidays or products or due to some external buzz? say Korean music ads might suddenly be popular now due to PSY phenomenon than 5 months back regardless of position changes. One way to determine could be if you had both 1st and 2nd position ads at the same time and measure the success.

  • Jason Manion

    This is fascinating stuff, and I agree – you totally have to test for each client. I’ve also seen it work both ways.

    In some cases, it seems like the higher position ads work really well because you have people who click through on one ad and buy. By the time you have someone clicking an ad in position 5-10, a lot of them have already clicked on several links, so they’re less likely to buy at all, and they have 5-6 other sites to compare you to, which isn’t always a good thing.

    But sometimes a client can’t profitably bid on those top spots, even with a higher conversion rate.

  • Alyssa McGowan

    Thanks, John! Glad you enjoyed.

    It’s in the online dating space, totally with you though- this definitely will vary by niche. Like you, I’ve tested for other clients in different industries and seen the incremental benefit of the cost per click you’re saving doesn’t counteract the loss volume. I think it could have to do a ton with competition, pricing, products, etc which is why I’m such a huge fan of testing at least on a small scale for every client because you never know.

  • Alyssa McGowan

    Definitely- I think looking at avg. CPC, positions etc in relation to seasonality, hour of day, day of week, etc is huge and can be really efficient as well since they are likely attracting a different (potential) customer)

  • Alyssa McGowan

    Thanks for reading! Good thoughts here- there are a ton of other variables that could influence any changes in CTR/conversion rates.

    This particular client isn’t really seasonal and our landing pages/ ads remained the same for those months we analyzed. This was done on purpose to minimize any outside factors.

    I agree though, ideally you’d do an A/B test (or ACE test in Google vs. a before & after test to eliminate any of those you mentioned, but because of the way the client tracks conversions this wasn’t possible.

  • Alyssa McGowan

    Exactly! Like you said it also depends on the clients goal, even if a top position may be more volume if the clients don’t align with the CPA/ROI/ROAS you’re getting from those spots it doesn’t make sense to bid for them. Thanks for reading!