How to Optimize Your Google AdWords Quality Score

The importance of Quality Score can’t be overstated.

If you can master Quality Score, you’ll sleep easy knowing that you have an AdWords campaign that’s giving you the best possible ROI.

However, optimizing your keywords, ads and landing pages for Quality Score isn’t easy or straightforward. I’ll go over each element that plays into Quality Score, and how you can make sure your score is at its best.

The success of your Google AdWords campaign will largely revolve around your quality score.

The first thing you want to do is check your quality score to see where you stand. To do that, log in to your AdWords account and click on campaigns. Then click on the keywords tab, and this will show you the keywords in that specific campaign and within that ad group.

Now, what you’ll want to do is hover over this little box here, and this will show you your quality score. So, as you can see, quality score is determined at the keyword level. So each keyword has an individual quality score that is independent of the others, although a lot of people in the AdWords community feel like there’s an account wide quality score that’s factored in, but that’s not official.

As you can see, quality score is rated on a one to ten scale. Ten is best, one is worst, and the lower it is, in general, the more you will pay for clicks and the higher it is, the less you’ll pay for clicks.

Your quality score is made up of three main factors: the click through rate that you get on your ads for that keyword, the ad relevance, and the landing page experience. I’m going to go over what all of those mean and how you can optimize each one.

First let’s talk about the expected click through rate. What that is, it’s the percentage of people that click on your ad for that keyword. So, for people that search for health insurance, if 100 people search for this keyword, and three people clicked on your ad, that’s a three percent click through rate. The higher your click through rate, the better your quality score is, and that’s actually the most important part of quality score. So, if you want your quality score to be high, you want ads that generate a lot of clicks for the keywords that you’re targeting.

The next factor that influences quality score is ad relevancy. So when you look at your ad relevancy and it says average, below average or above average, that represents, according to Google, how relevant your ad is for that particular keyword. What you want to do is look at that keyword and then click the ad tab, and look to see how those ads relate to that keyword. So, for someone searching for, let’s say, White Hat SEO techniques, does this ad really speak to exactly what they’re searching for? Well, obviously not, because it’s below average right?

So even though the ad talks about White Hat SEO, which is part of the search’s query, it doesn’t specifically address the techniques. That’s why this was rated below average. If I was to change this ad and actually speak to specific White Hat SEO techniques, that would increase my ad relevancy. So you want to make sure that you have an ad specifically for each high volume keyword in your campaign.

The last part of quality score is your landing page experience. Landing page experience is exactly what it sounds like, which is the experience the user will have when they click on your ad and end up on your landing page. In general, the more targeted your landing page is for that particular keyword, the better your landing page experience score will be.

Now that we’ve gone over all three factors that factor into quality score, it’s time to show you how to improve and optimize each one.

For expected click through rate and ad relevance, you first want to look at what your ads look like in Google to give you an idea about of why your click through rate and your ad relevance may not be doing so well.

The best way to do that is to click on ad preview and diagnosis. What this tool does is it shows you a preview of how your ads will appear in Google search results, which is important because you don’t actually want to search for your keywords in Google just to look at your ads because, unless you click on it, it’s actually going to make your click through rate worse because that’s an actual search, right?

Enter a keyword that you’re targeting. Click on preview. Then what you want to do is look at your ad, which is highlighted in green. Now, if your click through rate is low, it may be because your ad copy, you know, isn’t that compelling. So what you want to do is look at some of the other sites that are advertising for that keyword and see how well they’re doing. Although you can’t get insider information about their performance, you can probably tell that ads that are in the top three, in this specific area, above the fold, probably have a good quality score because, unless they’re paying an arm and a leg, Google isn’t going to put them here. So what you want to do is look at their ad copy and see what part you might be able to incorporate.

It’s the same story with ad relevancy. Someone searching for the keyword White Hat SEO techniques, might be seeing different ads that target their query more specifically, or, in the organic results, they also might have really good relevancy. So then what you’ll want to do is look at the ads and the organic results, and see what kind of copy they’re using that might be generating them clicks.

Once you have some of this competitive analysis, and also information, about how your ad actually appears, it’s time to go back to your account and incorporate this information into your campaigns. What you want to do is click on campaigns to go back to your campaigns manager, click on the ads tab, and then incorporate any copy that you saw in the paid or organic results into your ad and see if they increase click rate.

You can do that by testing two or three ads against each other and seeing which one gives you the best click through rate. When you have more than one ad within an ad group, AdWords automatically displays both of them randomly so you can see which one performs better in terms of click through rate and conversion.

What you want to do is test multiple ads against each other. See which one has the highest click through rate. Keep that one. Delete the one with the low click through rate. Then create a new ad to test against the winner, and repeat that process until you find a winning ad that gives you a consistently high click through rate.

Once you have that all set up, it’s time to make sure that your ad relevancy is optimized. The best way to do that is to create tightly focused ad groups around high volume keywords.

So go back to your settings tab. Click on keywords and look for keywords that have a below average ad relevance score. Hover over the little box here, and if you see below average, what you want to do is click on the green circle and pause that keyword within that ad group. Then you want to copy that keyword and create a new ad group around this keyword.

To do that, click on the campaign that the ad group is under and click on new ad group. Then you want to create that ad group around that keyword, so in this case, it would be called White Hat SEO techniques. You could actually optimize this ad around that specific keyword. You’d put something like White Hat SEO techniques revealed. You could also include that in the headline to further increase the ad relevance and the quality score for this keyword. Then, you’d want to add that keyword and any very, very closely related keywords to this box. Put your default bid, and then click save ad group.

Now when you look at the quality score for that keyword, you can see that it went from five out of ten to six out of ten, and the ad relevance from below average to average because the ad matches that keyword better.

Finally, we’re going to talk about how to optimize landing page experience. Your first step is to see where your traffic is going and what landing pages that they’re landing on. To do that, click on the ads tab. Hover your cursor over one of the ads and click on the blue link. That will take you to the landing page that your page traffic is going to.

Then you want to check whether or not the content of the page matches the keyword that the person is searching for. So, for someone searching for White Hat SEO techniques, you’d want to make sure that the keyword, White Hat SEO techniques, appears in the title of the page, and within the content.

For example, if you had someone searching for head tennis rackets, you’d want to send them to a page specifically about head tennis rackets, not about tennis rackets in general. The more targeted your landing pages are, the better that part of your quality score will be.

So, that’s all there is to optimize your quality score. As you can see, the most important thing is to have ads that get a high click through rate and that our relevant to the person’s search. Then, when they click on your ad and land on your page, you want to make sure that landing page is very targeted.

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