What is Ad Rank?
Ad Rank is a paid search (Google Adwords) term used to describe where your ad appears in a pay-per-click (PPC) auction.
Ad Rank is recalculated every time your ad is eligible to appear using:
- Bid Amount
- Quality Score
- Expected CTR
- Ad Relevance
- Landing Page Quality
Bid + Quality Score = Ad Rank
By using the combination of these two metrics, your ads will have a chance to appear even if your bid isn’t the highest. The quality of your ads goes along way towards securing a top spot in the ad auction.
How can you improve your Ad Rank?
So let’s say you don’t have the highest bid. How can you improve your ad rank? There are three quality components that will allow you to jump your competition.
- Expected CTR: The history of your clicks and impressions.
- Ad Relevance: How relevant your ad text is to the search.
- Landing Page Quality: How accurately your landing page matches the user’s search and the ad they clicked on.
Example: You are bidding on the keyword “red running shoes”. Your ads headline reads, Red Running Shoes on Sale. If someone clicks on your ad they are taken to a category page that displays a variety of red running shoes. In that situation your ad rank will typically be high allowing you to possible win the ad auction with a below average bid.
Wouldn’t showing ads with the highest bid make Google more money?
Not necessarily, by introducing ad quality components to the ranking equation, Google essentially leveled the playing field. So as long as the quality of your ads is high (with a high CTR) and generates more revenue than lower quality ads, Google has an incentive (they make more money) to keep your ads at the top.
When the ads Google shows are relevant and closely match what customers are looking for, it usually equates to lower overall costs, better ad positions, more ad success for the advertiser, and more money for Google.