The Fastest Way to the Top of Google

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It’s true: The fastest way to the top of Google is to pay to be there.

But you might be surprised to learn that it’s not always the one with the deepest pockets who comes out on top.

Google’s AdWords is an excellent means of acquiring business through Google’s search engine, without having to enter the rat race of organic search. You tell Google exactly which keywords you want to show up for, exactly how much you’re willing to pay, and they’ll show your ads as much as your budget allows. You only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad, making AdWords the most cost-effective advertising platform in the world.

However, a successful AdWords campaign – meaning, one that earns you more money than it costs – requires a lot of hard work, analysis, and an understanding of how ads are displayed in search results.

The position of ads is determined by a value called Ad Rank. Ad Rank is the maximum bid you’ve made on your keywords, multiplied by a second value called Quality Score.

Quality Score is assigned on a per-keyword basis. Your Quality Score takes into account factors such as the relevance of your landing page (the page people will see when they click on your ad), the quality of your ad copy, and your use of Ad Extensions like Call and Location. Your Quality Score is shown as a value out of 10, and can be seen by hovering over the speech bubble beside each keyword in your account.

Every time someone searches for your keyword, Google runs a bidding war for ad positions. The bidder with the highest Ad Rank gets pole position, while the runners up are shown in descending order.

In real terms, an ad with a Quality Score of 5 will have to pay roughly twice as much for the same position as an ad with a Quality Score of 10. This highlights how a high quality website is needed to form the backbone of your online marketing campaign, and how even a small business can compete with its cashed-up competitors.

Now for some basic tips for achieving a high quality score and paying less per click:

  • Use relevant landing pages. Instead of linking every ad to your homepage, create unique Ad Groups and link them to specific pages on your site. So if you’re a plumber doing a campaign for bathroom renovations, create a page that’s all about bathroom renovations and link your ads to that. As well as getting you a higher Quality Score, this also creates a better user experience by bringing people directly to the content they were looking for.
  • Write relevant ad copy. If you’re building a campaign to sell freshly baked bread, mention “freshly baked bread” in your ad text. This helps Google see the relevance between the product you’re selling and the ads you’re writing.
  • Use Ad Extensions. Ad Extensions provide a wealth of ways to enhance your ad, making it more appealing to users and more likely to result in conversions. Ad Extensions allow you to append your phone number to your ads, show your business address, and include additional calls to action beyond your regular ad text. Using Ad Extensions ensures you get the most out of your ad every time it’s shown, and best of all: they’re free.

A high quality website not only makes it cheaper to drive traffic through AdWords, but is also more likely to convert visitors into customers. Talk to MyWork today to learn how we can help you build a successful and profitable online marketing campaign.

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