In the middle of July Google AdWords released a new feature to the performance segmentation report called “Top vs. side” performance. This report allows you to view metrics when your ad shows above the organic results compared to the right of the organic results. This report, which I discussed at the time, showcases that the ads above the organic results have much better click-thru-rates (CTRs). This point makes sense as top ads are the first ads searchers see and they can utilize more features, including longer headlines, sitelinks and display URLs in the headline.
It makes sense, then, that AdWords has now unveiled the metric, “estimated top page bid.” Previously you only saw “estimated first page bid,” where the minimum bid required to be on the first page of Google results was shown. With the increased emphasis and importance of showing your ads above the organic results AdWords now shows you what you will have to bid to remain on top.
To access this metric you will need to go to the “Keywords” tab and click the “Columns” button. From the drop-down menu select “Customize columns.” Under the “Attributes” column check off “Est. first page bid” and then click “Save.” You will now be able to see Google’s estimate of how much you will need to bid to show your ads above the organic listings.
As with all bids you must make sure the top of first bid makes sense for you. Yes, it is nice to be seen immediately and utilize additional features, however, the bid must make sense. The “Top vs. side” performance report will help you make this determination.
Going forward I believe we will continue to see improvements in “Top vs. side” reporting with additional metrics. I hope to someday soon see how ad extensions work when on the top vs. to the right of the organic listings. For example, how does performance change when a product extension is shown on one line in a top ad compared to two lines in a side ad? Or, do more calls originate via call metrics depending on where the ad is seen? These are among the additional pieces of insight I hope to see.