Everyone says Google Ads is the paid shortcut to the top of Google, but now you find out there’s no guarantee your ads will rank at all. When paid ads seem to have so many hidden “surprises” it makes you question whether they’re worth running.
Thankfully, improving the ranking of your ad is simple. It comes down to putting your customers first, and creating ads and landing pages that are relevant. Here’s how you do it…
If you’re paying for Google Ads, you want your ads to be seen by people interested in your products and services.
But so does every other home improvement business bidding on the same keywords as you.
Since so many businesses are competing for a limited number of paid ad spots, Google uses a process called Ad Rank to determine which businesses rank for each keyword. This is important to understand because Google Ads uses a bidding system – but not the type you’d see in the real world.
If you turned up at a home auction you’d see a simple auction. This means the highest bid wins. If someone bid $700,000 for the property and someone else bid $710,000 for the property, the highest bid wins.
Google Ads uses what’s called an ‘ads auction’ instead.
“How does a Google Ad auction work?”
If one business bid $10 for an ad click, and the next business bid $6 for an ad click, the business with the lower bid can still rank above the business with the higher bid. A Google Ad auction isn’t about who bids the highest (although the amount you bid does play a role).
The final ranking comes down to your Ad Rank.
In this article we’ll explain how your Ad Rank works, how to improve your Ad Rank to save money throughout your own Google Ads campaign, and provide a few suggestions on getting started with paid advertising.
What is Ad Rank?
Your Ad Rank is Google’s way of determining where your paid ads rank for any given query – or if they rank at all.
As a general rule, the home improvement businesses with the highest Ad Rank gets the #1 spot, the businesses with the second best Ad Rank gets the #2 spots, and so on.
It’s entirely possible to start a Google Ad campaign and miss out on the keywords you’re targeting because your Ad Rank is poor and your competition keeps taking the top spots. This can cripple your visibility and make it hard for you to attract new clients.
On the flipside, a higher Ad Rank is how you increase exposure, put your ads in front of more people, and get more clicks through to your website.
Tradies: Don’t Invest a Dollar in Digital Marketing Until You Read This!
“How is my AdRank calculated?”
Back in the day, your Ad Rank was calculated with a simple formula…
Ad Rank = Click Per Cost Bid x Quality Score.
You entered the amount you were willing to pay for each keyword, it was multiplied by your Quality Score, and your Ad Rank was easy to calculate. But Google is constantly changing how it manages SEO and Pay-Per-Click marketing so Ad Rank isn’t as simple anymore.
Need a quick Quality Score recap? Get the no-jargon guide to your Quality Score here
If we asked Google to explain how Ad Rank works in 2021 we’d get this answer boring…
“Ad Rank is calculated using your bid amount, your auction-time ad quality (including expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience), the Ad Rank thresholds, the context of the person’s search (for example, the person’s location, device, time of search, the nature of the search terms, the other ads and search results that show on the page, and other user signals and attributes), and the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats.”
But that definition is drier than your mother-in-law’s Sunday roast.
Here’s the simple definition instead. Your Ad Rank comes down to 5 factors. Focus on what you can control and ignore Google’s boring buzzword definition
Your Ad Rank is influenced by 5 factors.
Google uses these 5 factors to determine the quality and relevance of your ad. Which shows how marketing your tradie business always comes back to keeping things simple and putting your customers first.
If there was no fancy algorithm to worry about, you’d create ads that were helpful and relevant to your customer’s queries online. Even though there is a fancy algorithm, that algorithm wants the EXACT same thing for your customers in the form of helpful and relevant ads, so that’s all you need to focus on.
The 5 key factors impacting your Ad Rank are:
Your Max Bid: This is the maximum dollar amount you’re willing to pay for an ad click
Your Ad & Landing Page Quality: Google looks at the quality of your ads and landing pages
The Context of Your User’s Search: Google takes into account where a user is, what device they search on, what time they’re searching for, and what other results are showing
Ad Rank Thresholds: Google sets minimum standards for your ad to meet before it can be shown
Expected Impact of Ad Extensions and Ad Formats: Google predicts the possible performance of your ads based on their quality and any extensions you’re using
“These are starting to sound overly dry and technical, what should I be doing to improve my Ad Rank?”
Put your customers first.
Trying to follow a checklist like the one above is exhausting. As a trade business owner you’re always looking to help your customer solve their problems, whether that problem is a lack of storage, no outdoor patio, or possums in the roof.
Treat your ads the same way.
What help does your target audience need? What challenges are they facing? What obstacles are standing in their way?
Once you understand what problem your target audience is facing, you should create ads and landing pages that solve those problems.
Don’t start an ad campaign yet!!! Click here to learn how to create landing pages your customers will love (and that generate leads)
Here’s an example of how to put your customer first to boost your Ad Rank
Let’s say you run a tree lopping business.
Your target audience might need help with bringing trees down safely in their yards. But they don’t want to spend big because they think they could probably cut down a few trees in a pinch. They also don’t want to get in trouble with the council or risk toppling a full grown gum tree through their neighbour’s roof.
If your ads and landing page addressed these concerns, showed people you adhere to council regulations, explained you’ve got $1 million dollar insurance for accidental gum trees through roofs, and covered every possible concern people had – you’d be putting your customers first.
As is the case for any business, the pros can help you achieve better results. Hiring an agency to help you with your Google Ads means you’ll have ready-made strategies to figure out your ideal bidding strategy, as well as the best way to write and design ads and landing pages.
But as long as you’re always trying to help solve people’s problems, you’ll be taking care of the Ad Rank factors that you can control.