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How To Improve Low Ad Rank

This week we’re talking about all things ‘Ad Rank’. Curious about what it is and what it’s used for? You’re in the right place, so keep reading!

What Is Ad Rank?

Ad Rank is a value that's used to determine where ads are shown on a page relative to other ads. It recalculates each time your ad is eligible to appear, and determines not just your ad position, but also whether or not your ads will show at all.

Ad rank is calculated using: 

  • Bid Amount
  • Ad Quality
  • Ad Rank Thresholds
  • Real-Time Auction Competition
  • The Context of The Search
  • Ad Extensions

In order to get your ad rank working in your favor, let’s consider the above factors more closely.

Bid Amount

Bid Amount refers to the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a click on your ad. The more you’re willing to pay, the better position you may get. 

But there’s a catch: having a high bid amount isn’t enough to get the best position. The quality of your ad is just as important, and statistically, higher quality ads often lead to lower cost per click and subsequently, a better position.

 Focus on high quality ads, rather than simply raising your bid amount, for the best ad rank results!

Ad Quality 

This quality score is measured on a scale from 1-10, and includes 3 factors: 

  1. Expected Click Through Rate
  2. Ad Relevance
  3. Landing Page Experience. 

    Expected Click Through Rate - indicates the probability that a specific ad will be clicked, when it’s shown for specific keywords. When determining this, Google takes into consideration the historical keyword performance (ad position, extensions, etc.). 

    Here are some ways to optimize your expected CTR: 

    1. Create tightly-themed ad groups with precise keywords and 3 responsive search ads.
    2. Use relevant keywords and add them to title and descriptions.
    3. Add all relevant and useful ad extensions.
    4. Don’t bid too low at the beginning.
    5. Create an eye-catching title, engaging description, compelling calls to action.

    Ad Relevance - refers to how closely your keywords match your ads, and can lead to a higher Quality Score, lower CPC and higher ROAS.

    Screenshot of keyword analysis.

    Landing Page Experience - this measures the relevancy and usability of your landing page. Its status varies from “Below average” to “Above Average”. To improve your Landing Page Experience, try the following practices: 

    1. Increase your landing page speed.
    2. Make your landing pages mobile friendly.
    3. Ensure that your landing pages are relevant to your keywords and ad copies.
    4. Make sure your website/landing pages are easy to navigate.
    5. Add more credibility to your website (contact information/location, link to privacy policy, client testimonials, provide a clean and concise design, remove broken links/spelling errors.)

    Ad Rank Thresholds

    This term refers to an ad’s minimum rank requirement, in order to be eligible to participate in auctions. Ad Rank Thresholds are dynamically calculated at the time of each auction based on: 

      • Ad quality
      • Ad position
      • Auctions for related search queries
      • The nature and the topic of the search queries
      • User signals (location, device type)

    Keep in mind, Ad Rank Thresholds have a great impact on your actual CPC, which is calculated based on your Ad Rank, including the thresholds and the auction competition.

    Real-Time Auction Competition

    Ads should have a high ad rank, in order to have a good chance to win an auction. The higher-ranking ad has more chances to win but also may pay a higher CPC to increase the certainty of winning.

    The Context of The Search. 

    Google considers and estimates user signals during an auction, taking into consideration things like:

    • user’s device and location
    • the time of the search query
    • the nature and the topic of the search, etc. 

    Ad Extensions

    Google loves ad extensions. And the more relevant and useful the ad extensions, the better your ad rank will be. In addition to higher ad rank, using ad extensions can lead to higher CTR, better ad quality, more space on the page, and maximized ad text. Not bad, right?

    (Note: Google Ads estimates how extensions will impact your ad's performance, so we recommend adding as many relevant extensions as possible.)


    Despite the fact that Ad Rank is a complicated value and consists of many factors, everyone has the ability to control it by striving to improve Quality Score and its components.

    The bottom line? Remember that your Ad Rank is recalculated during every real-time auction. Even if your competitor has a higher bid than yours, you can still win a higher position at a lower price, by using highly relevant keywords and ads and improving your Quality Score!


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