How to Rank No. 1 on Google Search With Paid Ads

If you want to maximize visibility of your business, ranking in the top position of search should be any advertiser’s dream. I’ll show you how you can achieve this – without increasing ad spend.

This is no news at all; the majority of users never scroll past the first page. Over 28% of all clicks happen on the first result and over 75% of all clicks happen on the first page. The higher the position of an ad means more visibility and also more engagement. So hiding in the depth behind paid and organic results on the following pages is just not what you’re here for.

Winning the first position is something you can take control over – and it’s not determined by your budget. In fact, you can achieve higher rankings while paying less than your competitors.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s not!
Just like with organic results, Google has an algorithm to rank the ads. And with digital ad spending being valued at over $600 billion in 2023, and is still expected to grow exponentially (Oberlo), competition is incredibly intense. In this blog post I will uncover how you can get your ad in the top positions and claim the advantages of increased visibility.

How the Auction Defines Ad Rank

To improve your ad rank, the first step is to understand how Google’s algorithm works. Ad rank is the position of your ad in the search results and is determined in an auction process that begins when a user performs a search. In short, ad rank is influenced by factors like your bid, ad relevance, and landing page quality (and over 200 factors more). But these are the main ones. Let’s dive into how you can optimize to win higher positions.

1.Effective Bidding Strategies

Effective bidding can make or break your paid ad campaign. Here are things to consider when optimizing your bidding strategy:

Set a Reasonable Budget

Determine the daily budget for your ad campaign. Your budget should be calculated by your avg. CPC and desired amount of traffic you want to attract, in order to not be limited by too low spend. You can gradually increase your budget once you get good tracking and results.

Maximum bid

Determine the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a click. Set a fair bid considering the competition. Otherwise your max CPC might be too low, and your ads won’t even be eligible to show! Additionally, your CPC will depend on the industry you are in, so also check once your ads are running and adjust accordingly.

Choose the Right Bidding Method

Google Ads offers various bidding strategies, such as manual bidding, automated bidding, and target CPA (cost per acquisition). What you set initially is most likely different from the ideal method you choose when having collected more data and conversions – which is necessary for automated bidding. Honestly, it depends on the account – I experience it can work really well with automated bidding from the start since it’s something Google pushes more and more into 2024.  Experiment and adjust as needed.

2.Make Your Ads Stand Out

Relevance between your ad and actual search is a top priority for your ad rank. Google rewards ads that are highly relevant to the search query by offering better ad positions and lower costs per click. Here’s how you can optimize it;

Highlight Benefits

Write engaging and relevant ad copy that speaks directly to your target audience. Highlight value propositions and benefits about your offer – people will be more drawn to this and the outcome that serves them, rather than your brand and story. Also include relevant keywords in your ad headlines. Wherever it makes sense, and to those keywords that make sense to show – avoid placing them randomly as it could negatively impact your ad’s performance.

Include Longtail Keywords

Identify relevant and high-volume keywords through keyword research to see different variations of search queries. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner and focus on long-tail keywords that match user intent. As an example, it will be much easier to rank on keywords like “flower bouquet same day delivery” or “flower shop Dubai” than short-tail keywords like “flower shop”.

Add Sitelinks and Assets

Take advantage of Google’s assets (previously known as ad extensions) such as sitelinks, business name, logo, callout, and image extensions. They allow you to provide additional valuable information about your business, service, or product, and furthermore increase the visibility and click-through rate of your ads.

Increase CTR

Google estimates the expected interaction with your ad based on its actual clickthrough rate (CTR). Higher CTR indicates greater relevance and expected performance and is rewarded by Google. Therefore, monitor your ad’s performance over time and test multiple ads and assets to keep your CTR up or to improve it.

3.Improve Landing Page Quality

The quality of your landing page influences not only your ad rank, but also user experience – which you want to have in mind to drive conversions! Here’s how you can optimize your landing page for your Google Ads.

Fast Page Speed

Ensure your landing page loads fast! First of all – nobody wants slow loading time. And second – the page speed is extremely valued by Google. So having results above average is highly recommendable. Not only to improve ad quality and ranking, but also to make your visitors stay and keep their interest.

You can use free tools such as PageSpeed Insights to analyze your landing page performance. Remember to also check performance for mobile devices! Majority of the searches in many cases are dominated by mobile, so this should be a priority. Heavy images, layout, coding, unused Javascript, and other backend elements can limit the page speed. If you have results below average I would recommend having a web developer work on it.

Easy Navigation

Your landing page should be user-friendly and easy-to-navigate. This means having a clear structure and layout where it’s easy for the visitor to find the information they are looking for. Content, structure of menus, headlines, and descriptions plus practices of SEO will also positively improve user experience and landing page quality.

Relevant Content

People engaging with your site show Google that the page is relevant, so it’s important to direct people to a landing page that they stay on. And what will make people stay on your site and keep their interest (besides the other points), is the content. Ensure your landing page content matches your ad and offers valuable information. Pages with images only or almost non-existing copy won’t work well as it’s not rich in information. You need to have text that Google can index so it can tell what it is about. Your landing page should also include clear call-to-actions. This is one of the most important ways to guide the visitors to take action – whether it’s to book a call, request more info, or send a contact form.

In Summary

Winning the top positions with Google Ads is not dependent on being the advertiser with the largest budget. It depends on your bidding, ad relevance, and landing page quality. Since Google has interest in the searchers’ experience to find what they are looking for, they select which ads to show from all eligible ads, and rank them accordingly.

The higher the position of your ad not only helps you increase visibility, but also increased engagement – and makes it easier to keep up ad performance. 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. Remember that Google Ads is an ever-changing advertising platform, and these factors can interact with each other. Monitoring and optimizing your campaigns regularly will help you identify and adjust to any changes in your average CPC and ad position.

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