Paid Search: Google Search Ad Ranking

Paid search can help bring in more qualified leads when advertising to new patients and is an excellent addition to your integrated marketing communication strategy (IMC). Having a broad understanding of IMC is very helpful, and if you haven’t, already, you can read about it in my previous blog post. While there are many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies to consider like relevant content, creating backlinks, and technical tactics, these are slow and steady methods. Paid search can help in getting quicker results and can gain more qualified leads with their behavioral targeting capabilities. Many components go into creating a successful paid search campaign like headlines, URLs, extensions, scheduling, and ad delivery. Whether deciding to run paid search ads yourself or outsourcing the task to a professional, it’s pertinent to understand how Google ranks search ads to be able to determine the value of your ad spend. Below I will discuss the five criteria that Google considers in ad rankings.

All Things Considered

Bid

The bid is the highest amount you’ll pay per auction. The actual number you pay will not go above this set amount but will be determined by your competitor’s bids.

Ad Rank

Ad rank threshold Is the quality that is required to be considered for an ad position. The ad quality is relative to all other ads bidding for the same position.

Context 

Context is dependent on the user and the competing ad information. Some criteria considered are the device used for the search, time of day, and location of the search, search terms used, user behaviors, competing ads, and organic results.

Ad Extensions 

Ad extensions are features that make it convenient and straightforward for potential customers to locate, communicate with, or purchase from the company. These include location extensions, click to call or text, and product page links. For Example, in the ad for Dr. Daniel Penello, extensions are featured that link to patient stories on his website’s blog and a blog post about outpatient advantages. Dr. Penello could have also added extensions for quick directions to his office to call his office directly or text his office to set up an appointment.

Auction Time and Ad Quality 

The time of the auction is significant as Google determines how relevant your ad is to an audience in real-time. It also considers the quality of your ad and website compared to other ads running at the same time.

Next Steps

Now that you have an overview of Google search ad rankings, your well equipped to compose or approve effective search ads for your practice. While you consider tackling the task at hand or hiring help to launch your search ad campaigns, a good starting point would be to consider all five criteria to better focus your needs and develop a strong paid search strategy.  

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