Should Your PPC Ads Appear In The Top 3 Positions?


A lot of people say that you should aim for your online ads to appear above the organic search listings; but is this really true?

The higher the position of an ad, the higher the CTR will be and the larger the potential market share will be. These higher positions are more highly sought after and therefore require higher CPCs to attain them; this means a larger budget is required as the CPC is higher and also there is more traffic being driven to your website.


So Why Wouldn’t I Want More Traffic?

Well the simple answer is that you will want to be able to drive as much traffic to your website as possible but having a higher average position may not in fact be the best way to achieve this if there are other limiting factors. You should always aim to manage your PPC account to consider an amalgamation of factors and optimise for the factor that is limiting your performance the most.

If the potential market is large then your budget may not be sufficient to cover all the potential traffic (a good way to check if your budget is constrained is if there is lost impression share (budget)). If your budget is constrained, why would you want to pay more for each click as this would actually reduce the traffic to your site as you wouldn’t be able to afford as many clicks within your budget. This would mean a higher average position would actually have a negative effect on traffic.

This is not the only example; if your account has a strict cost per acquisition (CPA) then again paying a higher CPC may mean that you will exceed your CPA.


So How Should I Optimise My PPC

As previously mentioned there are many factors that you should monitor when managing an account and you should aim to optimise for the most limiting factor. Some of these include:

  • Average Position
  • Budget Constraints
  • CPA Targets
  • Site Conversion Rate
  • Number of Conversions

Whilst highter average positions can drive more traffic, understanding the interconnected relationship of the different factors is most important when optimising a PPC account.

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