7 Ways to Improve Your Google AdWords Quality Score
Understanding Google's AdWords Quality Score is a must for any business that's serious about pay-per-click advertising. Put simply, the AdWords Quality Score measures how effectively your campaigns provide useful content to people searching in Google. Earning a good quality score means creating ads that are highly relevant to your target keywords and your landing pages.
For Google, the AdWords Quality Score system is a way to weed out subpar advertisers from its search network. And business owners who go the extra mile to improve their quality scores can easily gain advantages over their competitors.
2 Benefits of High Quality Scores
What are these advantages that come with better quality scores? While there are numerous advantages to crafting high-quality campaigns, two key benefits directly result from earning high quality scores from Google. They are:
Benefit No. 1: Your ads are more likely to be seen. A simple truth about advertising on Google is that your advertising efforts will be far more fruitful if your ads appear on the first pages of search results. Unfortunately, not everyone can occupy those coveted top spots. That said, advertisements with higher quality scores (scores range from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best) receive better placements than ads with low quality scores. This means you'll increase visibility for your business by working a little harder to optimize your ads, keywords and landing pages.
Benefit No. 2: You'll spend less money on each click. Google loves having good advertisers in its search results, which is why campaigns with high quality scores are rewarded with lower CPCs (costs per click). So not only do ads with better quality scores get more visibility, but advertisers spend less money for heightened exposure.
How to Improve Quality Scores
Now, the golden question - how do businesses get the best-possible quality scores for their ads? Keep in mind that Google won't come right out and tell you exactly how its algorithms work. However, following these simple tips can help you get a quality score that will enhance and not undermine your efforts.
- Deliver on your promises. This one is simple - don't tell lies in your ads. Don't create ads that promise prices, goods or services that prospects won't find on your landing pages. Creating ads that can't back up their claims is a great way to get your ad suspended or even your account permanently banned. And also, your quality score will take a hit due to poor landing page relevance.
- Write compelling ads. One of the biggest factors that determines your Quality Score is your ad click-through rate. If more searchers are clicking on your ad versus your competition, then that is a great signal to Google that you’re offering something relevant that people want. To find the most compelling ad copy, create 2 or more different ads in each ad group and test them head to head. Over time you’ll see which ad has the highest click-through rate, which in turn, will give your campaign the highest Quality Score.
- Use Geo-Targeting for Your Campaigns. If you own an auto mechanic shop in Portland, Oregon, then you don't need to show ads in Los Angeles, Chicago or anywhere else outside of the greater Portland area. Showing your ads to disinterested out-of-towners can hurt you in two ways — with poor landing page relevance and/or a terrible clickthrough rate on your ads.
- Create several ad groups. Creating unique ad groups within your campaigns is a great way to deliver the most relevant ads to the most appropriate customers. For example, if you own a shoe store, you can create separate ad groups for dress shoes, running shoes, hiking boots and walking shoes. And you can even split those into unique ad groups for men and women. By splitting up your campaigns into tightly focused ad groups, you’ll be able to create more compelling ads and landing pages that match exactly what your prospect is searching for in Google.
- Use unique, 100 percent relevant landing pages for each ad group. After splitting up your keywords into tightly focused ad groups and drafting relevant ads, it’s time to take this a step further and create unique landing pages for each ad group. This will ensure your prospect is presented with the most relevant webpage that matches the keyword searched and the ad that was clicked on.
- Make sure your landing pages load properly. The performance of your landing pages factors into your Adwords Quality Score. Even if your landing pages are working, Google could ding your score if you're not providing a great user experience with fast loading webpages. Common causes of slow-loading pages are too many images, images that are too large (a problem with high-resolution images) and not using both server-side and browser caching.
- Optimize everything. Your work as an advertiser is never finished. Once your ads have been running and you have some historical data, you'll be able to cut out poorly performing keywords, rewrite underperforming ads, and improve your landing pages. Continually optimizing your campaigns will ensure you maintain your hard-earned Quality Scores.
Want even more Google AdWords tips? Get my Ultimate Google AdWords Checklist.
Phil is Founder and COO of Main Street ROI. Phil leads the company’s operations and is primary creator of Main Street ROI’s marketing training programs. He is an expert in search engine marketing, website analytics, and sales funnel optimization. Phil’s marketing thought leadership has been published on Forbes.com, Inc.com, MSN.com, and many other major business media outlets.
Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth, Phil started every game on the varsity football team as the defensive safety.