Impact Group Marketing Blog

We have had a few questions lately about how Google Ad-Words works and how Google decides what ad they are going to show during a search. This blog will discuss how an ad auction works and what you can do to boost your ad position.

Every time that someone searches for a keyword, an auction takes place between all the businesses that would like their ad shown to this potential customer. Googles decides what potential customers see your ad using these criteria.

  1. The overall campaign budget. The monthly campaign budget is split 30 ways in a 30-day month. Once the daily budget is met, the ad will no longer be shown. Of course, if your budget is not met, the remaining amount is rolled over into the next day or the next week (which explains why this amount can differ from week to week).
  2. The maximum CPC. For every keyword, a business can set the maximum amount that they are willing to pay for a click on their ad. This is known as the maximum CPC (Cost Per Click). You will never pay more than this amount, but this is the amount “brought” to the auction. Businesses willing to pay more may have a higher chance of their ad being shown (other reasons matter too, as mentioned below). Google also provides an estimate of the necessary bid for a first page ad. This can change daily and weekly as competition in the market increases, so it needs to be monitored regularly.
  3. The Quality Score. Having the highest bid does not necessarily mean that your ad will win the auction. Google also considers what it calls the “quality score”. Each keyword is given this score on a scale of 1-10. There are three components to this score:

    The expected click through rate (CTR). The click through rate is the percentage of people who click on your ad when it is shown. An average click through rate is about 2% - anything more than that is considered above average. In order to arrive at an “expected” CTR, Google gathers historical data. Because of this, newer keywords/ad groups/campaigns can have lower CTRs due to lack of data.

    The quality of the ad shown. Higher quality ads are relevant and contain the keyword that has been searched for. So, if someone is searching for “dog friendly apartments”, dogs should be mentioned in the ad.

    Landing page experience. The “landing page” is the website that a potential customer is taken to when they click on the ad. It’s important that this page contains the search terms, is easy to navigate, and loads quickly. To expand on the example above, dog-friendly amenities should be mentioned.

So in short, in order for an ad to be shown in a google search, the campaign must have a high enough budget, the ads must have historically produced clicks, the ads should contain the search terms, and the landing page should be relevant, transparent, and easy to navigate.

Google Ad-Words has come along way since it was launched in 2000 (17 years ago!) and everyday Google makes updates to this complex system. If you have any questions about your Ad-Words campaign, are looking to advertise using Google Ad-Words or would like more information about Evolve's Digital Marketing services, contact us today at 979-383-2971 or email us at and speak with one of our certified Google Campaign managers.