One of the biggest questions I get from clients when they first choose to embark on a Google AdWords campaign is, "How does Google decide when to show my ad?" Unlike the first days of pay per click campaigns in the 1990's, ad delivery factors in more than just the amount of your keyword bid. Here's everything you need to know about how Google decides when to show your ad, and what you can do to increase your chances of great ad exposure in the search results.
First, let's outline the basics. When a user conducts a search in Google, Google finds all of the ads that are being targeted by that keyword, across all of Google AdWords advertisers. Then, from that group, Google chooses the ads that will appear on the page, and serves them up in ad positions within the top center and right hand navigation of search results.
As you can imagine, there are more advertisers than available ad positions. So, for any given search, how does Google decide who's ad gets included, and in what ad position? It really comes down to three important things that makes up your ad's Ad Rank. Ad Rank was invented by Google to ensure that people are displayed the most relevant and useful advertising. Advertisers with a favorable Ad Rank are rewarded with a lower average cost per click (CPC), more ad impressions, and the best ad positions.
Here are the three main things that affect your ad's Ad Rank:
1. Your bid amount in contrast to competing advertisers
2. The relevance and quality of your ad's landing page to your ads and keyword targeting
3. The estimated impact that your ad extensions and ad formats will have on response rates
If you want the best chance of your ad displaying above the competition, you'll want to have a better mixture of bids and quality.
So, what can you do to improve your Ad Rank? First, you'll want to identify which keywords in your accounts have low quality scores. Quality Score is an assessment at the keyword level that takes into account the components we just discussed. This is a score assigned to each keyword from 1-10, with 10 being the highest score.
Here are some things you can do to improve your score:
A few things to keep in mind:
To help understand how changes you make impact results, you'll want to monitor the keyword Quality Scores within your keyword tab. By making changes to keywords with low quality scores, you can dramatically improve your ad delivery.
What's worked for you to improve keyword Quality Scores?