Position Test Success Story, Why Should You Try It?

By Lina Nakata, Paid Search Supervisor, Advertising Solutions

When dealing with expensive PPC keywords and a highly competitive market, many of us find it difficult to keep our generic (non-brand) campaigns efficient. If you are looking for ways to improve your campaign KPIs (CPA, Conversion %), here is an optimization test story that worked for us, and might work for you.

Our client is a leader in its market. The strong brand made for a very efficient brand search campaign. The story wasn’t the same for the generic campaign. The tough competition, high Cost Per Click (CPC), and low conversion percentage resulted in an expensive Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).

The challenge was to increase efficiencies (drive more conversion and lower CPA) for the generic keywords. The strength/opportunity was a strong and well-known brand. The weakness/threat was a limited budget to support expensive and high competitive keywords.

The final question was what to do to leverage the brand, maximize the use of a limited budget, and increase efficiencies?

We decided to run a position test. We implemented a bid strategy to target positions 3 to 4. The test addressed each of the questioned items and improved efficiencies for the following campaign KPIs:

  • It lower CPCs, which allowed for more clicks: Maximizing the use of the budget
  • The lower cost and additional clicks brought more conversions at a significant lower CPA: Increasing efficiencies
  • The lower position captured clicks from brand conscious consumers, increasing the campaign’s conversion percentage: Leveraging the strong brand

A key to the success of this test was the strong brand name recognition. It allowed the ads to continue to grab the consumers’ attention and get clicks even when it appeared at a lower position. Better yet, the increase in conversion percentage showed us that not being in 1st position helped pre-qualify the visits to the site.

If you are experiencing a similar challenge with your generic keywords, I strongly recommend trying a position test. For best practices (for this and any other test):

1. Collect benchmark data
2. Plan to run the test for at least 14-28 days
3. Do not make any other changes to the campaign while conducting the test

Keep in mind test results can vary depending on the client, competition, industry, and any other external factors that can impact the performance of the campaign. Hope this test works for you!


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