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Old 09-17-2007   #1
machix
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What does it take to get to the top?

I have a client who's obsessed with getting that much coveted No. 1 spot.

Currently, his keywords already have a great quality score and the average position of his ad is 2. His ads appear on top of the organic search results so I guess it should be doing pretty well.

However, and you should have guessed it, my client is still not contented and wants to move all the way to the top. The No. 1 spot is constantly occupied by the same company. What could be the possible reasons here? A CPC bid that is way too astronomical?

My ad creatives and keywords are highly relevant, current max CPC bids are set at very high prices, so im not too sure what else could be done to further optimize it.

Anyone have any ideas to share? Would greatly appreciate.
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Old 09-18-2007   #2
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Re: What does it take to get to the top?

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....His ads appear on top of the organic search results so I guess it should be doing pretty well...
Don't guess. Before you do anything else get the adwords conversion tracking code in place so you know the ROI i.e. #conversions and the cost/conversion. Then, if your client still insists on the #1 slot (which incidently, is called "vanity bidding") you can probably get it by cranking up your bid (maxCPC). As you do so you'll be able to measure the effect on ROI. Then, when your client ask you to justify their spend you'll have the ROI number to quote. If that does not look good (and it probably will not), the only other way to justify a spend in this case is to tell your client it's PR, not advertising and should be charged to their PR budget. But, expect a major spend, and at some point expect your client to ask you to explain it. Vanity bidding is going to cost you!
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Old 09-19-2007   #3
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Re: What does it take to get to the top?

Thanks for the reply, abbottsys.

Unfortunately, my client's account doesnt consist of conversion tracking so theres no way I would be able to explain to him the ROI and stuff.

To put it simply, the effectiveness of his campaign is gauged by the ability to retain the top spot for listed keywords.

Now, im just concerned that if I mark up the max CPC, would I end up paying a lot more, or is it just $0.1 more than the next closest competitor?

Would CTR in a big way influence the ranking?
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Old 09-19-2007   #4
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Re: What does it take to get to the top?

If you need to reach the top of the rankings, write ads that generate the highest CTR and increase your bids. These are the two main factors in Google's paid ad ranking algorithm. Does your competitor's ad look like it will generate a higher CTR? Can't tell? You could write an identical or almost identical ad and test it against your own. Compare, tweak and test until you find the highest CTR. Also, use the keyword term you are trying to rank for in the title of the ad, if possible. And finally, having your landing page (destination url) content optimized for the keyword phrase will probably also help.

It is very possible that your competitor in first position has the same mentality. If he is also disregarding ROI and bidding just for the number one position, then this "war" for first place is probably going to get pretty expensive. If I were you I would incrementaly increase my bid until I got the first position. Say you are at $1.00 right now and you find you have to move your bid up to $8.00 to get the top spot. Well, if thats too much to pay, then simply drop your bid a small amount so that you drop to second place but have as high a bid as possible. This will force your competition to pay the maximum price for his ad. This could force him to hit his daily budget and have his ad disabled or once he notices a tremendous increas in spend, he could back down on his bid and make it more affordable for you to bid in the top position.

Though you need to carefully monitor your account if you do this as your spend can get very high, very quickly if your competitor drops his bid or if someone bidding below you increases their bid.
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Old 09-19-2007   #5
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Re: What does it take to get to the top?

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....To put it simply, the effectiveness of his campaign is gauged by the ability to retain the top spot for listed keywords....
OK, then do this:

1) First make the ad the best it can be, optimize it and the landing page
2) Slowly increase maxCPC and see if and when you get flipped into the #1 slot
3) Monitor the costs, and then decide if you can live with them in the long term

Ad rank is determined by a whole slew of factors, but maxCPC and CTR are two very important ones.
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Old 09-19-2007   #6
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Re: What does it take to get to the top?

Thanks a million for the insightful replies!

Looks like it takes a lot of strategizing and wits to oust your competitors as well.
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Old 09-20-2007   #7
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Re: What does it take to get to the top?

Get to the top max out the bids.... the improved ads and landing pages etc. are the longer solution... short term boost the max cpc to $50 and work down by $5 a day until you drop from the top
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Old 09-20-2007   #8
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Re: What does it take to get to the top?

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boost the max cpc to $50 and work down by $5 a day until you drop from the top
$50 sounds kinda frightening! Highest I have ever gone was $15.

I have my concerns with regards to the way Google determines the actual CPC. Would I end up paying close to that amount or just really $0.1 more than the one below me?
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Old 09-20-2007   #9
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Re: What does it take to get to the top?

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....I have my concerns with regards to the way Google determines the actual CPC. Would I end up paying close to that amount or just really $0.1 more than the one below me?
How do you know that the guy currently at #1 hasn't locked himself into that position by bidding $100 maxCPC. Try what Aussie says and find out. AdWords is an experimental science. You say you must have #1, ok, then be prepared to do what it takes to get there. As I said before, vanity bidding will cost you. If you have to have #1 then fork over your money to google
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Old 09-21-2007   #10
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Re: What does it take to get to the top?

Experimental Science..

Hmmm, think that just sums up about everything. Interesting..
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Old 09-21-2007   #11
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Re: What does it take to get to the top?

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Experimental Science..

Hmmm, think that just sums up about everything. Interesting..
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