A New Program
It is no news Google’s ad positioning has continued to cause a bit of disarray among business owners and managers regarding how their ads rank in search results.
In terms of ad positioning, the story has not always been clear. For example, bidding for the number one spot did not necessarily mean you were outrightly number one. In the next section, we will review how Google’s Guarantee/Screening badge impacts your ad positioning.
What is Google Guarantee and Google Screened?
The Google Guarantee/Screened badge is available for businesses that pass a Google background and qualification process through Google Local Services. Google Guarantee was introduced to boost consumer confidence in home service providers appearing in Local Services Ads. In 2019, Google introduced Google Screened.
To become Google Guaranteed, businesses must pass a background check and have their license and insurance details verified. This particular program offers a money back guarantee of up to $2,000 (lifetime cap). In short, if you are backed by the Google badge, and customers connected or booked you via Google are not satisfied with your work quality, Google may refund the amount paid for the service.
The same applies to Google Screened, however, there is no satisfaction or money-back guarantee. Google’s new “screening process” is accompanied with the option to include paid ad campaigns to promote your business and appear at the top of search results on Google Local Services.
What does this new service mean for your business?
For most businesses, the new update for ad ranking now depends on your bidding power, which still determines your position in paid search results. So essentially, bidding higher promises better results. When competing in a Google Ads auction, you’re assigned an Ad Rank based on your bid and Quality Score. Your positioning will be determined by your “Ad Rank.”
As a result, this brings a much larger scope in determining your competition and status in the Google Ads auctioning. However, hiring an agency with paid search experience, like Frontline Digital, can help you overcome this new disruption to ad ranking.
What happens now to Average Positioning?
Average Positioning will be discontinued because Google no longer considers it a metric that needs to be measured. In response, Google introduced new metrics related to auction performance and search engine visibility:
- Impr. (Absolute Top) % – the percent of your ad impressions shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.
- Impr. (Top) % – the percent of your ad impressions shown anywhere above the organic search results.
- Search (Absolute Top) IS – the impressions you’ve received in the absolute top location (the very first ad above the organic search results) divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.
- Search (Top) IS – the impressions you’ve received in the top location (anywhere above the organic search results) compared to the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.
Below are a few examples of how your paid ads may appear across different Google search results (web, maps, shopping, and more).
Overall, the PPC community believes this to be a step in the right direction. This new metric system amplifies the automatic bidding process. Nowadays, manual bid-to- position strategies don’t make sense for those in the advertising field. With the use of these metrics, ads will have a better chance to convert. Change can be good.
With the ever-evolving methodology of various Google services in our wake, advertising remains crucial in order for customers to find businesses. So, you may be asking, which bidding technique is best for me? Well, that’s a hard question to answer because it really depends!
Here are some things to remember while developing your new bidding strategy once average positioning is eliminated:
- Become familiar with all bidding metrics including but not limited to;
- Keyword reports
- Auction reports
- Biggest changes
- Lifetime Value
- Cost per acquisition
- Use the Target Impression Share (TIS) for the bidding strategy to your advantage. TIS is great for increasing or stabilizing brand awareness. If an advertiser is using this technique, the campaign goal will be to show up in a certain % of eligible auctions. For example if your customer wanted to run ads for his/her boutique clothing store but they are competing with larger stores, you should focus on Target Impression Share to ensure that your brand is showing up when customers are conducting searches nearby.
- Not every Google Ads campaign will be the same. Instead of making changes to your advertising methods, it is better to incorporate bidding strategies which work the best for your business and industry for your market.
Please reach out to one of our qualified Frontline Digital advertising specialists and request a review of your Google Ads bidding strategy to learn what can be done to improve your Ad Rank.