Those familiar with AdWords will know that a good Quality Score is integral to running successful PPC campaigns. This is because it significantly influences both your cost per click (CPC) and your ad rank on the search engine results page. Quality score is a number between 1 and 10, which indicates how relevant your keywords, ads and landing pages are to a Google user. It is based on the following factors, although it is unknown how much each element contributes to the overall score:
- Expected Click Through Rate
- Ad Relevance
- Landing Page quality and experience
Having a good Quality Score can dramatically affect the performance of your campaigns. The key to achieving a high score is providing a consistently relevant and positive user experience, from the initial keyword search all the way through to the landing page. There are a number of things that Google advertisers can do to ensure that they achieve an (almost) perfect Quality Score.
Before anything else, you need to know what your score currently is. Find it by first selecting the relevant campaign and ad group. Click the Keywords tab and in the status column, you’ll see a white speech bubble, which contains your overall Quality Score, your expected CTR, ad relevance and your landing page experience. Familiarising yourself with the meaning and significance of each of these components is the first step in improving your Quality Score. Next, you’ll need to take a closer look at your keywords, ad copy and landing page.
Identify your top performing keywords across the ad groups of the campaign you wish to optimise. Assemble them into logical groups based on different themes in order to help keep each ad group in your campaign as relevant as possible. Generally speaking, the fewer keywords per ad group the more relevant it will be.
Make a habit of periodically carrying out keyword research in order to discover new and relevant keywords for your campaign and revise your ad copy to ensure that your keywords are included, either manually or through dynamic keyword insertion (DKI). This will help to maximise click through rate (CTR), and consequently your overall Quality Score.
Lastly, it is important to identify and eliminate negative keywords, or search terms, which could bring up your ad in search results but are not relevant to your ad, to avoid unnecessary spending.
Your ad copy is what will determine whether somebody clicks through to your landing page or decides to select a competitor’s ad instead. It needs to be highly relevant so that users can be certain they are clicking an ad for exactly what they searched for. For this reason, you should include your keywords in your ads headline and within your display URL.
Once you have caught the user’s attention with the headline and URL, use the ad description to convince people to click on your ad. To do so, you could include a call-to-action, mention incentives, and describe the different features of your product / service or identify types of potential customer you wish to attract (e.g. business owners). It’s considered best practice to include your keyword in each of these three ad components in order to maintain that all-important relevancy.
Additionally, you should really split test different variations of your headline, URL and description to find out what performs best for your ad and your potential customer (see our blog post about split testing here)
Google ultimately wants its users to have a positive experience on the search engine and feel satisfied that they have found what they are looking for when using it. Unless your landing page is optimised to your customer search query, there is no point spending all that time perfecting your ad copy and researching the most relevant keywords for your ad. The more closely linked your landing page is to your keywords and the easier it is for customers to navigate, the higher your Quality Score will be.
In order to optimise your landing page, include your keywords and any related terms across multiple parts of the page, make sure that your ad’s headline matches up to the headline on your landing page and that you are evidently offering exactly what you have presented in your ad. The more relevant the content of your landing page is, the more likely you are to fulfil your customers’ requirements and ultimately generate conversions.
Lastly, loading speed and mobile optimisation is key to maintaining a users interest, there’s nothing more likely to cause somebody to click off your page than a slow loading time or an unusable landing page if they’re on a mobile.
Though it might seem tedious to comb through each of your ad campaigns, checking that all of the above elements are covered, it will ultimately be worth it. The more attention you pay to perfecting your Quality Score, the more likely you are to score a higher ad position, boost your click-through rate and reduce your minimum keyword bids. Remember to focus on relevancy and your Quality Score will rocket.