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How much you actually pay is decided in what’s called a bid auction. The bid auction is what Google Ads uses to determine how all of the different advertisers who are trying to bid for a particular click will pay. So suppose there are, for example, three different advertisers, each bidding different amounts for a particular keyword. Based on things like the quality score, the historical data, and other factors around the advertising account, the landing page and different things like that, these advertisers will end up paying different amounts than they’re actually willing to pay based on these factors, and Google decides that for you. This determines your position on the page, whether you’re at the top of the page or in the middle or wherever. And this is decided using the measure of what’s called ad rank.
Your ad rank is decided by your maximum CPC bid.
The ad rank is calculated by multiplying your maximum by your quality score. That will determine where you sit in the page compared to your competitors.
Your quality score is very important. It is a metric that was introduced in 2005. It is assigns to your keyword based on its CTR, its bid, and its landing page relevance. So again, we’re thinking landing pages, bids, we’re thinking CTR as historical based on what your CTR has been over time, and Google’s able to assess your landing page. But having a high quality score means Google Ads thinks that your ad, your keyword, and your landing page are all relevant to that particular user. And if you have a high quality score, you get rewarded for that.
Your quality score is the most impactful way to cost-effectively increase the position of your keywords without drastically affecting your bids. Having quality landing pages and quality ads is easily the most effective way to affect where you rank on the page. And AdRank is the factor that Google uses to determine what position you’re going to end up in after the bid auction is complete.
Bids are set at the maximum you are willing to pay for a click. Sometimes you’ll pay a little more or less than your maximum bid and this can be because of several reasons including:
If we keep these four elements in mind when you know optimizing towards a constrained budget or just trying to drive efficiencies in our account, it will impact positively on the amount we pay and the efficiencies that we drive into the account.Back to Top
Cathal Melinn is a well-known digital marketing director, commercial analyst, and eCommerce specialist with over 15 years’ experience.
Cathal is a respected international conference speaker, course lecturer, and digital trainer. He specialises in driving complete understanding from students across a number of digital marketing disciplines including: paid and organic search (PPC and SEO), analytics, strategy and planning, social media, reporting, and optimisition. Cathal works with digital professionals in over 80 countries and teaches at all levels of experience from beginner to advanced.
Alongside his training and course work, Cathal runs his own digital marketing agency and is considered an analytics and revenue generating guru - at enterprise level. He has extensive local and international experience working with top B2B and B2C brands across multiple industries.
Over his career, Cathal has worked client-Side, in digital marketing agencies and media owners with brands including HSBC, Amazon, Apple, Red Bull, Dell, Vodafone, Compare the Market, Aer Lingus, and Expedia.
He can be reached on LinkedIn here.
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ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE
This module begins with the key concepts of paid search and demonstrates how to set up a Google Ads account and create a paid search campaign. It explains how to manage a paid search campaign budget effectively and outlines the different methods that can be used to optimize your paid search campaign. It also covers how to measure and report on the success of a paid search campaign.