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What Can I Do on My End to Get My Ads to Rank #1 on Google?

What can I do on my end to get my ads to rank #1 on Google?


Ad Rank is a value that’s used to determine where your ads appear on a page relative to other ads—or whether your ads will appear at all.

The ad auction is how and where Google decides which ads to show and how they’re positioned. Google Ads calculates Ad Rank for every ad in the auction. Ad Rank determines your eligibility for position and presence. Generally speaking, the ad with the highest Ad Rank gets to show in the top position and the ad with the second-highest Ad Rank gets to show in the second position, assuming the ads clear the relevant thresholds or standards, and so on.

It goes without saying that you want to rank as high as you can on the search page to gain maximum visibility and catch a user’s attention at first look.

But the cold hard truth is that some issues that affect ranking are issues over which you have no control: things like the device with which a person is searching, where they’re located or live, the topic or industry in which they’re searching, or the ads that appear in related word searches (e.g., auto insurance or car insurance).

But there are things that you can control. So, be sure to take control of those!

It’s essential that you focus on these factors to maximize your visibility because the higher your ad quality the typically better your performance. That means better (higher) ad positions and, also a good outcome, lower cost.

  • The quality of your ads
  • Your budget which controls the amount of your bid

Positive User Experience Boosts Ad Quality

For starters, your ad quality is governed by the user experience your landing page affords, most notably how well your landing page content aligns with keywords. The good news is that you can track your quality and resulting performance through several Google tools. Your careful assessment of the performance indicators will enable you to continuously work to improve it.

  • Google’s Keyword Diagnosis Tool – Allows you to track your keywords’ performance during earlier campaigns to get a sense of what worked and what didn’t, giving you the tools to experiment and improve.
  • Google Ads Account — Google Ads also checks how relevant and useful your ad and the website it links to are to the customer. Google summarizes this for you in your Quality Score. You can monitor that score through your Google Ads Account. Your careful assessment of the performance indicators will enable you to continuously work to improve it.

When More Is Better: Ad Extensions and Other Ad Formats 

When you create your ad, you have the option to add additional information to your ad that can increase impact. Think: phone number, or more links to specific pages on your site. Taking advantage of these ad extensions can improve your share of the top and absolute top location on the search result page.

Increase Your Bid

Your Ad Rank is recalculated each time your ad is eligible to appear. It competes in an auction in which you’re essentially bidding for ranking. Your ad rank could change with each auction, and it’s largely dependent on your competition, the context of a person’s search, and ad quality literally at the time of day—the moment actually—that you are “at auction.”

Your bid is essentially dependent on your budget and how much you’re willing to spend each day or month on your ads. When you set your bid, you’re telling Google Ads the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad. If your budget is $200 per day, you’ll have more play at the auction than if it’s only $30. It’s important to keep in mind, though, you may well actually end up paying less than you bid. Plus, you can change your bid at any time.

To get in the game and have a competitive bid, figure that you need to budget for at least a $1000 monthly spend.

Steep Competition

If two ads competing for the same position have similar ad ranks, each will have an equal opportunity to win that position. As the gap in ad rank between two advertisers’ ads grows, the higher-ranking ad will be more likely to win but also may pay a higher cost per click for the benefit of the increased certainty of winning.

The Google Ads system works best for everybody when the ads are relevant and closely match what customers are searching for. You can go the Google Ad route alone as long as you understand it takes focus and attention to how your ads are historically performing to Google standards to improve and rank high.

At Ballantine, we have expertise in giving Google what it wants and needs to send your ad to the top of the search page. We cover all the necessary bases, closely follow your performance, and make tweaks when and where necessary.

Give us a call if you know you want help or want to discuss DIY versus done for you options.


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I'm the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a family-owned and operated direct mail & digital marketing company based in New Jersey. and started in 1966 by my great uncle!