Rank #1 on Google Search by optimizing these 3 Ad aspects

Rank #1 on Google Search by optimizing these 3 Ad aspects

Google Ads is one of the most preferred channels of promotion known to any Digital marketer. Let’s say you are starting with your first campaign, you’ve created your ad, provided a budget for your ad and you’re all set to see it live on the Google Search. But how do you know if your ad is even going to show up? And if it does, where does it show up? On which page and what position is your ad laid out? And finally, what is the formula used to Google to determine your Ad Rank?

This is where Google’s Ad Auction comes in.  Google Ad Auction is Google’s way of deciding which ads are to be shown and at which position. In the following article, you’ll learn how Google Ad’s Auction works, how the Ad Rank determines your ad position, and the factors responsible for it.

What is Google Ad Rank?

Google Ads uses an auction system to rank ads appearing on the search page. The order in which these ads are displayed on the page is decided based on a calculation which is called an Ad Rank.

How does Ad Rank impact CPC (Cost per Click)?

On most occasions, the average cost per click (CPC) is not the actual price that you would end up paying for your ads. The system being dynamic, the CPC varies a lot from auction to auction and depends on various factors. The important thing to note is that the average CPC is just an average, it could go above or below the mentioned price.

A higher ad quality, which leads to a higher rank, typically leads to lower costs, better ad positions, and better conversions.

 What is the formula for Google Ad Rank?

As shown in the formula above, CPC bid and Quality score combined decide your Ad Rank.
  • The CPC bid is nothing but the bid that you’ve assigned to a campaign, either on a campaign level, ad set, or keyword level. It the bidding has been set to Automatic, then the CPC bid would be calculated based on other factors like the budget allocated, type of auction, and competition.
  • A combination of 3 other factors determines the Quality score which we’ll be discussing in the next section.

An example of how Google provides ranking for 4 advertisers

Consider the following instance wherein we’ve 4 advertisers who are bidding at distinct CPC for a particular keyword and have different Quality Scores. We’ll be applying the Ad Rank the formula here to determine which of the positions these ads would take up.

As you can see, even though the Advertiser 4 is bidding the highest, his ads are still displayed below the other 3 advertisers who are bidding much lower but have a better Quality Score.

 What is Google Quality Score?

The Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, the keywords being used, and the landing pages in place. The Quality Score tends to impact ad pricing and their positions.

Factors impacting the Quality Score of a Google Ad:

The following 3 factors impact the quality score of a Google Ad:

1. Expected CTR

Expected CTR is Google’s prediction of how many users that see your ad are actually going to click it.

CTR (Click through rate) = (Total Ad Clicks) / (Total Ad Impressions)

In calculating expected CTR, Google relies on past data, on how well your keyword has performed in the past. Google also relies on the various user feedbacks and user clickthrough’s that they receive in order to drive such decisions. By allowing users to cast their votes via clicks, Google has millions of people who are helping them to decide which ads are best for which search query.

 2. Landing Page Experience
Google looks to serve those landing pages which align the best to the user’s query. A highly relevant landing page would yield a much higher score compared to others.

A high-quality landing page should have content that has original and appropriate content, and one that helps the user find what they are looking for. The page should be easily navigable and transparent about the nature of the business, should be mobile-friendly, and most importantly, should be secure to trace or store user information.

3. Ad Relevance

Ad relevance is basically a measure of how well an ad matches the users’ search query. The closer the resemblance, the higher the score. This eliminates unwanted clicks and helps businesses reach their ideal customers.

Note – During an actual auction, various other factors come into picture like the user’s device, location, and time of day. However, the above mentioned are the most crucial ones.

How to improve your Ad Rank / Quality Score?

In order to improve the Ad Rank, focus on the 3 components of Quality Score.

Improving Expected CTR

In order to improve the Expected Click-through rate of your ad, do the following:
  • Be Specific: Include keywords in the ad text to show users that your ad is very relevant to their search.
  • Experiment with different CTAs: Try out different Call to auctions to find out which one works the best. For instance, ‘Try now’ vs ‘Book now’.  
  • Highlight your product’s USP: What makes your product better than your competitors, or what’s your unique selling point? Make sure you highlight it in the ad text.
  • Create a location or time-specific ad: Also, test your creatives around holidays and special events, rotate them as per the occasion to meet the trend at the moment.

Improving Ad Relevance

In order to improve your ad relevance, do the following:
# Add Negative Keywords: Make sure you add negative keywords to prevent showing your ads for unwanted search queries or the ones which are not related to your product. You could make use of Google Search Console to find keywords that get you clicks but are not related to your product.
# Be specific on mobile devices: Make sure your ads are mobile-specific. For instance, for users searching for on-market keywords, make sure you display phone numbers that can directly be dialed on click while on a mobile device.

# Be local: Blend your ads with the relevant language based on the location where the ad is being served.

# Include relevant search terms in ad copy: Adding relevant search terms right on the ad copy tend to bode well with users and improves CTRs.

Improving Landing Page Experience

In order to improve the landing page experience of users, do the following:

# Redirect to the right landing page: Send the users to the page that relates the best to the user query. For instance, if a user searches for ‘Polo T-Shirts’, make sure the landing page features ‘Polo T-Shirts’ and not other varieties.

# Be Consistent: Be consistent with the content of your ad copy and the landing page content. A mismatch would lead to a higher bounce rate.

# Make your site transparent and trustworthy: Be more transparent to users. Make the navigation easy to find your contacts. Also, if you collect their personal information, make it clear the reason for it and what you’re going to do with it.

# Site Speed: Site speed is a huge component in getting a good Quality Score. Make sure your site opens quickly and offers a good user interface.

# Mobile Navigation: Test your mobile pages well for their navigation and how user friendly they are. You can test the mobile-friendly score using Google Search Console.

How to check Google Ad Rank for keywords?

Ad Rank, in itself, doesn’t exist as a metric in Google AdWords. However, you can make use of the Quality Score status column to determine the Quality Score of your ads, and hence there ranking. Your current Quality Score and its components will be seen with 4 Quality Score status columns: Quality Score, Landing page experience, Ad Relevance, and Expected CTR.

Add Quality Score related columns to Keywords report:

Follow the below-mentioned steps to add Quality Score related columns to your keywords report:
  • Go to your Keywords tab
  • Click on the “Modify Columns” option located on the top toolbar above keywords.
  • Click on the ‘Quality Score’ section to see the quality score and its related components.
  • Select the Quality Score and its related components as per your need.

In the following article, we discussed the working of Google Ads auction and the formula to calculate the Ad rank and the factors that impact the Quality Score of an ad. And finally, check Google Ranking using the Quality Score of an ad and how they can be improved.

Author – Anish S, the author of the blog, and runs the website by the name ‘Stay Updated Online’. The site delves into providing Digital Marketing related learning guides. Visit the site for more details.

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