One Small Tweak that Increases Your PPC Ad Position, Lowers Cost avatar
One Small Tweak that Increases Your PPC Ad Position, Lowers Cost

Like many business owners that have embarked on a Google pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, you’ve had some success but want to improve your campaign and grow qualified online leads. As a small or medium business, Google PPC could be the single best marketing tactic in your tool chest, so let’s improve it! Pull up your chair and let’s discuss one small tweak that could increase your qualified leads and lower your PPC costs at the same time.

One variable that impacts your ads rank within Google PPC, and your cost per click, is your keyword’s quality score. Quality score is made up of a number of different elements, I won’t list all of them here, but one element has to do with a keyword’s click-through-rate (CTR). CTR can be affected by a number of different variables, some of which include:

  • The content of your ad
    • The display URL
    • The call to action
    • Whether or not you have an offer etc.
  • Your ad position

The last point about ad position is what I want to focus on. Improving your ad position by bidding higher can increase CTR and thus your quality score and lower your cost-per-click (CPC). Typically people are more likely to click your ad if you’re in the 1-3 position above the organic results versus on the side in positions 4+.

Google Ad Position







Let’s look at some data in Adwords to see how the CTR and CPC changes based on ad position.

Adwords Top vs. Bottom Click Through Rate





So from the above, looking at the first row we can see the keyword had an average ad position of 1.6 a CTR of 1.48%, and a CPC of $7.40. For the second row, or ad positions to the side and not on top, we had an average ad position of 3.9 and an awful CTR at 0.12% and almost 10% higher on the CPC at $8.06. So in this particular case we bid higher to put the ads in the top position and ended up paying less per click while driving more targeted traffic to the site. Our quality score for top positions is higher because our CTR is better and Google rewards this with lower CPC. Your mileage may vary and the data do not always look like this, but here’s how you can check.

Click on a search campaign and then on the “Keywords” tab:

Google Adwords Keyword Tab



Then click on “Segment” and choose “Top vs. Other”:

Google Adwords Top vs. Other Segment











Make sure you have chosen a reasonable date range too as you need enough data to make reliable and valid decisions. Now you can go keyword by keyword and decide, do I need to increase the bid and get in the top 1-3 position, or decrease the bid? Some keywords you may find are actually more expensive in the top position and so you will need to not be as aggressive in bidding.

So there you have it, one simple tweak on bidding strategy could put you in a higher position while lowering your costs and at the same time drive many more qualified leads your way.

Questions? Have you tried this? What are you results? Feel free to comment with questions or email or contact me for help.