Just like with organic results, Google has an algorithm to rank the ads. And it’s not about having the largest budget to get in top. When done right, you can win higher positions while paying less than your competitors, and lower your CPC too!
Digital ad spending worldwide is reaching nearly $400 billion by 2021 (eMarketer), with the largest market segment being Search Advertising (Statista). Logically, this means that when we are talking about Google Ads to get your business in search results, you are not alone. So your ranking is a definitive factor.
More visibility, more engagement
These are no news at all, but the majority of people never scroll past the first page on a Google search. And the higher the position of an ad, the higher engagement and clickthrough rates. So remember that even though your ad may be showing, it doesn’t mean that people actually see it.
That’s why winning the top positions only will be to your advantage. More visibility simply proves to drive more engagement. 94% of all clicks happen on the first page of search engine results. The top two paid ads get around double the traffic than ads just one position lower (Powertraffic). On mobile devices where most searches are from, only paid ads results are showing before scrolling all the way down. With two results at a time. So imagine the attention to be number one or two.
Win the auction
To have the best ad positions and improve your ad rank, you first need to understand how Google’s algorithm works. The ads ranking is based on an auction, which starts when someone makes a search on Google. The Google Ads algorithm finds all eligible ads from the different advertisers and determines which ads to show and their final position on the page. It includes over 200 factors, but the three main factors are the following; your bidding, ad relevance, and landing page quality.
Set a bidding
Your maximum bid
You can choose to set a limit for your maximum bid. It should be set to a fair amount, depending on the competition. If your bid is way below average, your ad might not even show. What you will end up paying per click, however, also depends on your quality score. The higher the quality score you have, the lower the cost per click you can get. Two important factors here is the relevance of your ad and your landing page quality.
Make your ad relevant
The algorithm determines how relevant your ad is to what a person is searching for, by the content of your ad and expected interaction with the ad.
Relevant ad copy is based on how it matches the keywords you have selected and how often they appear in the ad. Make sure to include keywords from your ad group in the description text and title. Write it in an appealing way too, and in a way that makes sense. It’s people who will read it and their interest you need to catch. Don’t exaggerate with too many keywords or repetitively writing them after one another.
The expected interaction is an estimation of how many people will choose to click on your ad. This is calculated by the number of impressions, divided by the number of clicks. The higher the clickthrough-rate, the better it is expected to perform, and the higher the relevance. With a new ad, there is obviously no data to count on from day one. But check your ad’s performance over time, and already after a few weeks you will see. Also, for this reason, it’s recommended to build several ads in one ad group. This way you can compare their performance with each other, and change or pause any ad with lower performance.
Have a high-quality landing page
Your ad links to a landing page from your website. Google will determine its quality which is based on several factors. In the end, Google wants to deliver the best experience for people searching online, and make it easy to find what they are looking for. Here your page speed, landing page navigation, and content counts.
Your page speed needs to be fast. First of all – nobody wants slow loading time. And second – the page speed is extremely valued by Google. So having a page speed above average will be to your advantage. Not only to improve ad quality and ranking, but also to increase conversions.
You can use free tools such as PageSpeed Insights to analyze your website page speed. Remember to also check mobile devices! Many advertisers just check the default results for desktop, but in most cases, the majority of the searches are done from a smartphone. And the trend of mobile searches is only increasing. Google will actually put even more importance to the mobile version in 2021. If you have results below average, I would recommend to have your web developer work on it. Heavy images, layout, and other backend elements can limit the page speed.
Easy to navigate landing page
The landing page should easy to navigate. This means having a clear overview and structure on your site where it’s easy for the visitors to find the information they are looking for. Google will determine this based on content, descriptions, and categories.
Your landing page relevance is about the content of the page and engagement. Engagement with your site shows that the page is relevant, so it’s important to direct people to a landing page that they will stay on. Like a page where they can see and read more about your offer. And with a clear call-to-action so they know what to do. Google will also check the content of your site and how it matches your ad. Description should be of the same category or theme and include keywords from your ads too. Pages with images only or very short copy won’t work as it’s not rich in information.
Winning the top positions with Google Ads, depend on your ad quality score. This is determined by three main factors; your bidding, ad relevance, and landing page quality. Google will select which ads to show in a search from all eligible ads, and rank them according to their quality score. Search ads can be showing on top of the first page, on the bottom, or on the second page.
The higher positions will not only help you increase visibility, but also to get more engagement. And finally, it also means that you’ll be able to lower your CPC so you can make the most of your budget and advertising.