Google Ads Ad Rank vs. Ad Strength

While they sound similar, Google Ads ad rank and ad strength are two different metrics that serve two different purposes. Below, we’ll dive into what each metric means and how they affect your ad campaigns.

Ad Rank

The term “Ad Rank” refers to a set of values that are used to determine whether your ads are eligible to show and where they will show on the search engine results pages (SERPs) if eligible. 

Key components of ad rank:
  • Bid
  • Landing page quality
  • Competitiveness of an auction
  • Search context (relevancy of a person’s Google search)
  • Expected impact from ad assets (sitelinks, callouts, promo extensions, etc.)
How ad rank affects your campaign:
  • Competitive advantage: A higher ad rank gives you an edge over competitors.
  • Visibility and clicks: Higher ad rank means better positions; better positions mean more eyes and more chances for clicks.
  • Improved CPC (Cost-per-Click): Getting a lower CPC will allow you to get more clicks within your budget.
Ad Strength

Ad strength ranks your responsive search ads from “poor” to “excellent” based on the variety and amount of headlines and descriptions, as well as whether or not you included relevant keywords into the ad text. You can improve your ad strength by going into the edit page for a specific RSA, viewing the suggestions for a better score, and then applying those suggestions. 

How ad strength affects your campaign:
  • Cost efficiency: Higher-quality ads can lead to a better Quality Score, which can reduce your CPC.
  • Better performance: Relevant, engaging, and diverse ads are more likely to perform well. (Google states that advertisers who increase their Performance Max ad strength to excellent should see a 6% increase in conversions.)
  • Increased impressions: Diverse ad assets increase the chance of your ads being shown, leading to more impressions.

While ad strength is helpful for improving the ad itself, it does NOT directly affect your actual ad rank. “Poor” ad strength does not mean your ad will not show in the SERPs; it just means the ad itself could be improved according to Google’s standards.

While not related, these two metrics are important to your overall ad goals. Ad strength gives you visibility into whether or not your ads are up to snuff, so to speak, and gives you recommendations on how to improve them so they will perform to the best of their ability and be cost-effective. On the other side, a strong ad ranking will ensure that your ads appear in the most advantageous positions on the SERP. Make sure you are optimizing for both of these metrics to maintain a well-rounded PPC campaign strategy.

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