Navigating Google’s analytics and reporting tools can sometimes make you feel like you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole.
If you’ve ever used Google AdWords, you’re especially familiar with this feeling. There are many, many questions about Quality Score and how to improve it.
The Google AdWords Quality Score is a way of ranking the quality of ad campaigns on a scale of 1 to 10. To be able to control Quality Score, it’s helpful to know what it is. According to Google, Quality Score is:
“…an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.”
Put simply, the better your ads are, the higher the Quality Score, and the more competitive you’ll be in the AdWords auction. Quality Scores are meant to help you build stronger ads rather than be a reportable metric. For this reason, you will notice that your ads have several different Quality Scores including a keyword score, landing page score and click through rate (CTR).
Each one of these scores plays a role in how well your ads will fare in the AdWords auction. So, if your Quality Scores are low, take the following steps to improve them.
1. Have a relevant landing page.
If your ads are not tied to a relevant landing page, you will be hard-pressed to receive a Quality Score over 3. The most important contributing factors to a successful landing page are relevant and original content, transparency and navigability. Always remember that even though you are trying to impress Google, the ultimate goal is to impress the person who clicks your ad.
These factors are not important just because Google deems them important. Relevant, easy-to-view websites engage audiences and entice them to browse content.
2. Choose the right keywords.
Continually research keywords to take advantage of new opportunities. Search engine users are constantly coming up with new, longer search queries to find information. If you are creating a list of keywords and phrases and relying on it for months or even years, you are hurting your campaign.
Make sure to work high-performing keywords into your ad copy to ensure that they get the highest possible exposure.
3. It’s all about organization.
The organizations of your ad groups can affect everything from your Quality Score to your ability to edit and manage ads. Smaller, more tightly themed groups are more effective than large, broad groups. Ad groups with focused keywords allow you to create specific ads that are relevant to the given keyword. Using several different keyword themes in a single ad group forces you to use more generic ad copy.
The more generic the ads, the harder it is for Google to match them to search queries. It follows that generic ads lead to generic landing pages. Generic landing pages can frustrate viewers. The easier you make it for them to complete their goals, the higher your conversion rate will be.
4. Make your ad copy stand out.
Your goal is to stand out from the other advertisers vying for the same audience. The trick is to be the solution to the audience’s problems. When they enter a question into Google, your headline needs to let them know that they will find an answer when they click on your ad. Use strong calls to action to empower the viewer to take action. Tell them that they can buy from your website, can get an instant quote or should call for more information.
Include at least one of your chosen keywords in the copy, preferably the headline, and make sure the ad copy matches the language on the landing page. Most importantly, create several ads within a group. See what works best. Then you can turn off ads that aren’t successful and focus your money on ads that are producing a return.
The world of Google AdWords is no doubt complicated, but with some planning and attention, the process can be easy and educational. You are sure to learn things about your industry that are surprising, and you may even be able to apply what you learn to other aspects of your business.
By Galen Kashtock
I lead sales support strategy and execution. Our team is hands-on from start to finish with the sales process, ensuring that we build and execute wildly successful media strategies for our clients.