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Do You Always Need the Top Spot on Google?

When you use Google Adwords to get your company’s name out there and generate leads, you always want to show up in position 1 when you search your keywords. Right? Well, it depends on what kind of products or services you provide.

Before we jump into which position is best for your company, let’s review a bit of consumer behavior. The decision process for consumers is broken into five steps:


Problem recognition

Nobody will ever pay for your product or service if they do not think they have a problem. If there is no perceived problem, then there is no way that you can have a solution. While all of the steps in this process are important, this one gets the ball rolling and without it, nothing else happens.

Information search

Once the consumer knows they have a problem, they will begin to look for a way to solve their issue. This information can come from a google search, a billboard or a friend’s recommendation.

Alternative evaluation

The consumer will compare the potential solutions based on what the service or product has to offer, its value to the customer and its reputation. The outcome will depend on which features or benefits matter the most to the consumer at that time.

Purchase decision

This is the exciting part for you! The consumer has chosen a solution using gathered information and their evaluation of the alternatives. They have decided that this is the best solution for their problem.

Post-purchase behavior

The customer has made a purchase, but the process is not over yet. Once the consumer has made a decision, they will then evaluate how well the product or service solved their problem. The outcome of satisfaction or disappointment not only affects the future purchases of that particular consumer, but can greatly influence many others by word of mouth and online reviews.


Now to bring this back to Google ad positions.

The amount of time spent on each of the above steps depends heavily on the urgency of the initial problem. For example, if a consumer thinks that their dentist is not gentle enough, they may try to find a new dental practice. They will ask their friends for recommendations, search google for dentists in their area and look at online reviews. This consumer will take the time to find the perfect dentist. In this case, being at the top ad spot on google doesn’t make much of a difference. If the potential customer is taking time to research every option, they will get to your link as long as you’re on the first page.

If, on the other hand, a person comes home from work and finds a puddle of water coming from under their sink, they will be in a hurry to call a plumber and stop the leak as soon as possible. This consumer will not take time to go through yelp reviews, since the ‘ideal plumber’ in this situation is just the first one that can stop the leak. If your company’s services or products fall into this category, then being at the very top can be much more important. Many people in this position will click the first link and call the number right away. It is worth the expensive CPC in this instance, because these clicks will most likely lead to a very high rate of conversions compared to a category that does not fall into such a tight timeline.

For the types of businesses that are less urgent, other factors will come in, such as social media and blog posts that give your company more personality. This will go a long way in convincing the consumer to choose you. To see what type of advertising approach would work best for your business, talk to a digital marketing expert.

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