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Paid search best practices

Included below is an ever growing and updating list of core paid search best practices. Understanding these concepts can be of value when trying to create the best paid search ad for your own company, an employer, or client.

Search Lost IS (Rank)

Four15Digital has a clear, easy-to-understand write up on the multiple factors that contribute to the Search Lost IS (Rank) metric in paid search campaigns.

Ad position is determined based on these factors:

  • Bid – how much you are able/willing to spend
  • Ad quality – if ad copy is relevant to the search terms, how fast the landing page loads and associated copy/keywords, expected click through rate for when your ad displays
  • Ad Rank thresholds – what the minimum bid for your ad has been set to
  • The context of the search query – this is a combination of the terms searched for, where the user is located, what time and date it is, type of device and more
  • Impact of ad extensions and ad format – overall performance can be improved by making use of extensions like sitelinks, callouts, phone number, structured snippets and more

Google AdWords resources

  • Karooya’s “Expanded Text Ad Preview Tool” makes it easy to preview what your next paid search ad might look like–without having to login to your Google Ads account. This can be particularly helpful if you need to demonstrate and collaborate on expanded text ads with a team or during a meeting.
  • Google’s “Verticals” page lists all of the current categories available for targeting and selection criteria within the AdWords API.
  • Google Rich Media Gallery makes it easy to view the creative from campaigns created by the top advertisers and agencies. They also offer a Skillshop where you can learn about rich media at your own pace.

Other related tools

  • “I Search From” allows you to simulate searching from Google Search from different locations and devices and with custom settings. This can help with both paid and organic search testing and optimization efforts.