Get your ads to show on the first page

On average, ads that appear on the first page or above the search results get substantially more clicks than ads that appear on other search results pages, or alongside the search results. To help you get your ads to show in these valuable positions, AdWords provides cost-per-click (CPC) bid estimates you can use when setting your bids.

This article describes the 3 types of bid estimates you can use to help get your ad onto the first page. This article also explains why your ad may not make it to the first page of results even when you meet these estimates. Finally, it gives a few suggestions for improving your Ad Rank.

About first page, top of page, and first position bid estimates

There are 3 types of bid estimates available in the Keywords tab to help you get your ads on the first page of search results when a search query exactly matches your keyword.

First page bid estimate: the bid you likely need to set for your ad to be shown anywhere on the first page of search results.

Top of page bid estimate: the bid you likely need to set for your ad to be shown among the ads at the top of the first page of search results.

First position bid estimate: The bid you likely need to set for your ad to be shown in the first ad position at the top of the first page of search results.

See your first page, top of page, and first position bid estimates

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Keywords tab.
  3. Click the Columns button above the statistics table.
  4. Select Modify columns from the drop-down.
  5. In the "Attributes" menu, add "Est. first page bid," "Est. top page bid," and "Est. first pos. bid," and click Save. You'll now see these columns in the statistics table.

If your first page bid estimate is very high, it may mean that your keyword's Quality Score is poor. You can click the help bubble next to your keyword to find details about the keyword's Quality Score (note that you can modify your columns to always show Quality Score).

Ad position bid estimates are a guide, meant to give you greater insight with which to plan your bidding strategy -- but meeting your ad position estimate isn’t a guarantee of ad position. Ad position will still depend on competition from other advertisers, your Ad Rank, your budget and account settings, and user behavior.

Note: Device targeting and bid estimates

First page, top of page, and first position bid estimates show the bid you likely need for your ad to reach your preferred placement in search results for the device(s) you’re targeting.

For example, if you’re running a campaign that only serves on mobile devices, the first page bid estimate will reflect the bid required to reach the first page of search results on mobile devices.

What to do if your ad still doesn’t appear

In some cases, your ad might not appear in your preferred placement in the search results, even if you meet the relevant bid estimate for that placement. Keep in mind that these estimates are guidelines based on your keyword's Quality Score and recent advertiser competition, and they apply to search queries exactly matching your keyword. Meeting these bid estimates isn’t a guarantee of where your ad will appear.

Below are a few common reasons your ad might not show on the first page, even when you meet this bid estimate:

  • Advertiser competition: There could be new competition on your keywords.
  • Keyword match: The searches customers are performing might not match up exactly with your keywords.
  • Budget changes: If a recently changed budget has been fully depleted, your ad might not run.

If you're meeting a bid estimate, and your ads still don't appear in your preferred placement in the search results, you may want to review the basics of ad position and Ad Rank.

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