Understanding Google AdWords in a Few Steps

It's no surprise that Google uses several tools in the Pay-Per-Click process to determine how your ad is ranked. Savvy marketers need to be aware of these tools to try to maximize their ad placement and, ultimately, their leads and conversions. So what are some factors to be considered when designing your ad?

Quality Score

A quality score is based on a 1-10 scale (with 10 being the highest) that Google uses to determine how strong your ad is in terms of quality.

  • Click-through rate (how popular the ad will it be within the search)

  • Keywords (how relevant to the topic the keyword selection is in the search)

  • Landing page (how efficient your landing page is in terms of easy navigation and quality of information shared)

If Google believe your ad and website will perform well, your chances of having a lower bid and a higher ad placement are big.


Pay-Per-Click Bids

Acting just like an auction, the bidding process for a Google Pay-Per-Click ad lets marketers tell how much they are willing to pay when a user clicks their ad. The higher the bid, the higher the chances of your ad visibility on the first page. Google offers tools to assist you and estimate, based on your maximum bid, what ad position you are likely to appear in.


Ad Rank

Once Google screens your quality score and your maximum bid amount, it will then determine in what position your ad will be placed, so-called ad rank. In order to have good visibility and better conversions, you want your ad to appear in one of the top three positions, with other ad positions located to the right and the bottom of the search results.


So are there any ways to improve an ad position with Google?

Yes. You may do so by increasing the amount you're willing to spend per click, making it more relevant to your audience and enhancing your quality score. You can also delete keywords that aren't performing well, craft a well-designed landing page and adjust ad copy to be the most relevant possible to the users' search.


What metrics should I track?

Just like with any other advertising method, the metrics you will be tracking rely on your business goal with the ad.


  • If your goal is to grow website traffic, you should be tracking click-through rate. This metric will tell you how many people have seen and clicked your ad to arrive at your website.

  • If your goal is to create more sales or earn more newsletter subscribers, you should be tracking conversion rate. Keep in mind that conversions could include everything from sales to downloading a free offer or signing up for a newsletter.

  • If your goal is to increase brand awareness, you should be tracking impression share and average position. Think about it, if brand awareness if a concern, ad position is important since you want as many people to see your ad as possible. Average position will show you what position your ad is appearing in search results while impression share will tell you the number of people who have seen your ad. Each of these alone won't give you a full report of how you're performing as far as brand awareness but measuring both can give you some insight.


Do you need help crafting your Google Pay-Per-Click campaign?

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