Apr 7, 2013 @ 7:20 pm in Paid Search, Google Adwords by   5

How to Improve Your Google Adwords Quality Score?

Before we get down to the importance of Adwords Quality Score, let us first understand what is Quality Score. Though most of my readers might be already more than familiar with the definition of Quality Score for those few who are just taking their first steps into the world of search marketing this might be helpful.

Quality Score as defined by Google, “Quality Score is the basis for measuring the quality and relevance of your ads and determining your minimum CPC bid for Google and the search network. This score is determined by your keyword’s click-through rate (CTR) on Google and the relevance of your ad text, keyword and landing page.”

A pretty clean and simple definition but why does Google use Quality Score to display and rank the paid ads and not just display the ads based on highest bids?

To answer this question we will need to understand Google’s objective. Google’s objective or for that matter, any search engine’s objective is to serve the most relevant results to its searchers. If the paid search results were displayed simply based on the highest bid values even unrelated websites with solid financial standing could easily out do the most relevant websites by placing a higher bid on targeted keywords. This would actually disappoint the search engines users, as they would often land up on that unrelated page while searching for their keyword and ultimately lowers the search engine’s credibility to its users. In simple words, Quality Score is an effective technique to ensure maximum relevance between the keywords and the ads displayed for that keyword and prevent unrelated results from appearing in the paid search results.

Now that we understand why Google factors in the Quality Score for their PPC listings, we also understand that to improve our paid search listings and lower the CPC it is important to have a good Quality Score. So now comes the big question, How to Improve your Quality Score.

Official – Factors affecting Quality Score

Google on its website declares the Adwords Quality Score formula as

Quality Score = (keyword’s CTR, ad text relevance, keyword relevance, landing page relevance)*

*Where the interactions between the Quality Score variables change as we continue to refine how to measure and define quality in AdWords.

Like all other things Google, this formula is also continuously refined to improve the relevance of ads and people across the search marketing industry today are busy analyzing the secrets of quality score and if there are any other untold factors or sub factors that can improve the factors affecting Quality Score.

UnOfficial – How To Improve Quality Score

The Click Through Rate for any keyword is affected by various factors including presence of keywords in the Ad Title, Ad Copy, in display URL. Proper call to actions in the ad copy can also affect the CTR to large extent.

Create Ad Groups: One of the most effective ways to implement these would be to divide all the keywords with smaller ad groups consisting of related keywords and then create a relevant ad copy for each group. This way it is easy to ensure that the ads displayed for each keyword contain the keyword.

Optimize Ad Copy: It is always better to have more than one ad copy for each of your ad groups. Use different call to actions and language to for each of these creatives. To get a proper feel of the performance of each of these ad copies, turn off the ad serving optimization and then serve these ads manually for equal amount of time and compare the results. This would help you to identify the best performing ad creative very easily. Once the best performing ad copy is selected, play around with it to improve the performance further. This should be a continuous process, because, there is no end to the extent to which you can optimize your ad creatives.

Match Types: Adwords offers various types of keyword matching options the default being broad match. It is important to test the various matching options to see which returns a better quality score. It has been observed that mostly “Exact match” returns a better score compared to Phrase match and broad match.

All the above-mentioned factors would improve the factors like keyword’s CTR, ad text relevance and keyword relevance and ultimately improves your Quality Score. Besides these there are a host of things that you can do on page to improve your landing page relevance and thus again add a boost to your Adwords Quality Score.

Use Keywords: Ensure that you use your keywords in the landing page content.

Title & Meta Tags: Use your best performing keywords in the title and Meta description for your landing page. Try to incorporate the text of your best performing ad into your Meta Description or body content.

SEO: Yes, a little bit of SEO and Link Building would also help to increase the relevance of the landing page for your targeted keywords in Google’s perspective. Improve the navigation and coding, add a few deep links using your keywords as anchor texts. These factors will not just make your landing page more relevant for your Adwords campaign but also would add value to your organic SEO campaign.

Check With Google: It is important to check if Google actually thinks your keywords are related to your landing page. Use the Site Related Keywords Tool to check the keywords related to your landing page and cross check with the keyword list for which you are using that landing page.

Important Site Pages: It might be a good option to add important site pages like, Privacy policy, Terms & Conditions, About Us etc. More than anything these pages would give the confidence in your visitors to do a transaction on your landing page and add to your conversion rate.

Multivariate Testing: This is the ultimate step in optimizing your landing page to improve your quality score. While the above mentioned factors would help to create and increase the landing page relevance multivariate testing helps you to compare variations of your landing page and see which one is giving the best output. Always create multiple variations of your landing page and test each option and their variation by changing the different page elements. Though there are innumerous factors that you can toy around with, some of the major factors that affect conversion are page heading, size of image on the page, call to actions, use of Verisign, BBB seals, readability, color scheme etc. Multivariate testing should be a continuous process and you should test various combinations of page elements to see which works best for your campaign.

Google Adwords has an inbuilt tool for multivariate testing, which makes it really easy to conduct such test, however, it is accessible only after you log in to your Adwords Account. You can view a overview of the Multivariate Testing Tool.

If all these factors are implemented properly the Quality Score is definitely going to improve and in turn would improve your Adwords ROI.A detailed look at the benefits attained through implementation of these factors can be listed as:

  • Quality Score would Improve
  • Reduction in Minimum CPC
  • The CTR (Click Through Rate) would increase
  • Increase in conversion Rate

There might be many other factors that contributes to improvement of your quality score, however, the factors mentioned above are the basic factors that goes into the quality score algo for most PPC providers. I would really appreciate if you would put your comments on this and any other factors that you think would help to improve Adwords Quality Score.

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This article has 5 responses

  • 22.05.2007 8:55 pm Reply

    Great post. I have been running into some problems with my Internet marketing business so I can use the guide. the information on this post may be able to help me figure out a way to improve my business and online ventures.

  • Tim
    16.09.2007 6:11 pm Reply

    This is a nice post. I also buy keyword rich urls and 301 them to sites in popular queries. And it has improved both the ctr and quality score of the adgroups.

    The other thing to remember is that this only effects your minimum bid, ctr and bid will effect where you rank for the query, so I focus more on that once the QS is decent

  • Anonymous
    15.11.2008 2:32 pm Reply

    I have recently started the same for the site http://www.retailord.com before revamping this site the owner wanted to run one last SEM campaign…thanks

  • 03.09.2010 12:28 pm Reply

    You Have A gReat blog Its Helped me Alot In Inhancing My Information Thanks.Ever since business owners have discovered the importance of websites in boosting their profits and maintain or gather new customers, they have spent a good amount of time in front of their PCs.

  • 09.07.2012 6:47 pm Reply

    Are there any special factor for image ads except image optimization & factors you mentioned here?
    I never worked on banner & video ads so bit curious about & it would be great if you can post on these topics.