Don’t Believe Everything You Read – How Quality Scores Impact Adwords Campaigns. Part 2

In my last article, I talked about the flawed logic regarding Google Adwords Quality Score (QS) that some writers were presenting in articles. To summarize, many writers were stating that the QS was not only unimportant and should be ignored, but that the QS didn’t impact the cost advertisers were paying. I pointed out the errors in their logic and provided you with insight into what exactly QS is and how a higher QS could save you money.

As promised, this article will focus on giving you suggestion on how to increase your QS without you having to obsess over it. The QS shouldn’t be looked at as the magic pill that will lower the cost, but as a leading indicator of potential red flags or that you are moving in the right direction. It definitely is important, but shouldn’t be obsessed over.

Before I talk about what you can do to improve your QS, let me warn you that there are certain situations outside of an advertiser’s control that impacts the QS.

• History of the keywords being used. When a campaign starts, the keywords are assigned the average QS for that keyword.

• If other advertisers have driven down the performance, the new advertiser will suffer the consequences and that could take a while to get the traffic needed for Google to increase the ratings.

• Negative history associated with the URL will also impact the ability to increase the QS.

The most important thing that advertisers can do to improve their QS, is to ensure that they create high quality campaigns. Here are some tips on how to ensure that your campaigns are high quality.

Ad Groups

Keep ad group keyword list short. Instead of having a single ad group with hundreds of keywords, create many ad groups, each with a short list of related keywords.

Create tightly themed ad groups. Your ad groups should contain a list of keywords that are tightly themed. Here’s a test you can use to ensure your ad groups are tightly themed. If you can use each word in the ad text without changing the meaning of the ad, you are on the right track.

Keywords

Keywords should be relevant to your business. Choose keywords that relevant to your product or service.

Use multiple variations of the same keyword. Include both the singular and plural version. Use the keyword with relevant geographical modifiers. For example, a list that contains “find a local plumber” could be expanded to “find a local plumber in 85282” or “find a local plumber in tempe”.

Keep your end goal in mind. Use long tailed keywords that are likely to result in the conversion you are seeking. If you want someone to buy your product, use modifiers that indicate this intention. “buy”, “purchase”, “where to buy”, etc.

Use negative keywords. Your ad will not be displayed if the search includes a negative keyword. Add more negative keywords at regular intervals. As your negative keyword list grows, your ad group’s CTR will increase, saving you money and/or improving your ad’s position. For example, if you sell products or services at a premium, include negative keywords such as free, cheap or discount.

Text Ads

Set yourself apart from your competitors. Text ads should contain information that is specific to your product or service and sets you apart from your competition. Include relevant promotions, sales, or prices. Include a call to action.

Use keywords in ad text. Show the searcher that your ad is relevant. Google will display the search keywords in bold in your ad if they’re present. This helps your ad stand out from the crowd.

Test multiple versions of ad. Take advantage of Google’s feature allowing multiple ads to be created and rotated within a single ad group. Test different ad text and see which version works best, both from an ROI and CTR perspective. A better ad will lead to a higher CTR and lower bids for the same ad position.

Landing Pages

Create a good user experience. The page that the ad lands on should contain the same information that is found in your ads. The page should load quickly. Keep the content simple and the desired conversion easy to identify.

Use a relevant landing page. For most searches, don’t point the ad to your home page. Choose a landing page on your site that includes the keywords from the search. In some cases, it’s worth creating a custom page that’s not in the normal navigation of your site.

In summary, the QS shouldn’t be looked at as the magic pill that will lower the cost, but as a leading indicator of potential red flags or that you are moving in the right direction. It definitely is important, but shouldn’t be obsessed over. As long as you are following Google’s best practices throughout each segment of your Adwords campaign, your QS will eventually increase. As always, if you have questions or need help, we at LocalDirective are here to guide you on your way to success.

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Author: Kim Figor

Kim Figor has over 13 years’ experience in a plethora of marketing disciplines that encompass SEO & Paid Search Online Marketing, Loyalty Marketing, Marketing Communications, and Project Management. Her educational background includes a BABM and MBA in Marketing as well as Certifications in AdCenter, Adwords and Market Motive (Paid Search, Display, SEO, and Conversions). In addition to working at Google, where she assisted thousands of companies succeed online, Kim has been a key player in the start-up and growth of several technology and marketing companies. Kim’s exceptional analytical skills relating to online marketing has proven to be instrumental in the success of online campaigns for companies in all industries and sizes.