Have you ever gotten this message in AdWords:
“An ad isn’t showing right now. This candidate is not triggering ads to appear on Google right now due to a low Ad Rank.”
You worked so hard to create the perfect ad and now it’s not even showing?!
Ad Rank is the value that determines your ad position in the search results in AdWords. If you see that any of your ads have a low Ad Rank, you may be at a loss at how to diagnose exactly why it’s so low. Before you start pulling your hair out, let’s go back to the basics of how Ad Rank is determined!
Ad Rank = Bid x Quality Score
According to Google, your Ad Rank mainly takes into account your bid amount and Quality Score. So, in order to improve your ad rank, you’ll need to improve the components that make it up.
Increasing your bids is the easiest way to influence your Ad Rank, however simply increasing your bids won’t guarantee a higher Ad Rank. Instead of going through and randomly increasing your bids, you should focus on making sure your top performing keywords stay on the first page. You’ll know which keywords aren’t being shown on the first page when you see a notification that looks like this:
This notification is letting me know that the ad currently isn’t showing on the first page at the $0.65 you I am bidding now, but its position would increase if I were to bid 5 cents higher. It’s important to note that the suggested bid changes in red are just estimates and shouldn’t be followed to a tee in every circumstance. You’ll want to use these estimates as a guide but also use your judgment if the bid seems unusually high.
A few months back on the LXRGuide blog we discussed the three components of Quality Score. To check the Quality Score of your keywords, first go to the ‘Keywords’ tab in your AdWords account. In the status column, hover over an active keyword with an ‘Eligible’ status.
Here you’ll be able to check your keyword’s Quality Score and how it is rated on the three components of Quality Score: expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. If you find that many of your keywords have a low Quality Score, you may need to work on one of its components:
- Clickthrough rate is a ratio of the number of people who click on your ad divided by the number of impressions the ad receives. If your ad has a low expected clickthrough-rate, this means that searchers are seeing your ad in the search results and deciding not to click on it. This indicates that you need to work on improving your ad copy. Maybe you want to work on writing a better call-to-action to entice users to click on the ad.
- Ad Relevance is a rating on how relevant your keyword is to your ad. A ‘below average’ score here means that your ad is not specific enough to the keyword. One way to increase ad relevance is to create ad groups that are more tailored. For example, if you currently have one ad group that includes women’s t-shirts and sweaters you may want to create separate ad groups for these two product groups. You can also focus on including keywords in your ad copy so users know that you sell the product they are looking for.
- Landing Page Experience is the rating of how useful your landing page is to searchers who click on your ad. Factors such as relevance, load times and overall performance go into how well you score on landing page experience. If you have a low score in this section, it may indicate that you need to improve the performance of your ad’s landing page. You might want to consider switching to AMP pages to speed up load times or even reorganizing your current page to make it easier to navigate.
Getting Your Ad on The First Page
Paid search is the quickest and easiest way to get your business to the top of the search results, but this comes with a cost. So how can you consistently stay at the top without spending crazy amounts on first page bids? The key here is to focus on Quality Score. Not only can a high quality score help you increase your ad rank, it also allows you to pay less for the same bid than an advertiser with a lower quality score; improving your Quality Score is a win-win!