Improving AdWords Quality Score

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Ranking Formula

Ad position = Max CPC x Quality Score

By improving your quality score you will be able to reduce the price you pay for each click. It usually takes 2 weeks to establish your performance history.

Types of Quality Scores

  1. Account Quality Score - it's a summary of all your individual Keyword Quality Scores added up. It's used to determine initial minimum bids for those keywords that Google doesn't have a lot of existing data on.
  2. Keyword Quality Score - combined with your maximum Cost-Per-Click (CPC), it determines the position of your ad on the search network.
  3. Ad Group Quality Score - used for ranking in the Content Network.
  4. Landing Page Quality Score- it impacts your Quality Score in the Content Network (website ads); however, it has no impact on Quality Scores relating to the Search Network. It also impacts your keywords' minimum bid price.

How to Reduce PPC

These are the factors that will reduce how much you pay per click.

  • Clickthrough Rate:The clickthrough rates (CTR) your keywords receive on Google's search pages. CTR on Google's Content Network (content displayed on websites) doesn't matter.
  • Keyword Relevance: Keywords in each ad group should be closely related. For example, each group could focus on a single product or service. Mixing loosely-related keywords into an ad group will lower your quality score and increase the amount you'll have to pay per click.
  • Landing Page: For ads desplayed on websites, your landing page's quality and relevance is also a factor.

Improving Ad's Position

Google's Search Network

  • Keyword's clickthrough rate (CTR) matter on Google's Search Network. The CTR on the Content Network does not affect the ranking on the Search network.
  • Relevance of your keyword to the ads you've matched up with them.

Google's Content Network (websites)

  • Ad's previous clickthrough rate (CTR) on sites
  • Ad's landing page's quality and relevance

Keyword Match Options

There are 4 options that you can choose to decide which way a keyword will interact with search queries:

  1. Broad match:This is the default option. It's less targeted than exact and phrase matches. Your ads will appear for expanded matches such as plurals or relevant keyword variations. Since this option exposes your ads to a broad range of queries related to the keywords, it can be a great way to find new keywords. Because it's so broad, you might want to combine it with the negative match option.
  2. Phrase match:  Ad will be displayed for your chosen search terms in the order that the keywords were specified, possibly in combination with other terms before or after the phrase. It might also be advisable to use this option with the negative match feature.
  3. Exact match:This is the most targeted option. Ads will only appear for the exact keyword you specified.
  4. Negative match: Allows you to specify which keywords you don't want the ads to appear for.

Note:The Quality Score is only impacted when someone does a search for the exact keyword phrase you've specified in your ad groups. This is regardless whether you've chosen exact, phrase, or broad match.

Keyword Quality Score

The score is influenced by the follow factors:

  1. Relevance - the ad copy's relevance to the keywords.
  2. CTR - the keyword's click-through rate over the past 2 weeks. However, the lifetime click-through rate is also a factor.
  3. Account - your overall Account Quality Score. There is a relationship between Keyword Quality Score and Account Quality Score. They affect each other. If you leave low Quality Score keywords active in your campaign, it will cause your Account Quality Score to dive. As a result, this will affect your Keyword Quality Scores.
  4. Other Relevancy - geotargeting and demographic targeting have a minor impact but they do still affect it.

Improving Landing Page Quality

Landing page quality doesn't affect an ad's position in Google's search results. However, if you're advertising on Google's Content Network, here are some things you should do to improve your landing page.

  • Quality domain: It helps to have your landing page on a site that is already doing well in organic search. Ideally you'd like to have a site that's at least a few years old, has lots of inbound links, and at least a PageRank of 4. If you don't already have a quality domain, consider purchasing an existing site that's already up and running. To improve site relevance, you can also create a subdirectory for your domain name and place your keywords there. Google says that links to the landing page itself do not impact Quality Score; however, tests by suggest that it does matter.
  • Relevant Content:Landing page content should be relevant to the ad. If your ad describes a specific product or service, then link your ad to the landing page that displays exactly that product or service. There should be a close relationship between the keywords you're targeting, the ad for each keyword and landing page content.
  • Original Content:The landing page needs to have original content. Duplicated content can have a negative impact on your page's quality score. You can duplicate content within your site; however, don't copy content outside your website. According to Google you need to "feature unique content that can't be found on another site".
  • Search Engine Optimization:Place keywords in the landing pages' title tags, headers, URLs, meta descriptions and throughout the pages' text. Try to have about 400 words of highly-relevant and keyword-rich content for each landing page.
  • Page Size: Keep the size of your pages under 100kb. A page that takes more than 3 seconds to load can negatively impact your Quality Score.
  • Trust Indicators: Incorporate links to pages that reinforce trust such as About Us, Privacy Policy, Terms of Service, and refund policy. Don't require an excessive registration process on the landing page. If your landing page requires personal information before it offers substantial content, your page's will likely get a low Quality Score.
  • Site Depth:Don't make the landing pages stand-alone islands (don't link out to other pages within your site). Link the landing page to Privacy Policy, Contact Us, and About Us pages, as well as 10-20 relevant articles that contain relevant and unique content. It's not necessary to link all 20 articles from your landing pages. To make it easier, simply link to a page that contains links to your article content.

Optimizing Ad Groups

Ad Group Quality Score is used for ranking in the Content Network.

  1. Size:Keep them small. Limit each group to about 10 keywords and never over 20 keywords.
  2. Keyword Relevance:Keywords within each group should be highly relevant to each other. For example, you can create a separate group for each product you sell or for each benefit.
  3. Ad Relevance:The keywords within a group should be used within the ad. If some keywords don't closely match the ads in your ad group, move those keywords into their own ad group.
  4. Segregating Performers:When a keyword is performing exceptionally well, pull it out of it's ad group and place it in its own dedicated ad group. By writing ads and landing pages specifically using that keyword, you will increase that keyword's Quality Score. Try to use that exact keyword or phrase at least 1 or 2 times within the ad. Ideally you should place the keyword within the title. This technique will prevent low traffic keywords from drag down the clickthrough rate of your performer.

General Adwords Tips

  • Google's Expectations:Google monitors whether the ads maintains a good click-through rate relative to what other ads in your position are achieving. Google takes into account the fact that different keywords produce different click-through rates. Highly specific keywords with a great deal of commercial intent (contains words like buy, purchase, sale, etc) have higher click-through rates than a generic keyword like camera, Internet service, cars, etc. Your rank is determined only by clicks that are tracked on Google's own search pages - not the content network. As a result, you don't need to quickly bid your ads to the top of the page. Simply ensure that the ads do well for the position they're currently in.
  • Preserving History:If you need to move keywords have built up some history, which can help you achieve low minimum bids, you will need to transfer them in a special way. Whenever you move a keyword into a different ad group, use the Cut feature in AdWords Editor. Do not insert it into an ad group and then delete it in the old ad group (or vice versa). When you delete something you lose the history that is attached to it. Google tutorial
  • Keyword Prices:Start with a smaller amount of keywords and keep long-tail keywords limited to 2-4 word phrases. Once you start using 5 word phrases or longer, Google won't likely have enough historical data on such specific phrases to avoid assigning them lower quality scores and high minimum bids right from the beginning. Once the keywords establish a high Quality Scores, then branch out to a broader range of keywords.
  • Separate Campaigns:Set up a different campaign for content network ads and search engine ads.


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