Research by Atlas DMT finds that, in some cases, lower-ranked keywords had higher conversion rates.
The effect of rank on conversions from paid search listings differs depending on keyword volume. That’s the conclusion of the latest Digital Marketing Insight (DMI) research from aQuantive’s Atlas DMT.
"Many have hypothesized that conversion rates might actually rise at lower ranks, theorizing that users clicking on lower listings are more qualified prospects, but this approach turns out to be neither entirely right nor wrong," said Young-Bean Song, director of analytics for Atlas DMT and its research and education arm, The Atlas Institute.
The research confirmed that, for high-volume keywords, conversion rates generally fall as rank decreases. However, when looking at the bottom 80 percent of keywords based on click volume, conversion rates often converted at higher levels than the top ranked listings.
For example, at Google, ranks 8 through 10 for low volume keywords had about 30 percent higher conversion rates than the top ranking. While at Yahoo’s Overture, low volume keywords showed sustained conversion rates across all top 10 ranks.
"Every marketing medium has the fundamental trade-off between volume and efficiency, and search is no exception," Song said. "Understanding factors such as rank on traffic and conversion provides marketers tools to better control costs, while maximizing targeted traffic and sales."
Atlas DMT, an operating unit of aQuantive, released research in July focused on how paid search engine rankings impact traffic. According to that research, there is about a ten times difference in potential traffic between the first and tenth paid search position rankings. Google showed a 40-percent drop between the first and second positions, while the difference on Overture was not so pronounced.
Utilizing data from Atlas Search, the company’s integrated search marketing and campaign management system, traffic representing more than 41 million clicks and 400 thousand keywords during July and August 2004 were analyzed. The analysis took into consideration advertisers’ "primary" conversion metric, which for most represented online sales, but also included conversions such as lead acquisitions, account sign-ups and requests for information.
On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Early Bird Rates expire May 29. Register today and save!
Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.
Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.
With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.
Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.
June 10, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT