PPC Minute: Average Position

What is Average Position?

A statistic that identifies the spot where your ad ranks on average for the date range selected. To get Google’s definition and more complete details, see their help page.

How is it calculated?

For the ad and date range selected, the ad position value is summed for all times the ad was shown. This number is then divided by the number of times the ad was shown. Here’s an example of two ads, along with their Ad Position, which were shown several times during a certain date range:

Ad #1 1.9
Ad #1 2.7
Ad #1 1.5
Ad #2 1.3
Ad #2 2.1
Ad #2 1.8
Ad #2 1.7

Table 1:  Ads and their position each time they were shown.

Using the table above, the two ads would have the following Average Positions:

  • Ad #1 = 2.0
  • Ad #2 = 1.7

Why is it Important?

The Average Position can give you a clue about why your ad is or is not being clicked. If your ads are not showing in a place where your visitors will see them, then your ads won’t get clicked.

What is a Good Average Position?

Showing your ads on the first page of search results (ad positions 1-8) is very important, but sometimes it’s not necessary to have your ads show in the first spot. Reviewing ad performance can provide insight into the ad position that works best for what you are advertising.

How to Increase/Decrease Your Average Position

In most cases, you will want to increase your ad’s average position to get it to a better performing slot, however, there may be occasions when you find your ads do better in a slightly lower position. Here are some things you can do to impact the position of your ads:

Increasing Average Position

  • Increase bids
  • Improve landing pages
  • Improve your click-through rate by insuring relevance between ads, keywords and landing pages

Decreasing Average Position

  • Lower bids

The Bottom Line

Diligently monitoring the average position of your ads can help you understand why your ads are (or are not) getting clicks. Making adjustments to keyword bids, landing pages and other aspects of your PPC account can help you improve your position and meet more of your advertising goals.