Google Adwords Quality Score Metrics Change Again: How to Keep Scoring

For truly effective Google AdWords Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, digital marketing agencies need to educate themselves about all the various optimization techniques, and, more importantly, remain current on all of Google’s Quality Score Metric changes.

But first, what is Google Quality Score? It’s simply the rating Google gives of the quality and relevance of your keywords and PPC ads.

The score takes into consideration various PPC campaign factors, including:

  • Click-through rate
  • Ad copy
  • Landing page quality and relevance
  • Campaign structure
  • Relevance of keyword to the chosen ad group
  • Past Google AdWords performance history

All of these factors have influence over one another, so optimization of each element is a must. You can’t just optimize one or a few, and forget about the others. For true success, each element needs to be optimized not only on its own but with the other elements in mind.

For example, ad copy directly impacts click-through rate, and your chosen ad group will directly impact the relevancy of your landing page. So an overall optimization strategy of each element combined is needed.

When you get this all right, Google increases your Quality Score, which results in many rewards, including the two backbones of AdWords success: lower PPC costs, and higher ad rankings.

Things change, though, and quickly. The latest Google Quality Score update arrived in May. GQS now features an estimated historical Quality Score data for the following elements: Quality Score, Landing Page Experience, Ad Relevance, and Expected Click-Through-Rate (CTR). These new parameters allow advertisers to see how Quality Scores have changed over time.

The key word here is “estimated,” meaning the importance is estimated. Of course, the one element most advertisers will surely pay attention to is the expected historical Click-Through-Rate parameter.

This is the metric that pays the big bills for Google, and what paid search marketers spend so much time improving. There’s no wonder Google stresses the importance of ad relevancy and post click-through experience such as the quality of the landing page.

Additional changes will surely follow from the Google Gurus. Here are a few tactics that will help improve your Quality Score as you see the historical data flow come into play. These GQS tips are also designed to help regardless of what changes Google makes to its Quality Score metrics.

Improve Copy

Make sure the AdWords copy completes three missions: explains features, explains benefits, and has a Call-To-Action (CTA). The writing needs to be uncluttered, simple, and drive home the value of your products/services, or AdWords message.

Incorporate Negative Keywords to Improve Ad Targeting

Having negative keywords (trigger words that would make your ad show) in your AdWords campaigns can help increase your CTR.

Most people use negative keywords in their PPC ads based around their industry, but there are also some standards that can help make a difference: free, cheap, craigslist, eBay, naked, porn, YouTube and torrent. These negative keywords are the solution to combating poor ad targeting.  You’ll want to add hundreds more specific negatives as you discover ongoing broad or wasteful spend on campaigns.  You can look at you matched query report to find these.

Also, make continued research of industry-related negative keywords part of your long-term strategy. New trends and products/services arrive on the marketing quickly with their own jargon. This can cause additional negative keywords you weren’t aware of.

Mobile Friendly Landing Pages

This is a huge deal for conversion rates. If a prospect lands on your page through an AdWords campaign, but is confused, the conversion rate dwindles. Your Quality Score will subsequently suffer, along with your pocketbook.

Get One Up on Your Competitors

Competitive research is part of any smart Google AdWords campaign, and seeing what works for others can help present some secrets to you, which will ultimate raise your Quality Score.

Using competitive spying tools, you can see your competitors PPC keyword performance, along with estimated monthly PPC clicks. This gives you an edge to bid on keywords they are targeting; just make sure your ad is more appealing, and you’ll likely be able to steal that keyword from your competition, and increase your CTR and ultimately your Quality Score.

Concluding Thoughts

Google Quality Score metrics will constantly be revised, and it’s your responsibility and that of your interactive agency to remain ahead of these changes. The easiest route is by staying up to date from the top SEO news websites.

Some things will always remain the same, though, such as improved copy and landing pages, and competitive research. Incorporate the four tips above into your PPC campaign strategy to help improve CTR and Quality Score.

All of these changes will also do more for your brand than just improve your PPC performance; they’ll also improve the overall quality of your web presence, which shows professionalism and a trusted source–two elements that will always remain on top of a prospects list.

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