You may know your Google search engine ranking, but did you know you have an ad ranking too? Today, we’re going to learn all about this, how it’s changed over time, and the steps you can take toward improving ad rank moving forward.
The term “ad rank” is used by Google to describe the position of your ad on the search results page. If your ad shows at the top of the page, your rank will be number one. Your ad performance may show first, second, or not at all on the search results. If you want to appear as a sponsored ad, you need to increase your rank as much as possible to get exposure.
Much to the dismay of SEO experts, Google has always been honest about how ad ranks are calculated. Yet their transparency also keeps us looped in, which helps us improve our positioning.
Not so long ago, the calculation was simple:
CPC Bid x Quality Score = Ad Rank
How much are you willing to pay per click? This is known as your maximum CPC bid. Multiply that by Quality Score, and you have your ad rank. We knew that there were two things we could do to improve this rank:
This was eventually scrapped. Since then, ad rank has relied on three components. The newest factor known as ‘expected impact’ is based on ad formats and advanced features. The more of them you use, the higher you rank. For those who haven’t ventured past the default settings, their ad rank will suffer.
As evidenced by these changes, Google strives to provide users with ads that are interesting and will have an impact on the user.
An ad extension is a feature that is now available in AdWords. It allows advertisers to link back to their website and provide additional information. Those new to advertising often stick with sitelinks, but they can also choose between features such as image extensions, click-to-call extensions (mobile ads) and location extensions.
Google is looking for ads with these extensions because they boost click-through rates and provide additional value to the user.
Another change that has confused many recently is the removal of average position. Back in September 2019, this metric disappeared. Instead, we now have Impression (Top) % and Impression (Absolute Top) %.
From these two percentages, we can know how frequently our ads appear at the absolute top and the top of the search results page. With external tools, you can still find your average position on Google.
Ad extensions are an important part of your Google Ads strategy. Not only are they free, they will help you improve performance almost instantly and with very little effort.
The best way to improve your ad performance is to provide relevant content. In fact, Google even admitted to this fact when making changes to their algorithm. In order to predict the expected impact of ad formats and extensions, they consider the following:
To touch upon the last point, the extensions should be prominent on the page and generate higher click-through rates. Make sure they align with your goals and CTA, as this is one of the best ways to ensure a positive ad rank.
Sometimes, when businesses and brands decide to use extensions, they don’t have a strategy in place. Every change you make to improve your offering should be intentional and align with the CTA.
For example, you might want to encourage people to call. In this case, introduce a call extension where the ad clearly guides people towards calling the business. If your goal is to increase site traffic, you should make the most of sitelinks so that users can explore different pages. Finally, location extensions are available for businesses who rely on local traffic and custom.
Since you are almost certainly a Google user, it’s not hard to imagine yourself in that role. You know how frustrating it can be when you are promised one thing and given another. How many times have you clicked on a link only to find that the landing page is unrelated or subpar? Some brands think it’s normal to send visitors to the home page after clicking on an ad. Time for that to change.
When users discover your ad, it’s because they’ve searched for a specific term relating to your business. With this in mind, the landing page needs to be an extension of your ad and the keyword that allowed them to find you. According to some sources, matching the message of the landing page and the ad can boost conversion by 200%.
The landing page needs to be an extension of your ad and the keyword that allowed them to find you.
You might be thinking: “It will take months to create a unique landing page for every single ad group.” We understand that not everybody can manage that. However, what you can do is generate a standardized landing page for each of your campaigns. From there, change minute pieces of text to tailor the experience. This will still take time, but the results will be worthwhile.
A good experience of the landing page is an essential solution for how to improve Quality Score and ad rank. If you structure a unique landing page for every ad group, you will increase the chances of surpassing the competition.
Finally, you can’t do anything without a well-constructed ad group. When the ad group isn’t as specific as it should be, your ads won’t get the conversion rate or click-through rate that it deserves. More often than not, we waste time playing with the ad when it’s the ad group that needs help.
There are two common methods of using keywords in your Google Ads strategy, SKAGs ad DKI. Both of these options allow the marketer to create more specific ad groups. You may consider single keyword ad groups (SKAGs), but if you are limited on time, go with dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) instead. These are the most effective ways of improving ad rank without increasing how much you spend on bidding.
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