PPC: The Drastic Difference Between #1 and #2 in Your Dental Marketing
Author: Ray Miranda
I first heard the idea that the 1st position in PPC advertising is not as beneficial as the 2nd back in the 2010s. The idea behind it was that searchers always associated the #1 search result as a paid ad and hesitated to click it because it seemed spammy. If this is true, then the #2 position would be the logical choice for advertisers. But why would some people not click on an ad on purpose?
Well, the internet is not always safe to browse, and some fault is due to Malvertising (malicious advertising). You see, PPC started back in the 1990s and there wasn’t much protection or policies like we have today (such as quality scores, that promote relevancy and fair competition). Combined with relentless pop-up ads, there is an established misconception in people’s minds that all ads on the internet should be avoided. So, with that in mind, aiming for the #2 position in your PPC campaign(s) is a no-brainer, right?!
Well, maybe not. There are a lot of benefits that you are giving up if you are not in the #1 position. Companies like Google and Microsoft give advertisers additional benefits for aiming for the top that might be a deal-breaker to give up. Let’s go over some logic before showing some numbers.
Pros and Cons of Aiming Lower
Other than the main reason to aim for 2nd position, how else does it benefit you? Well, if you are a small to medium business, maybe lowering your bids can help keep your ads running longer. If your competitor is a bigshot company (for example, ClearChoice), then no matter what you do, it's going to be costly to aim for the top. So, aiming for the #2 or even #3 positions might be an alternative strategy. If your company’s target audience is an older demographic who remembers the struggles of navigating the internet in the past; then this strategy might also be beneficial.
The negative of this approach falls in line with the incentives advertising platforms provide to whoever is at the #1 position. You are giving up the chance at having more ad copy than your competitor(s). Ad Extensions have priority in the best position and those extra sitelinks might be the difference between a ‘good’ or ‘just okay’ click-through rate. Consequently, if your target audience consists of a younger demographic, they might not have a negative viewpoint with ads.
What Do The Numbers Say?
So, in a perfect world where budget is not a problem, is this worth considering…? Not according to the numbers. It’s an interesting idea with some logical thinking to back it; but unfortunately, the numbers don’t lie. The best position is still #1. As of 2020, according to Search Engine Journal, the chances of getting a click on your ad in the #1 position is 28.5% vs the #2 position at 15.7%. In addition, 55% of advertisers tend to prefer text-based content in their search results, which means that increasing your chance at sitelinks to show up is a must. Adding sitelinks with best position increases your chances of getting a click to 46.9% in the #1 position vs 14% in the #2 position.
The large gap between the #1 and #2 position is so vast, that even if there is a small group of searchers avoiding the 1st position ads, they are small enough to be considered negligible. At Progressive Dental, we’re always looking at new possibilities and market trends, but this one seems to be a dud. In addition, the result we strive for at Progressive Dental is getting conversions out of clicks. It doesn’t matter what position your ad shows up, if Negative Keywords aren’t placed properly, then the clicks will have been wasted. Ultimately, position is only a fraction of the strategy that we consider when embarking on a new PPC campaign or maintaining an existing one.
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