The widely held assumption is that the No. 1 position is the best position for paid search. However, Billy McCaffrey at WordStream makes a case that being No. 1 isn’t always the best when it comes to PPC ads.
“Yes, while position #1 certainly can’t hurt from an impression/visibility standpoint, it might not be the optimal position from a conversion/ROI standpoint,” he writes. For instance, a mom-and-pop hardware supplier shouldn’t try to contend for the top position, lest they blow their budget by competing against the likes of Home Depot or Lowe’s.
Businesses should remember that there are three spots for PPC ads at the top of Google’s search results and that appearing in the second or third spot, or even on the side of the results page, offers ample exposure. This is especially true for competitive industries. Businesses should tinker with positioning and how it affects their profitability.