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5 Easy Ways to Optimize Your PPC Ads For Higher Ad Positions

If you are looking to find an easier way to list your ads on higher position in Adwords then these 5 tips can come to your rescue. I have implemented these tricks and found some great results both in terms of traffic and conversions. Hope, you can also benefit from these ad optimization tips. But, before I discuss those tips, let's learn a bit on the metric Ad Rank.

Ad Rank 

It is the single metric that affects the position of your ads on Google search results. Ads having a higher ad rank are displayed at the top positions (above the fold) while ads having a low ad rank are displayed on the right hand side, on the 2nd page or below the organic search results. Hence, your ad rank is the factor which decides the position where your ad would get displayed.

Major Components of Ad Rank:

Ad rank is composed of 2 different factors which are your bid amount and the quality score. Formula for calculating Ad rank is given below:

Ad Rank = bid amount*quality score 

Bid amount is the your max.CPC bid that you are willing to pay to Google for every click on your ad. Remember, max.CPC is not equal to your actual CPC.

Quality score is an individual score between 1-10 that Google provides for every keyword. The higher the quality score, the better are the chances of your ad rank.
Major Components of Quality Score:

  • Keyword CTR performance (most important)
  • Your account's historical CTR performance
  • Display URL's historical CTR performance
  • Auction time performance of expected CTR
  • Landing page quality
  • Geographic performance of your ads (Some ads tend to perform better in some regions)
  • Ad performance with respect to devices
  • Overall relevance of your ad with respect to search queries
  • Keyword to ad group relevance
  • Relevance of ad text (title and description of your ad)
  • Performance of your ads on the display network

Please note: Google uses exact match keyword performance data when calculating CTR performance. 

Great, now that you have got an idea about the various factors that can affect the ad positions, let's discuss the tips:

1- Include CTA and Ad Extensions in your Ads - They Are Necessary and Not Optional

CTA stands for Call to Actions and having CTA texts in your ads can really help to better CTR. I know it's hard to understand without proper example of CTA text in an ad so here are some examples:

Call Us
Contact Us
Request a Free Quote
Search for
Look Up
Find here etc.

Once, you have CTA text fitted in your ad, consider adding ad extensions. Google currently offers the following 11 different types of ad extensions:

An example of call extensions in an Adwords ad

App Extensions - to initiate app downloading right from your ads.
Call Extensions - allows customers to call you just by clicking your ad.
Consumer Rating Annotations - allows you to display seller ratings and other high quality survey data.
Location Extensions - helps to locate your nearest store using Google maps.
Review Extensions - allows you to display third party reviews from reputable sources.
Previous Visit Annotations - allows customers to see when and how many times have they visited your site before.
Seller Rating Annotations - allows you to display your online business ratings.
Sitelink Extensions - Choose and display sitelinks that are most likely to generate sales.
Callout Extensions - display descriptive texts and offers to initiate clicks and conversions.
Dynamic Sitelink Extensions - allows you to display dynamically generated sitelinks based on search query and inner page relevancy.
Social Annotations - display your Google Plus followers. 

Create and let Google choose these extensions based on the search query and location relevancy. Adding these site extensions will help to increase the overall Ad rank, thereby improving your ad position.

2- Choose "Optimize for clicks" under Ad Rotation Settings - Little Stuffs Can Go a Long Way In Optimizing Your Ads

Although, the default option in adwords is "optimize for clicks" but in case it's unchecked, I strongly recommend to use this option while promoting your PPC ads. Optimize for clicks will give preference to those ads that are expected to give more clicks thereby increasing your CTR and Ad rank. 

If you are running campaigns that are based on conversions only then please ignore this option.

3- Create Very Specific Ad Groups and Prepare Highly Relevant Ads in Them - You Need to Invest Your Time Into These

You can create as many relevant ad groups and ad copies as you wish to because most of the advertisers do not reach the limit offered by Adwords. Don't believe me? Then, here are the limits:

How Many Campaigns, Ad Groups, Ads Can You create? (Campaign and ad group limits)

10,000 campaigns (includes active and paused campaigns)
20,000 ad groups per campaign
20,000 ad group targeting items per ad group (such as keywords, placements, and audience lists)
Ad limits

300 image/gallery ads
50 text and non-image/gallery ads per ad group
4 million active or paused ads per account
Targeting limits

5 million ad group targeting items per account (such as keywords, placements, and audience lists)
1 million campaign targeting items per account (such as geo target and campaign-level negative keywords)
10,000 location targets (targeted and excluded) per campaign, including up to 500 proximity targets per campaign
20 shared negative placement lists per account
65,000 placements per negative placement list
11,000 shared budgets per account
20 shared negative keyword lists per account*
5,000 keywords per negative keyword list*
Ad extension limits

400,000 unique feed items per account. A feed item is a unique piece of data for an extension, such as a sitelink, phone number, review, or location.
250,000 ad group-level extensions per account
50,000 campaign-level extensions per account
10,000 ad group-level extensions per campaign

Remember to use exact match keywords in your ad title and CTA text in your description. Your ads must comprise of both the elements, keywords and CTA text.

4- Check the Est. First Page Bid and Choose Your Bids Accordingly - Money Matters!

This one is really simple. Pay more and get top positions. For this, you need to check out the first page bid suggestions that Google provides you in the dashboard and start bidding in that range in order to get those top display positions.

You can find the first page bid suggestions in the keywords column in your ad group.

5- Optimize Your Landing Page, Works!

I have seen many advertisers investing time and money in improving their ad campaigns but doing nothing when it comes to improve the landing page experience. Mostly, the new advertisers make this mistake. It is recommended to take a deep look at your landing page and the ad copy that you have created. Do they match or are they relevant enough to generate a high quality score?  Your landing page must follow the below guidelines:

  • providing relevant, useful, and original content,
  • promoting transparency and fostering trustworthiness on your site (for example, by explaining your products or services before 
  • adding proper CTA elements in order to generate conversions.
  • asking visitors to fill out forms sharing their own information),
  • making it easy for customers to navigate your site (including on mobile sites), and
  • encouraging customers to spend time on your site (for example, by making sure your page loads quickly so people who click your ad don’t give up and leave your site prematurely).
Hope that provides extensive information to keep you busy in optimizing your ad campaigns. 

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