Keyword A has an outstanding Click-Through-Rate and Conversion Rate, but is not driving very much traffic. Keyword C, on the other hand, is driving a ton of traffic, but an educated advertiser would consider the quality of the ad and the traffic to be poor.
This exaggerated example reveals once again the emphasis I place on ongoing campaign maintenance. Not only do you have to worry about these metrics as a whole, but things become more intense when you dig deeper into the demographic segments (or user targets) that were configured.
All in all, I'm sort of using "target" in two ways. One is the demographic you choose to advertise to, and the other is the overall objective of your campaigns.
If PPC campaigns were the human body, keywords would make up its heart. They are the driving force pumping the blood to all of the levers that move throughout the process. It's the keywords that hold the value for both advertisers and searchers. They reveal the purchase intent of searchers while being the main controller of overall bid prices.
With keywords at the center of it all, a PPC campaign is structured with ad copy, landing pages, and targeting around it. That said, it's difficult to invent these other items without a clear understanding of the keywords you will be targeting.
As mentioned earlier, keywords can fall into classifications based on quality. I'll get into quality score later on since it's one of the 5 factors, but at the surface, it's extremely important to monitor whether a keyword is low, medium, or high performing at all times. Knowing this allows you to quickly pivot into finding what works best and which keywords are disposable.
If you set up campaigns that target more than one region, you'll have to keep in mind that strategies and quality scores will vary by market/target. In other words, you won't see the same correlations in metrics throughout all of your campaigns. I know this based on the many different user behaviors by market.
To put it simply, Pay-Per-Click advertising exists in order to allow for webmasters to display their sites at top positions in search engines. This, of course, gives the website more exposure in the short-term. This strategy usually accompanies a longer term way to get to the same goal, which is where search engine optimization comes into play (SEO).
This obviously makes ad positioning a pivotal part of the PPC process. You probably noticed that there can be several ads displayed at the same time on a single search engine results page (SERP). Haven't you ever wondered how that worked?
It should come as no surprise that the more competitive a keyword is, the more ads will display. This is based around common supply and demand principles since total search volume of that keyword is driving up the price of ALL available positions on the SERP. If there are more bidders, the search engine can sell the top spots at a premium and discount those that reside underneath.
So how do we, as advertisers, make sure we're positioned optimally for the keywords we've chosen to pursue?
Put simply, you must bid higher. And continue to do so. Competitors may do the same, so it often becomes a bidding war pretty quickly.
Monitoring your positioning means you must constantly assess your keywords to determine how they're performing in which position. You won't want to increase your bid on a keyword that you continue to rank first for, but you also may want to stop bidding on the ones that are sending you traffic that isn't converting.
Positions overlap most with bid price and quality score. The higher the quality score, the less you might have to spend since search engines prefer to serve more relevant ads over making a few extra pennies.
5. Quality Score
All search engines treat quality score a bit differently. Google, for example, calls ad positioning "Ad Rank." You can calculate Ad Rank by multiplying a bid price with a quality score.
Allow me to explain further.
In a nutshell, a quality score is the grade a search engine gives your ad based on some of the factors aforementioned in this post. Some others are the Click-Through-Rate, the relevance of the landing page to the chosen keyword, your brand's performance history, and more.
Other search engines around the world use other terms for quality score. Baidu identifies it as "Quality Degree" while "Quality Index" is Naver's preferred terminology. However, what doesn't change much is the way these search engines calculate the quality of an ad.
Let’s look at another table (shown below) to illustrate how quality score can impact bidding. Assume that keyword Keyword D has a quality score of 5. You place a bid of $10.00 for it and with a quality score of 20, the ad is placed in position 1. Now, let's imagine that your quality score is 10 for Keyword E. You still want your ad to remain position 1 for this keyword, so how much are you going to bid? You know that having a quality score of 20 can place the ad in position 1, so now you just need to place a $5.00 bid, or half your previous bid.