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How to Boost Your PPC Average Position


Blog Article

In the world of PPC, your ad position is an important factor and has a big impact on the results of your PPC campaigns. In this post we will give you some insight into what Average Position is and how to improve it to ensure your PPC campaigns are driving the best results possible and contributing towards your business goals effectively.

What is Average Position?

 Average Position (also known as Ad Rank) is a statistic that describes how your ad typically ranks against other PPC ads and the order in which it appears on the first page of search engines.

Interestingly, every PPC ad within your Google Adwords account is ranked on this Average Position statistic. Your ads will then be compared in this way to competitors’ ads that are live at the same time and compete for various positions on page one accordingly.

When somebody searches a keyword or phrase with relevance to your ad, your ad is triggered and will be assigned a value according to its position. Currently, you can be placed from position 1-7, with the coveted position 1 the ultimate target for all brands.

It’s worth noting that in February, Google removed the right hand side ads meaning that positions to compete for page one reduced from 10 to 7, making the landscape much more competitive. With this in mind, PPC ads now need to be optimised as effectively as possible to secure these top positions.

Race for the top 4…

Since this change in February, the desire to be in the top 4 has grown stronger but has possibly highlighted the limited success of position 1.

While being at the top is often perceived as the Holy Grail, those trailing in positions 2,3 and 4 shouldn’t be worried:

  • You’re not guaranteed the best Click Through Rate (CTR) in position 1.
  • Position 1 is often the most expensive and there is little to suggest the ad will be more engaging than positions 2-4.
  • Being at the very top can just mean a larger budget.

Ad Position is determined by the following formula:

Ad Position = Max Bid x Quality Score x Expected Impact of Extensions

As a first port of call, increasing your maximum bid will improve your ad position, however quality score is the main contributing factor to your ad appearing higher on SERPS.

Quality Score is defined by an array of performance indicators within AdWords, which take the principles of relevance and the best user experience possible.

Impact of user experience on quality score

How can you improve Average Position?

Now we have identified the importance of a strong quality score, you will want to know how to improve it.

  • Landing Page Experience – ensure you are directing the customer to the part of your site that is most relevant to the keyword.
  • Improve your Keyword Relevance by either removing non-converting keywords or adding more relevant keywords – or both.
  • Review your Ad Copy Relevance – make sure that all copy is relevant to the product or service and contains the appropriate target keywords.
  • Adding more relevant Ad Extensions will help improve the quality score by showing users more relevant and useful information.

Another Google Update

The removal of right hand side ads changed the landscape of SERPs back in February and it wasn’t long till Google was ready to roll out another update. In May, Google made yet another change to SERPs with the introduction of Expanded Text Ads, also known as ETAs. Expanded Text ads now include 2x 30-character headlines and a 1x 80-character description line. You can read more about ETA’s and the impact on SEO and SERPs here.

Testing Average Position

There are many different ways you can test your average position. It is worth setting up A/B testing and in doing so, varying ad copy or ad extensions to judge the success of different messaging on your ad position. Often different call to actions used will have a strong effect on the effectiveness of your PPC ad.

Your average position can also be improved by applying a real time bidding script, which will allow you to control your online ads on a per-impression basis.

The testing doesn’t stop here though; you can also test average CPC’s over a set period of time. We suggest this is run over a 4-week period where you can test certain CPC’s and their impact on Average Position, Click Through Rate and Cost.

If you wish to learn more about Google AdWords, or how to ask the right questions to your agency, why not check out our PPC training service, which can be tailored to your requirements.

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