What Matters in PPC Keyword Bidding

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When working with new clients at seOverflow, one of the important challenges we are faced with is communicating how a keyword bid is a small part of the overall picture as it relates to what the client actually pays for (when it comes to a click to a search engine such as Google or BING). Search engines take other factors into consideration when calculating costs. Google uses “Ad Rank” as its calculating factor when it is developing a client’s cost per click. While Google once had two factors in its ad rank, the formula now contains three factors:

  1. Your Max CPC Bid

  2. Your Quality Score

  3. Your Ad Extension and formats (the latest factor that came on the scene in October, 2013)

It’s important to recognize all of these factors. When the Googs provides estimates, it evaluates projections based on industry standards. Here are a few highlights of each of these components of Ad Rank:

  • Ad Rank determines your ad position – where your ad shows in relation to other ads

  • The quality of your ads, keywords, and website are all measured in the Quality Score

    • They all need to work together symbiotically – your keywords need to be reflected in the ads. They should be as relevant as possible to the ads. The ads and the keywords should tie together in the copy of the page. The relevant terms should be included in the landing pages – this should be tested… and tested …. and tested. By building this type of consistent messaging you maximize your initial Quality Score and effectively increase your rank or decrease your costs.

  • Your extensions and other ad formats are included: there are estimates created by Adwords to determine how these will work together where Google consider factors such as their relevancy, where the ads are appearing on the search results page, and CTR (click through rate).

(Here’s the deal: Google is rewarding relevancy. The highest bids often rarely win the competition. If someone has a higher bid than you have, you can keep your cost down by having good keywords that work together with the ads and have ad extensions in place.)

To put it bluntly, keyword bidding is in no way simple. It requires maintaining a great user experience from the moment your ad and keyword are tied together to how the ad appears, and what you present to them on the landing page when they arrive. It’s is an ongoing process that works for the searcher and you by getting the right people to your site.