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Seven Good PPC Habits Has One Surprise

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John Ellis’ list of the Seven Habits Of Highly Effective Pay-Per-Click Advertisers includes one that runs counter to the promises made by many SEMs.

Seven Good PPC Habits Has One Surprise
Seven Good PPC Habits Has One Surprise

The list Ellis published on Memorial Day may have been missed by some people, even though it is showing up on quite a few blogs.

He talks about controlling spending on campaigns by adjusting bid amounts instead of the daily budget, and the need to have a negative keyword list to eliminate customers who are likely to be non-converting.

Point number five may draw a lot of confused looks from search marketers:

5.- Avoid #1 Bottom line: The number one position is a bad ROI. Often times that can also be said about the #2 and #3 position. The traffic coming from the top positions are not buyers, they are just researching. Serious buyers WILL go to the 3, 4, 5 position. When the consumers are ready to buy, they will be back. Be patient.

Ellis doesn’t think the effort and expense to grab that top spot will payoff well for marketers. Sites like Google aren’t going to welcome that kind of thinking; what if people started settling for top five placement for ads instead of bidding hard for the top spot?

Add your thoughts below the article. Is it time to stop playing Google’s money game, as Ellis indirectly hinted?

Seven Good PPC Habits Has One Surprise
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  • Wichsfrosch

    really, this is common sense. Nobody in SEM aims for #1 only to be listed as #1 but always have an eye on ROI ad tweak ADs accordingly. If it then turns out that #1, #2 or #3 is perfect: The heck with it!

  • Jozian (Jeff Jockisch)

    I agree with Mr Ellis that targeting a #1 ranking can give you a worse short-term ROI. I usually shoot for a top 4 rank, unless the price differential to jump to #1 is small.

    However, it should be noted that if brand is important to you, that primacy can work out to be more valuable in the long run.

    Also, in highly competative markets where products and services are close to commodities, allowing your rival to get the click first because of a a higher ranking, will often mean you dont get the click at all. And, the clicks you do get can have a higher percentage of ‘rate shoppers’ and ‘customers with issues’.

  • Dale Loflin

    If you look at conversion data for most of my campaigns, it’s contrary to much of the accepted wisdom in PPC articles. Give me the #1 position whenever I can get it!

    Concerts, Theatre, Sports Tickets – Preferred-Seats

  • Adam

    As a PPC professional, I know that much more goes into deciding which position to bid for other than recommendations and others’ opinions. If I choose to advertise in position #6, it’s because I’ve determined that my client has a higher ROI there than in any other position. Furthermore, the position will change from engine to engine, ad group to ad group and likely from keyword to keyword. As most should know, the PPC market is dynamic and every client/site is different. The position decision should be based only on the key performance indicators you’re using to manage success of your campaigns.

    • Wichsfrosch

      One should always have KPI determining/measuring the success of a campaign rather than vain looking on position where the ads are listed.

  • http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Mike_Kay MikeKay

    Interesting point of view. I usually go for the 3rd position. Also I believe is almost impossible to test the ROI for each keyword and each position and decide on one.