On July 13th, Google announced the new feature “Top vs. Side Ad” Performance Segmentation. This brings a whole new way to report on the effectiveness of your ad placement. It will help you understand how your ads are performing on Google and Search Partner pages and if they are faring positively or negatively based on their designated “top of page” or “side of page” spot, rather than their numerical position as has been used for reference in the past.
When your ad ranks at the top of the search results it is much more likely to get clicks. The fact that Google formats it to mirror the organic search results is also helpful for click through rates. To be more specific, one case study showed that those Top ads generated 15 times more clickthrough than their Side competitors. This new performance segmentation eliminates that question by allowing you to monitor your position and place bids to optimize your placement for profitability and CTR.
This data can be viewed in the Campaigns or Ad Group tabs of your AdWords account. Choose “Top vs. Side” from the segment menu to see data displayed for each item in your reports. Use this data to compare the cost per conversion and clickthrough rates. In many campaigns we will notice huge differences in profitability. Compare your CTRs, cost per click, cost per conversion, and conversion rates in each location to optimize for higher ROI.