What Is Ad Rank? Here Are Some Tips To Get Higher Rank, Too 

The Google Ads platform allows advertisers to reach nearly limitless consumers on the Google Search Network, non-search websites, videos, and mobile apps. Brands may bid in auctions to display concise advertisements, product inventory, and company services to users. To keep the quality of sponsored results high, Google instituted a complex system that digital advertisers must comply with to be eligible for participation. It can feel overwhelming at first glance, but with our knowledge, persistence, and practice, you can have maximum success in paid search advertising. 

In this article, we detail how the Google Ads ranking system works, the factors influencing it, and ways to improve your ad rank. 

What Is Ad Rank? 

On the Google Ads platform, advertisers are given an ad rank for each advertisement. This set of values determines the ad’s eligibility and where it will be placed on the search engine results page (SERP). The higher the ad rank, the higher the chances of the ad winning over competing ads, leading to placement at the top position of the SERP. 

Factors Influencing Ad Rank 

Google uses several factors to determine ad rank in pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. The most important factors are: 

  • Maximum CPC: Your maximum bid amount. 
  • Quality Score: The quality score reflects how relevant and useful the ad is to visitors. 

The primary factors are used in the formula for determining Ad Rank in the following equation: 

Max CPC x QS = Ad Rank 

Additionally, the following components contribute to the factors listed above: 

  • Ad rank thresholds: Your ad meets the thresholds for eligibility. 
  • Auction competitiveness: How similar your ad is to competitor ads. 
  • Search relevance: How relevant the ad is regarding the user search and intent
  • Expected impact from assets: How additional assets will impact users. 

Ad rank can sway with each auction based on the factors listed above. 

Why Should You Worry About Ad Rank? 

Google’s ad rank plays an important role in determining the winner of an auction. A high ad rank improves the chances of winning the auction. It also provides insights into areas the ad could improve upon, such as ad copy, CTA, and max bid amount and reduces the CPC, saving you money. 

Ad Rank vs. Ad Position 

Although they sound similar, ad rank and ad position are two different elements in the Google Ads paid search platform. Ad rank is a value calculated during the auction based on the factors listed earlier. Ad position is the placement that an ad wins on the SERP for a relevant search query. In short, ad rank is used to determine ad position. A high ad rank is very good, but it does not always guarantee the top position. 

What Are the Ad Positions? 

The auction winner will get ad position number “1” and subsequently be placed in the top position of the SERP. Theoretically, this could be the first sponsored spot above the search results, but that isn’t always the case. The first sponsored position could be below the search results or elsewhere. It’s easier to think about the auction winner as the ad that gets the most favored position, according to Google. 

Quality Score 

Google holds all advertisers to a standard through the quality score (QS), which assesses ad quality compared to competing ads. At the keyword level, the ad receives a score between 1 and 10, with 10 being the highest quality and vice versa. Three components contribute to the QS of an ad: 

  1. Expected CTR: How often users are expected to click when shown the ad. 
  1. Ad relevancy: How well the ad aligns with the user’s intent. 
  1. Landing page experience: How enjoyable the landing page is to visitors. 

These components each receive a rating of “Below Average,” “Average,” or “Above Average.” 

While your ad has a QS, the score does not directly affect the ad rank. A higher QS leads to a higher Ad Rank, leading to better ad positions. 

Bidding Strategy 

One factor influencing ad rank is the max CPC bid amount. An amount that is too low may not be able to compete with higher bid amounts, especially if the gap is substantial. In most cases, testing the bid amount can help you determine a reasonable value that helps you win auctions without overspending. As a last resort, raising the bid ceiling could help your ad achieve victory in the auctions, but this is a strategy best reserved for those with deep pockets. 

Why Is Your Ad Rank Low? 

It may be confusing to see that your advertisement received a low ad rank from Google. In that case, it is time to perform some troubleshooting with the criteria below: 

  • Irrelevant or low relevancy: The ad may not match with the search query, search intent, or user intent. 
  • Unsatisfactory landing page: The visitor may find your landing page unappealing for several reasons. 
  • Low CTR: The ad may not attract enough clicks, which lowers the value of the advertisement. 
  • Underbidding: The bid amount may be substantially lower than competitor bids. 

With some detective work, the source of low ad rank will reveal itself. 

How To Achieve Higher Ad Rank 

If an ad has a low ad rank, then it can either be discontinued or changed for better results. Below are ways to raise the ad rank of any given advertisement. 

Improve Ad Relevance 

Each search query has a keyword phrase, search intent, and user intent. Complete alignment on all fronts increases the chances of obtaining more engagement. 

Implement Negative Keywords 

While targeting keywords that relate to your product or service is important, it is just as important to avoid bidding on unrelated ones. Employ negative keywords to prevent your campaign from winning auctions for irrelevant keywords. 

Work on the Ad Copy 

Ad copy is the core of your paid search ad and should be the focal point. Use this space to convey your message and entice the user to engage with your advertisement. Professional copywriters may offer valuable insights into the copy that may work best here. 

Include Ad Assets 

Ad assets help users obtain more information about your product, service, or brand without having to click further. This helps to develop trust with the user and provide related information they may need. Examples of assets to include are: 

  • Business logo or name: Confirms the business logo or name. 
  • Location: Confirms the location of your business. 
  • Call: Allows users to call your listed business phone. 
  • Price: Provides product pricing information. 
  • App: Allows users to download an app. 
  • Seller ratings: Highlights ratings given by reviewers. 
  • Sitelink: Offers clickable links that users may need or want. 
  • Lead form: Allows users to enter information into a lead form. 
  • Promotion: Highlights special offers, discounts, or sales. 
  • Image: Shows relevant images. 
  • Callout: Highlights specific features or benefits. 
  • Structured snippet: Gives more context. 

Depending on the ad, include any of the listed asset types to make it easier for the user to find what they need or to make a purchase. 

Optimize Landing Pages 

Upon clicking your text advertisement, users will be taken to your landing page. Spend time crafting a highly customized landing page that appeals to the target audience so they will want to engage with it and possibly complete the action you want. Here are some quick tips for landing page improvement: 

  • Speak their language: Use words and phrases that resonate with the audience so they can feel comfortable enough to part with their money. 
  • Upgrade and test CTA: The CTA will instruct your visitor to complete an action, which can be altered as necessary. Try varying the CTA with different words, phrases, and buttons. 
  • Reduce load time: Every second counts when it comes to load time, especially since the average attention span of a human is now less than that of a goldfish. Reduce your image sizes, remove unnecessary scripts, and upgrade your web host to ensure top speed. 
  • Consider the user’s device: Users may be visiting your landing page from a PC, mobile, tablet, or other type of device, which means the display of your landing page may not present itself correctly. Responsive design will guarantee a good view, no matter the device. 
  • Adjust margins: Users want to view aesthetically pleasing landing pages, which means there should be adequate margins around the screen. 

After adjusting the landing page, remember to conduct A/B split testing to maximize potential. 

Adjust Bidding 

Most digital marketers will tell you that increasing your bid will almost guarantee victory at the auction house. However, this method can be costly, so it’s best left to corporate giants with bottomless vaults. The goal here is to bid high enough to compete with competitors but not too high that the ROAS is negligible, or worse, at a loss. 

Get Higher Google Ads Ad Ranks With J&L Marketing 

When competing in the Google Ads paid search platform, having a high ad rank will help you win more auctions than not. Focus on the influencing factors, which include maximum CPC bid, quality score, ad rank thresholds, auction competitiveness, search relevance, and expected impact from assets to achieve a high rank. Winning the auction will place your ad in a prime position on the SERPs. Of course, use any of the outlined tips to help raise scores when necessary. 

J&L Marketing has been helping clients run Paid Search campaigns for many years, making us the most qualified partner for your paid search needs. Ad rank, quality score, and campaign management are all taken care of by our experienced and skilled staff. Contact our office for a free consultation to raise your ad rank and win more auctions today! 

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