If you’re trying to master PPC, you need a firm understanding of your AdWords Quality Score.
Your Quality Score in AdWords plays a significant role in determining the cost, effectiveness and success of your PPC campaigns.
But what is it, and how can you improve yours?
What is a Quality Score?
Quality Score is essentially what it says on the tin: Google’s own rating of your ads, including the quality and relevance of both the keywords and ads. It is about how good your ad is at meeting the customer’s needs, and this means providing both relevance and value. SEO experts will be more than familiar with those words, and the same principles apply to PPC ads.
For information on how to find your Quality Score and its component scores, have a read of this handy Google guide. You can now also view historical quality score data so you can track how your quality score has changed, as well as other more detailed insights into your score.
Why does Quality Score matter? First and foremost, Quality Score has a significant influence over the cost of your campaigns, determining how much you pay for each click. In short, a higher quality score will mean higher ad rankings and lower costs. By lower costs we mean lower cost per click and lower cost per conversion. Now I’ve got your attention!
There are a variety of factors that go into determining a quality score and, similar to SEO, no one can be absolutely certain of which factors are more influential than others. However, through a bit of detective work and a healthy dose of savvy common sense, we can get a pretty good idea.
The first step towards improving your Quality Score is to get the initial keyword research phase correct. Always focus on the most appropriate keywords for your campaign in order to improve relevancy (we’re going to be saying this word a lot). Remember to also consider long-tail keywords, as these can bring significant traffic that is highly targeted.
Identifying the most relevant keywords is not enough; you also need to organize them into effective groups that can be used for individual campaigns. Avoid having too many broad ad groups, as these can lower your Quality Score. Instead, establish smaller, targeted ad groups, as these will contribute towards an overall more successful campaign.
Set up this phase of the campaign correctly and you’ll be in a much better position to improve your quality score. With targeted ad groups, you will more effectively be able to reach the exact audience that is most likely to be searching for what you are providing. Get this part right and the rest should flow naturally.
As part of this, be sure to exclude negative keywords that could be unnecessarily draining your budget. Failing to do so could lower your click-through rate and therefore damage your Quality Score.
Landing page experience
We could dedicate an entire blog post to optimizing your landing pages, but for the sake of this article, the key point to remember is – you guessed it – relevance. You’re going to be bored silly by this word if you make it to the end of this post, but we keep mentioning it for good reason.
The process of clicking through from the ad to the landing page should provide a cohesive experience that links the user seamlessly from their initial search query to the conversion. Your landing page is an essential part of this process and it is therefore crucial to follow best practices for optimizing landing pages, as follows:
Relevant, original content
Transparency and trustworthiness
Clear navigation and strong UX / UI
Quick load speed
Ensure no broken links
Having a good landing page is not just necessary to please Google: it will also improve your conversion rate, which is the ultimate goal.