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How do I get my ad to rank #1?

How do I get my ad to rank #1?

If your ad is rank #1, it may get more clicks and a higher CTR (Click through rate), but it does not mean you will get higher conversions and sales, or even increase your profit.

Analyse metrics such as cost per conversion, ROI (Return on Investment), overall cost and profits before deciding if rank #1 is the best position for your ads.

The Quality Score
This illustration shows how the Quality Score influences the top spot.

How Ad rank is calculated
On the Search Network, your ad rank is calculated by your CPC (Cost per click) bid multiplied by your Quality Score.

You can raise your cost per click bids, but if your Quality Score is too low, your ad can still show below your competitors who may have a higher Quality Score.

The example below shows GOOGLE wins position number 1, despite Advertiser 3 bidding the same, and Advertiser 4 bidding even higher.

This is because GOOGLE’s Quality Score is higher than Advertiser 3 and Advertiser 4.

Not only GOOGLE is ranked #1, but he’s also paying a lower Actual CPC (Cost per click) than Advertiser 3.

The actual CPC cost is the result of this formula:

For your ad to rank #1, you need a high Quality Score and eligibility, as only high quality ads can appear on the top slot.

Raise bids to top of page CPC
If you’re prepared to raise your CPC bid considerably, there is an automated rule, ‘Raise bids to top of page CPC’.

It estimates the CPC (Cost per click) bid needed for your ad to show at the top of the first page of the search results.

Select the keyword you want to rank at the top of the page.
Click > MORE.
Create an automated rule.

Change keyword bids.

Raise bids to top of page CPC.

The estimated bid is based on a keyword’s Quality Score and advertiser’s competition.

If your top of page estimate cost is very high, it is likely that you have a low Quality Score.

In this case, work on improving your Quality Score before raising your bid.

Watch video 

Watch it on YouTube (Larger version)

Shortcut to Est. first position bid | Est. first page bid | Est. top of page bid for your keyword
Keywords > Columns > Attributes.
Check Est. first position bid | Est. first page bid | Est. top of page bid.

Google Ads shows the bid required for first position, first page and top of the page.
However, the estimate isn’t a guarantee, and your ad may not achieve the first page, even if you have met the top of page bid estimate.

Target impression share
In November 2018, Google released its latest Smart Bidding strategy.

Consider this strategy to get your ad rank #1.

Target impressions share is more useful to advertisers who want to know exactly in which position their ads are driving traffic and results, as well as how many times they were at the top of the page and what share of impressions they get.

There are three options for this strategy:

Absolute top of results page – the first position at the top of the first page of search results. This is position #1.

Top of results page – among the ads at the top of the first page of search results.

Anywhere on the results page – anywhere on the search results page.

Watch video.

Watch it on YouTube (Larger version)


Important factors to get your ad high ranked #1:

– A high Quality Score.
– The estimated Google Ads’ bid.
– Your ad should be relevant to what users are searching for.
– Your landing page should be relevant, easy to navigate, and transparent so it closely matches what users are looking for.
– Your top and main keywords should be prominent in your ads and preferably on the headlines.
– You should have all the relevant ad extensions activated with additional information and links to match specific landing pages.


Extract from my Book ‘Making Google Ads Work’.

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