Question: Why doesn’t my ad show first when I increase my budget?

The days of simply spending more money to buy a top placement in Google’s sponsored ads section (not the natural listings) is long gone. Yet, there still remains a misconception among many that if you simply increase the amount you’re willing to spend on a keyword, you can buy top placement. Not true.

Google changed its criteria for serving ads several years ago as it became abundantly clear to Google that they could make more money. So the smart folks at Google asked themselves, “what will it take to make more people click on more ads?” Thus, the Adwords ‘Quality Score’ was implemented and Google did make a lot more money.

Here’s the scoop: the Google system calculates a ‘Quality Score’ for each of your keywords. It looks at a variety of factors to measure how relevant your keyword is to your ad text, to the landing page text and to a user’s search query. A keyword’s Quality Score updates frequently and is closely related to its performance. In general, a high Quality Score means that your keyword will trigger ads in a higher position and at a lower cost-per-click (CPC).

The Quality Score is all about “relevancy” and is designed to give searchers better quality results, and also give advertisers better quality visitors. So in order to obtain consistent top ad positions you will need to pay attention to your Quality Score.

Now, as a side note, there are companies who “guarantee you top ad placement” in Google Adwords. The catch here is that they focus on just a handful of keywords and phrases. So its easier to optimize for the phrase “Boston Bankruptcy Lawyer” if that’s all your going for. Otherwise you may want to consider more affordable and perhaps better qualified, geographically targeted, “long-tail” keyphrases, like “Quincy Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer”.

The bottom line is this, advertising on Google can be highly effective and very worthwhile as long as you manage it properly. Otherwise you’re just making Google richer, without realizing very much of your own ROI.

You can learn more about Adwords Quality Score at…where else? Google Adwords

Bardorf Legal Marketing is a Massachusetts Internet marketing and advertising firm working with lawyers and law firms on enhancing their online effectiveness in the areas of SEO, paid search, social media, affiliate marketing, blog and website development, and targeted local search marketing campaigns.