Google AdWords: First & Top of Page Bids

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Google AdWords First Page & Top of Page ColumnsNow that the ‘Position Preference’ feature is no longer available within the AdWords online dashboard figuring out how to show your ads in the best position becomes a bit more difficult.

We just wanted to highlight two notable ‘features’ within the AdWords online dashboard.  The previously available, “Est. First Page Bid” and the new, “Top of Page Bid”

There are many columns that you can view when reviewing data for the keywords in your account and two are especially useful to make sure you are showing your ads in the position you would like. In the past Google had a really great feature called “Position Preference”, but as of a few months ago, this feature was retired.

Position Preference

Position Preference was a feature which allowed you to tell the system a specific position (or position range) that you would like your ads to show.  We always found this very useful because we could determine, in advance, where in the ad auction our ads would show. We would first review stats and performance data to determine which positions worked best (or which ones worked the least) and change our settings accordingly.

Estimated First Page Bids

Google showing AdWords advertisers an estimated CPC bid that will put their ad on the first page is not a new feature. Many advertisers ask us why they aren’t getting any (or a lot) traffic for certain Keywords. This feature helps with many of those issues as very often the keyword simply is showing on the second page which doesn’t get nearly as much traffic as the first.

The New “Top of Page Bid”

The Top of Page Bid is a pretty cool new feature. This allows you to see beyond what gets you simply on the first page and now you can see what bid is needed to put you at the Top of the Page, above the search results (as opposed to on the side).

This is useful and helps us get an idea of what it takes to be in the top 3 positions (generally and for competitive terms with at least 10 ads where as 3 show on top and 7 on the side).

The problem that we forsee with this though is a rise in CPC’s by uneducated bidders which will lead to increased minimum bids to show up in the top.  Many advertisers still believe it makes sense to ONLY show in position ONE. Furthermore, they still dont understand that; while your bid helps you get there, your Quality Score is a major component when determining your Ad’s Position and Ad Rank.

How to see Estimated First & Top of Page Bids

While in your AdWords account and on the “Keywords” tab, click the “columns” tab (located just above the graph [see below]), then hit “customize columns”.

You should then see a set of check box options that display all the columns that will display on the dashboard. We suggest showing the following columns (although your needs may vary). Make sure to have the basics: Clicks, Impressions, CTR, Avg CPC, Cost, Avg Position and we also recommend having Est. First Page Bid, Est. Top Page Bid, and Quality Score.

Google AdWords - Est. First Page Bid & Top of Page BidNow that you have selected the proper columns be sure to save.  You should then see [below] all the basics as well as the new columns that you have added. Be mindful when setting your bids to make sure that they will at least meet the First Page Estimate and take a look at your performance data (including Return on Investment, Cost Per Click, Conversions, etc.

Google AdWords Top of Page & First Page Bid Estimates


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