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Search Engine Marketing: Improving Your Quality Score

by | Sep 21, 2010 | Search Engine Marketing

Quality score is a grade or rating you receive from search engines that represents how relevant the relationship is between your keywords, content, URL, and the user experience as shown by the click-through rate. A good quality score can lower your costs and increase your exposure. Why?

Well, think of it this way. A user types in a keyword in the search engine, and the search engine results page includes your ad. If there is a close relationship between the keyword, your ad and your landing page content, the user will likely find what they want when they visit your site. But if the relevance or relationship is poor, the user may visit your site and not find what they want. Getting irrelevant results can cause this user to go to another search engine next time.

In a nutshell, quality scores are used by search engines to provide a measurement of the predicted value you will bring to the searcher. And, of course, incentives and disincentives help ensure high quality results are presented

A very thorough guide compiled by 15 leading pay-per-click experts from around the globe gives advice on improving your quality score.

Three of the top suggestions are:

1) The largest part of a quality score is the Click-Thru-Rate (CTR) so put your attention on this by using very specific and relevant keywords. Consider using negative keywords to prevent unwanted impressions. Also use ‘match type’ to limit the exposure your ad might have to irrelevant searches.

2) Keep tight ad groups by grouping keywords with a higher quality score together. It is suggested by Google that each ad group should be thematic and include no more than 5-20 keywords.

3) Optimize your landing pages in the same way, using the same groups of relevant keywords. It is better to have too many landing pages than too few.

Whether you manage your own Pay-Per-Click program or you oversee an agency that does this for you, it is important to understand how the focus on Quality Scoring impacts your program. Optimizing toward a higher quality score is always a winning strategy.

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