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Sponsored B2B
Converting visitors into customers one click at a time...  

In the B2B market, an efficient PPC campaign needs to capture and motivate prospects throughout the decision-making and sales cycles; while always understanding that intent and CTR are not always uniquely matched with either the research or buying phase.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Best Side Sponsored Position

Oftentimes marketers prefer to position ads in the top-three; after all, it is the best spot to be given first fixations and scan patterns - however, sometimes costing and budget restraints make it next to impossible to maintain that top-sponsored position.
Why? Because not every company has the same ROI for a given keyword, branding is worth more to some companies than others; and there are still those that have yet to make an investment in SEM to turn high CTR into high conversion rates.

But if you can't be in the top sponsored, is there a better position to be in? In other words, where is the best spot for side-sponsored ads?

Our recent research has indicated two possible outcomes as being highly favorable opportunities for those relegated to advertising in the side-sponsored position.
  1. Being in the fourth or fifth side sponsored position (just above the fold) has a higher fixation count than any other side-sponsored, except for the first position (which is usually as cost-prohibitive as the top-sponsored). But interestingly, this position also gets a higher share of the sponsored clicks than those 2 or 3 ads before it. However, this only holds true if the top side-sponsored ad is gauged as relevant to the searchers query. So if the top side-sponsored ad is bad, you are in a non-performing wasteland and should consider bidding on a different keyword.
  2. Google only shows top-sponsored ads if there is not a more highly regarded and relevant organic listing. If there is, Google will only display side-sponsored ads in the SERP. In this case, if there is a good cost opportunity for the 4th or 5th spot - take it. But in this case, the same rule holds true as in the first scenario - if the top ad stinks it doesn't matter how good your messaging, call-to-action, or hit bolding is, users will never look at your ads.
What does this mean for you?

I strongly suggest that if you have a manageable basket of keywords in your sponsored campaign, perform SERP analyses for each query before cementing a bidding strategy. Take a look at theses top ads and the bid price per position before you decide the value to your company in competing on any one query.

For more information, take a look at our latest Research paper: Enquiro Eye Tracking Report II: Google, MSN and Yahoo! Compared

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