Improve Google Adwords Quality Score With These 5 Simple Tips

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  • July 7, 2015
PPC Quality Score Post

If you run Google Adwords PPC campaigns you are likely familiar with the concept of quality score (QS). The quality score is an indication of how Google ranks the quality of your PPC ad, and it can have a huge effect on ad cost. In this post we will teach you several extremely effective steps you can take to start improving your Adwords quality scores today.

What is a good quality score in Google Adwords?

Quality scores are based on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being poor quality and 10 being optimal quality score. A rating of five is used as a benchmark with anything below five likely costing the advertiser more money per click. So, as the score trends below five, advertisers will see their ad prices go up. With quality scores above five, advertisers will see prices go down. In some cases we’ve seen upwards of 60-75% cost savings by increasing the ad quality scores of our clients.

Take a look at this brief video to see Google’s explanation of why quality scores matter in Adwords campaigns.

In addition to saving money per ad, there are added benefits to increase the quality scores of the ads within your Adwords account. Read on to learn 5 Google Adwords tips you can implement to increase your quality scores and save big with your Adwords management.

How to improve the quality score in Google Adwords

Improving your Google Adwords quality scores will not happen overnight. Depending on the status of your advertising account, some changes may take longer than others. (If your account is in really poor shape, it may take several weeks/months for the account to “heal” after implementing these changes. But the great news is that these things really aren’t that hard to implement.

In this post, we will be focusing on two simple data points that are often overlooked.  The “CTR” and the “Quality Score.” While there are many factors influencing quality score, none are as powerful (or profitable) as the Click Through Rate (CTR).  By focusing on this number first, you will set yourself down a path for Adwords profitability and success.

Do your keyword research

The first step is to do some serious keyword research. We personally use Google’s keyword planner, Keyword Researcher, and Market Samurai to perform keyword research. Raven Tools and SEM Rush also provide a tool called the keyword difficulty tool which can be helpful for choosing long tail keywords without too much competition. For a quick but very accurate guide to performing keyword research, take a look at our recent post, “A simple & effective method for long tail keyword research using free tools.”

For a more detailed keyword research guide, subscribe to our blog to get access our ultimate keyword research ebook first (coming soon).   In it, we show you the same method for keyword research that we have used on hundreds of accounts in Chicago that brings a crazy amount of organic traffic to the websites we optimize.

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Once you have a strong list of keywords in place to use, it’s time to learn how to use these keywords across your digital strategy to start improving quality scores.

Use single keyword ad groups

If the exact keyword being searched on Google causes an ad to be shown using that exact keyword, it is proven to increase CTR. The reason is because it is exactly what the searcher is looking for. If you were to search for “Chicago personal trainer” and you were shown two ads at the top of the page, one reading “Chicago personal trainers” and the other reading “Fitness trainers Chicago,” you would probably be more likely to click on the ad utilizing the keyphrase “Chicago personal trainer” because this is what you were actually looking for, in your own words. In the mind of the searcher, they’re not looking for a fitness trainer but rather a personal trainer.

By using only one keyword per ad group, you can ensure that you can use the keyword in the ad every time your ad is shown for that keyword. This will help to increase your click through rate and help to raise your quality score over time.

Re-write your Adwords ads to make them more interesting

Too often, advertisers get so wrapped up with keywords, scores, and ad prices, that they neglect the actual ads that internet searchers will be reading! The result is usually ads that sound “keyword stuffed” and are downright boring. Try writing ads for the internet searcher. How can you appeal to their pain points and emotions within the ad? Do you have any specials, discount codes, or free shipping? If so, mention them, using exact numbers and percentages if possible.
More interesting, compelling, quality ad copy will usually help to increase the ad click through rate and help to boost the quality scores in the Adwords account.

Provide a quality landing page experience

Now that you’ve tightened up the keywords within your Adwords account, its time to ensure that the keywords appear on the landing page the ad click leads to. One of the easiest ways to do this is to have the ad click lead to a dedicated landing page.
By using a dedicated landing page, you can place the keyword in your page title, url, headings, and within the body copy to really “tell” Google what your page is all about. If your entire page speaks of your keyword, then Google can be assured that your ad is taking users to a place where they will find what they are looking for.
Other factors such as time on page and interaction with the page are also viewed by Google to decide how good of a user experience site visitors are having. This also plays a factor in determining the quality score.  So it is also of paramount importance to design the page with the user in mind. Are they getting to what they need quickly? Are you promising them what the ad itself advertised?

I sometimes see people get so wrapped up in creating their landing page that they forget one of the first and most important steps – place the keywords on the page!  Then, spend as much time as needed to test your landing pages and make micros adjustments to copy and design until the page starts to achieve it’s goal (ie; contact, lead collection, sales, or other goals).

Strip your Adwords account of all keywords with a low Quality Score

After completing the steps already listed, some of your keywords may persist to have a low quality score. If they are below 4-5, delete them from the account. Even if you feel that they are good keywords and occasionally convert, get rid of them. This may be difficult to do, but it is necessary.
Low quality score keywords will drag the entire account down. The goal will be to have all keywords as high as possible within the account. In this step we’re trying to increase the overall health of the Adwords advertising account.

Next steps to raising your Quality Scores

After implementing these changes it may still take some time to bring your ad prices down and get more ad impression share. But be patient, it will be worth it. Like most internet advertising, these changes will not take effect overnight. If your account has been in poor health for a long time, it may take even longer. But by making these changes today, you will be started down a path to improving your Adwords quality scores while also improving the overall health of your Google Adwords account.


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