So you just launched an AdWords campaign and you’re probably wondering how to start off on the right foot with a high-quality score. Or perhaps you’ve been advertising on AdWords for years, and you are starting to see your quality score drop. Whatever the case may be, you need to raise your quality score to increase leads and decrease costs. On one hand, you could read a book on the complex strategies and technical aspects of increasing your quality score. However, what I have learned is, the more complicated you make it, the more confused you will be. The best method I can give to achieve a higher quality score is to make your entire process of thinking as simple as possible. Here are five simple pointers you can use today to help increase your quality score.
Account Organization and Highly Relevant Ad Groups
The first thing to do is to organize your account structure properly. When your account is properly structured when you begin, you will have less account structure issues to deal with when you are trying to increase quality score. To do this, we need to understand the importance of relevance. Your ad groups need to be relevant to your keywords, your keywords need to be relevant to your ad copy, and your ad copy needs to be relevant to your landing page. You will likely have multiple landing pages, ad copy, and keywords, and therefore you need multiple ad groups that are closely related to specific keywords, ad copy, and landing pages. For an example, let’s say you run the AdWords for a Business school at a University that offers an MBA, Bachelor’s degree, and a Certificate program. It is best to at least have four different ad groups, one for each program, plus a general ad group; that way it is easy to set up more relevant ads that lead to landing pages for each program. A general ad group is perfect for ambiguous searches such as “business class,” which could mean certificate, undergrad or graduate school. Beginning your account by creating relevant ad groups is the first step in achieving a high-quality score.
The next things you should start thinking about are your keywords. We have found that the more control you have over your keywords, the better. The best ways to have control over your keywords are by using keyword matching options. These match type options include broad match, broad match modifier, phrase match, exact match, and negative match. For an example, let’s use the keyword “asset management degree.” When you type in this keyword, you see ads from universities for management degrees and from bankers for financial services. This can be tricky because there are essentially two keywords, “asset management” and “management degree.”
However, if you were a bank and you added degree as a negative keyword, your ads would never show up for the search query of “asset management degree.” That way, you wouldn’t have to worry about paying for a click that wouldn’t provide a potential lead. The opposite would apply if you were a university and you used exact match for [management degree]. You would only show when searcher used the keywords management degree; that way you wouldn’t need to worry about searchers looking for asset management. Creating highly relevant keywords will have a positive impact on your quality score because it will increase your chances of having a higher click through rate.
Ad Relevance and Click Through Rate
The single most important factor in quality score is your click through rate (CTR). Your CTR can be directly associated with how relevant your ad copy is to the keywords. The more relevant your ad is to your keywords, the more likely a searcher is to click on your ad, which will increase your CTR. A good tactic is to use ad copy that makes it easier for a searcher to find exactly what they are looking for. If you offer a 24-hour car repair service, you should not only create an ad group targeting this, but you should also have ad copy that specifically says you offer this for that ad group. I know this seems very obvious, but like I said earlier, the simpler you can make this the better your results will be.
Another tactic to keep in your arsenal is ad testing. Ad testing is where we create two similar ads with different ad copy and test them both. We choose the ad with the best results, and then we compare it with another ad we create. Ad testing allows us to keep improving over time. To sum it up, the more likely a user is to click on an ad, the more likely that Google will reward you with a higher quality score. Almost always you will see a positive correlation between a high CTR and a high-quality score.
One of the simplest ways to easily increase your CTR and quality score is with the use of ad extensions. An ad extension is an easy way to help a searcher find what they are looking for by giving them more click options. Some possible ad extensions are app extensions, call extensions, location extensions, review extensions, and sitelink extensions. These allow you to increase the amount of real estate your ad takes up, which will usually result in an increased CTR.
It is important to know that not every ad extension is right for every business. If you don’t have an app or a storefront, you wouldn’t want to include an app and location extension. Only use what makes sense for your business and aligns with your goals.
Landing Page Quality
Last but not least we have the quality of your landing page. Google has four guidelines for how they calculate the quality of your landing page: Spiderability, Relevance, Transparency, and Navigation.
- Spiderability is how a Google robot will crawl your page, the guideline to include for this is to have a robots.txt file that tells a robot what it can crawl on your site.
- The relevance guideline can easily be achieved by answering the searcher’s question or telling them how to find their answer.
- Transparency has become increasingly important with all the scams and safety concerns on the internet. As long as you don’t disable the back button, attempt to auto install software, or change the searcher’s browser, you should be fine.
- The trick to navigation is to just make it easy for a searcher to use your site; have links on your page such as homepage, about us, contact us, and products/services. Again with the simplicity here; at the end of the day, it’s all about giving the searcher a good search experience.
In conclusion, the more relevant and tied together your ad groups, keywords, ad copy, and landing pages are, the higher your quality score will be. When all four are closely aligned, your potential customers will have an easier time accessing the information they want to find. Not only is that helpful for your customers, it is also great for your CTR, which has the biggest impact on your quality score. Don’t over think this and make it more complicated than it needs to be; the simpler, the better.