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How To Improve AdWords Quality Score

Paid Search, Google AdWords 4th Jul 2012

One of the most effective ways that you can increase the performance of your AdWords account is by helping to improve the quality score of the keywords you’re targeting. As quality score can have an impact on impressions, average cost per click, and average ad position, spending time in helping to increase the quality score of the keywords you’re targeting will have a lasting impact on your account. Hi, I’m Andrew, and today I’m going to be talking to you about strategies that you can use to help improve quality score.

So first off would be targeted ad groups. What this basically means is ensuring that your account has a large number of ad groups, each with a common theme. So, for example, if I was a mobile phone insurer, I would probably want ad groups that promote the fact that I do iPhone insurance and BlackBerry insurance. What this would then mean is, if someone types the term “iPhone insurance” into Google, they’d be served a piece of really relevant advertising that states the fact that I insure iPhones. What would this would then mean is that you’re going to be attracting a lot more clicks and have much higher click through rates. If you have a higher click through rate, Google is going to see you as being really relevant for that keyword and awards you with a much higher quality score.

So next off would be landing pages. If someone clicks on a piece of your advertising, they should be directed on to a page on your website that clearly is in line with the original piece of advertising. So going back to my first example, if someone typed in “iPhone insurance”, clicked on my ad promoting iPhone insurance, they should go to a page that clearly is all about iPhone insurance policy and not just about general mobile phone insurance. If someone goes through that journey on my site, then they’re more likely to stay on the site and less likely to bounce. If I have a low bounce rate on that keyword, then Google is going to see me as being really relevant for that particular term and award me with a much higher quality score.

So next is negative keyword research. This is really important. If you are spending time looking at the different keywords and searches that you want to target in Google, you need to spend as much time looking at the searches you do not want to target. So, for example, if I was doing mobile phone insurance and I only insured iPhones but I didn’t insure BlackBerry’s, I would need to look at all the sorts of searches people are carrying out for BlackBerry insurance and exclude BlackBerry from any of the searches that might be generated by my advertising. What this would then mean is that people are probably more less likely to bounce from my site when clicking on my advertising and are more likely to click my advertising because I’m only serving it to searches about iPhones. I’m going be much more relevant for those keywords, and Google again is going to give me a much higher quality score.

Then we optimise content for SEO. This is basically ensuring that as much time you would spend optimising a page to demonstrate to Google for organic rankings that you’re relevant for that particular keyword, you should also spend that time trying to demonstrate to Google that you’re relevant for paid traffic. So, for this example, make sure that you have things like the page types or the meta description and any on page content optimised to promote a particular theme that you’re trying to target. Google are then more likely to understand what your page is about and in relation to the keyword you’re targeting. But also, when people come to your site, they will be able to see that you’re clearly about that particular topic and then less likely to bounce. A lower bounce rate means you’re much more relevant and you’re going to have a much higher quality score.

So next would be the use of site links, which you can implement under the ad extensions in AdWords. What this would basically involve is making your advertising stand out a lot more against the competition. While site links on your advertising are only going to be generated if you are really relevant for that term anyway, what it generally means is you’re advertising is going to stand out more, you’re going to attract more clicks, going to have a higher click through rate, and be seen as much more relevant with Google, with the knock-on effect of having a much higher quality score.

Then make sure you look at page load time on your site. This is becoming especially important as more and more people are accessing the Internet and people’s websites via mobile devices on 3G connections for example. What this then means is your site is going to load slower to a person on a mobile device than it would for say on a desktop in their office or in their home. Pages that load slowly are more likely to have high bounce rates. So if you can look at your site and ensure that pages are loading a lot quicker to people, they’re more likely to stay on your site and Google is going to, again, see you as being really relevant because people aren’t bouncing. If you’re really relevant, you’re going to have higher quality score from Google.

Next would be split testing. So this is making sure that within each ad group you have at least two pieces of unique advertising, each with a unique message and a call to action. You can then look at the different pieces of advertising over time and see which ads are performing much better than others. Then look at pausing the ads that aren’t working so well and incorporating the messages that are in the ads that are working really well into new advertising. Over time you can help improve the click through rates of your account, and Google is going to see you as being much more relevant for those keywords you’re targeting, which again would mean you’re going to have a much better quality score.

And then finally, device segmentation. You should look at how your account is performing on the different types of devices you can target in AdWords. So, for example, lots of accounts that we take on at Koozai, when we start managing them, they target all devices possible, so desktops, mobiles, and tablets. Quite often when you segment your account at device type, you’ll notice that the performance of your account against every different device is quite different. So you might have a really high average ad position on desktops and therefore a high click through rate, but you might have a really low average ad position on mobiles and tablets. So this would then mean the traffic that you’re generating through tablets and mobiles is basically hindering the performance of the account overall. So if this is the case, then what I would recommend doing is either setting a device specific campaign. So you have an account, you’ve a campaign that targets desktops, tablets, and mobiles, and then that means that you’re preserving the quality score of the keywords that are performing really well on desktops for example. Going forward then you can implement different bidding strategies to help increase your average ad position on mobiles and devices, and then over time you’ll have a much better quality score across the whole account.

All right. Well, thank you very much for watching. For any more information, please go to our blog on Koozai.com or visit any of the social profiles below.

Andrew Tonks
About the author

Andrew Tonks

Andrew has worked within online marketing for the last four years with a background in domestic tourism, working with some of the country's most popular tourist attractions and destinations.

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