When it comes to Google AdWords campaigns, one of the most important metrics to take into consideration is the Quality Score. Running from one to ten, this number helps to determine your cost-per-click, therefore significantly affecting how expensive your overall campaigns end up being.
The method Google uses to determine this metric is something the company keeps secret, but we can be fairly sure it’s based on a number of different factors. These include the relevance of your keywords and copy to your adverts, the quality of the landing pages they link to, your click-through rate (CTR), and how your AdWords account has performed in the past.
If you want your campaign to be as successful as possible, you’ll need to work on improving your Quality Score. But how do you do this? There are a number of different options, and we’ve rounded up the best.
1. Prioritize keyword quality over quantity
Quite often, you’ll hear that standard practice for AdWords campaigns is to use between 15 and 20 keywords per ad group, while Google recommends up to 20 and even says that you can use more if you want. However, this isn’t a good idea if you want to see your Quality Score improve.
The more keywords you include, the harder it is going to be to make all of them relevant to your actual ad group. While you’ll arguably be casting a wider net with your overall campaign, your Quality Score will suffer as a result. Rather than high volume of keywords, you should focus on making them as intuitive as possible for your users.
One option is to choose a single keyword as the main focus for your ad group, then between five and ten closely-related synonyms that people are likely to search for. Don’t veer from your main subject or you could lose that all-important relevance.
2. Make your landing pages relevant
You also need to ensure your landing pages are as relevant as possible to your target audience. This should make sense; after all, if someone clicks on one of your ads and is taken to a page that doesn’t match their reason for clicking, they’ll just leave. This, in turn, will send your bounce rate up and your Quality Score down.
You need to make sure your landing page matches up with your ad copy so that people clicking through to your site get exactly what they’re looking for. In some cases, it might even be a good idea to create a landing page for each ad group to ensure everything is as targeted and relevant as possible.
Don’t forget the basics, either. Your copy needs to be well-written, engaging and free of spelling and grammar errors. Don’t drown your audience in anything too wordy, but at the same time make sure you’re providing them with clear information that fulfils their needs. This will help ensure your Quality Score doesn’t suffer.
3. Don’t be afraid of negative keywords
One of the most neglected tools in the arsenal of any AdWords campaign is negative keywords. In addition to your normal keywords, you can select terms that you don’t want your ads to appear for. This can be incredibly useful, and helps to increase your CTR by reducing the number of times your ad appears in front of the wrong audience.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to run an AdWords campaign to sell running shoes. You might want to set negative keywords like ‘dress shoes’ to ensure your ads only appear in front of people who are interested in your specific product. However, if your site is purely e-commerce-focused, you might also want to set ‘running shoes advice’ as a negative keyword.
If you don’t, people searching for advice on what shoes to wear might see your ad, and if you aren’t able to provide them with what they’re looking for, they’re unlikely to click through. Try to think of related topics you can exclude from your search to maximize your chances of getting your ad in front of the right people.
4. Remember why you’re doing this
Above all, keep in mind that the point of the Quality Score is to help Google determine which ad campaigns are the most relevant and useful for the people using its service. You should therefore approach AdWords with this in mind, aiming to make sure your ads are going to get in front of people who would be interested in them and find them useful.
Treating marketing like a simple checklist of things you can do to trick Google’s algorithm is a bad idea, and likely to lead to dissatisfied users and failed AdWords campaigns.