You don’t have to blow your entire marketing budget to ensure your ad appears in the top spot on Google. There are better and cheaper ways to get your ad to the top. As an added bonus, you could also increase your conversion rate – and that’s what you really want.
How Google determines the position of your ad
Before you learn how to improve your ranking, you need a basic understanding of how Google decides which ad appears where. The answer to this lies in the following formula:
Cost per Click Bid x Quality Score = Ad Rank
Let’s break this down further. Cost per Click refers to the maximum amount you’re willing to bid on a particular keyword. While the Quality Score is determined by these three factors:
1. Expected Click-Through-Rate
Google uses an algorithm to estimate the percentage of people who will click on your ad. It is partly based on the previous performance of your ad.
2. Ad Relevance
How well the copy and message in your ad match your keyword will determine your ad relevance score.
3. Landing Page Experience
Once a user has clicked on your ad and landed on your website, how good is their experience? Are they able to find what they’re looking for or do they click away within seconds?
If you think that Google simply awards first place to the highest bidder – you’re wrong. And there’s a good reason for that. Google has built their reputation on providing users with the most relevant content and information. If they simply allowed advertisers with badly designed and content-poor websites to dominate search results, nobody would use their search engine.
That means, even small businesses with small budgets have an opportunity to succeed on Google without spending ridiculous amounts of money.
So how can you take advantage of Google’s Ad Ranking formula to improve your ranking? Start with these tips:
1. Make your ads relevant
You wouldn’t get very far in business if you didn’t deliver on your promises – and the same applies to Google AdWords. Make sure that the page your customer land on matches the content of your ad.
For example, if you’re running an ad for cupcakes, don’t send visitors to a general baking page – send them right to the cupcake page.
2. Keep links to a minimum
A landing page cluttered with links can be confusing, so avoid the clutter and make it easy for your potential customer to find what they’re looking for.
The more options you give them, the more likely they are to click away before they make a purchase.
3. Include a clear Call to Action (CTA)
What action do you want visitors to take once they’ve clicked your ad: make a purchase, fill in a contact form or download a document. Whatever it is, don’t be shy to ask them to take the next step.
Include a clear CTA on your landing pages along with some persuasive copy and you’ll see the difference in your conversions.
4. Use high-quality, relevant images
People are attracted to images, so use high-quality, relevant images to grab your visitors attention and reinforce your message.
This is especially important if you’re selling a product. As you customers can’t interact with the product, they’ll be relying on clear and sharp images and your copy to give them an idea of what to expect should they buy from you.
5. Keep your copy short and sweet
While you want your visitors to spend more time on your site, you don’t want to waste their time with lots of meaningless waffle. Get to the point quickly and give them the information they’re looking for upfront. Then, use your Call to Action to guide them through your sales funnel.
6. Add options for social sharing and testimonials
Give visitors the opportunity to share the content on your website with their network on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Adding testimonials increases your credibility and will encourage new customers to do business with you.
7. Speed up your site
It’s no secret that if your pages take more a few seconds to load, visitors will click away. Check your site speed and make sure your landing pages load quickly. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a sale or a lead just because your site is sluggish.
Google tends to favour sites that load quickly for organic search results too, so it’s worth ensuring that your site is up to speed.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on paid advertising channels to get results. If you concentrate on crafting relevant ads and filling your landing pages with top-notch content, you’ll get more traffic for less money. Pay attention to your Quality Score and you’ll see a better return on your investment – no matter how big or small your budget is.
At Web Changes, we manage large and small Google AdWords budgets for a variety of businesses. Our approach to paid advertising includes auditing your landing pages to ensure that the clicks you get on your ads turn into real, paying customers. Contact Web Changes for assistance with your paid advertising strategy.