Last week Google AdWords Ad Rank experienced a minor change that has a potential huge impact. In this post I’ll explain what is Ad Rank and what specifically changed.
What is Ad Rank?
Ad Rank is a calculation or value that’s used to determine your ad position (where an ad is shown on a page). Google used to use the bid amount and Quality Score to decide where you AdWords placed in relationship to other ads. Obviously the higher your ad, the more likely that potential customers will see and click on it.
What Was The Change?
Last week a third part was added to the Ad Rank calculation: extensions. Extensions are what they sound like… extra pieces of information you can add to your ad. They give potential customers more info (and reasons) to click on your ad. Rather than one clickable link in your ad, Sitelink Ad Extensions offers more potential links/landing pages on your ad. For instance you can add: store hours, location info, a call button/phone number or popular product. Ad extensions don’t cost more to set up; you pay for the clicks.
You have ultimate control over the bid amount as you can set spending limits per ad, keyword and campaign. Quality score on the other hand is now assigned based upon factors like:
- clickthrough rate
- extensions (expected impact on how searchers will read/interact with your ad)
While extensions don’t cost extra to set up, it costs you when searchers click on the new pieces of your ad. Theoretically your competitor can bid higher than you, but your ad could win a higher position at a lower price. This means you need to pay careful attention to keyword relevancy, well-written ad copy… and extensions.
Lastly, Ad Rank is recalculated each time your ad is eligible to appear. So you need to be aware that your ad placement can fluctuate depending upon your competition at any given moment.
Managing an AdWords account is a labor of love. It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it endeavor (one of the many reasons why businesses don’t see an ROI on their AdWords investment). I’m in our clients’ accounts daily monitoring performance (quality scores), making tweaks, setting up experiments, etc.
What kind of ROI are you seeing in Google AdWords?
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