This is a much discussed topic for any paid search advertiser and one of the biggest challenges we face in managing any PPC campaign as the landscape can change rapidly all it takes is a new competitor who out ranks you to lower your traffic and increase your cost. It is the single area that can cost you the most. Not only will it cost you more in a higher bid but it can also eliminate you from ever being displayed or put you in a lower position. I will break it down for you.
The quality score itself
Google for example uses a rating of 1 – 10 with the following breakdown.
- A QS of 1 – 5 are considered very poor.
- A QS of 5 – 7 are considered medium.
- Anything 7 and above and you are a rock star.
How is it determined?
Several factors come into play when tallying that score and yes, it’s complicated! It’s a big reason why having a well thought out campaign structure is so important. Basically your account history will have an overall impact so you must maintain campaigns with substantial CTR’s for all the keywords in the account.
The following breaks down the typical categories:
Click Through Rates (CTR) – not only is your keyword click through rate important but your overall account history is also taken into consideration as well as your past URL’s CTR’s.
Ad Copy to Keyword Relevance – In other words relevance is rated on a full cycle on how relevant your keyword is to your ads as well as the relevancy to what the customer searched for.
Landing Page Relevance and Experience – This means how well you have designed your landing page for navigation and how relevant the content being displayed is to the keyword and ad.
Numerous other factors – There are several miscellaneous factors that also come into play mainly focused on how you compare against others in categories such as geographic, network, and targeted devices.
How do you improve it?
Now that you know what goes into the score let’s look at improving it.
- Structure your campaign into smaller yet relevant and logical ad groups. Keeping the groups smaller say 10 – 20 keywords will ensure that the group only contains keywords related to each other. Be sure to include negative keywords lists to weed out unnecessary impressions, which will increase your campaign performance.
- Optimize Keyword Ad Copy by ensuring that the content is designed to include copy directly related to the keyword. If you follow the above suggestion in proper campaign ad groups this will be much easier to use dynamic keyword insertion which guarantees relevance or at least making it much more manageable to create ad copy that matches your keyword list. You should always be testing multiple ads to see which ones have a higher performance. Try swapping out several elements such as the call to action to see what really gets people clicking and converting.
- Landing Page Optimization will include not just the relevance but also user experience aspects such as load times, and navigation. Creating targeted landing pages takes time and effort. Put yourself in the users place and really ask the question does this page give me the answers I’m looking for if I typed in that keyword , if the answer is no you need to consider rewriting the page. Keep in mind the more targeted the landing page the higher your conversions will be. Don’t be afraid to check out the competition so you have a better idea of what other content your customer may be seeing.
These tips will help you increase your Quality score and help you be more competitive. The time and effort required to get your scores up will pay off with higher ad placements, which are proven to increase click through rates and lower your minimum bid for each keyword.