I explained how Google AdWords determines what you pay for a click a couple weeks ago – and talked about how the most important factor in what you pay is your Quality Score.
Not your bid, not your willingness to beat the competition – but your Quality Score.
And what is a Quality Score?
Quality Score is Google’s score of how relevant your Ad+Website is to a particular search query.
For example, if someone searched for “t-shirts” and you had an ad for polo shirts – you would be assigned a lower Quality Score than someone who ran an ad for t-shirts.
That’s the concept – Google wants to reward you for making Google searchers happy with relevant advertising.
But what factors does Google use to get that number (out of 10)?
As you can see in the image (and your own AdWords campaign), your Quality Score is determined by,
Expected Clickthrough Rate
Google’s prediction, then replaced by actual data about how many people click your ad, then never return to the search results. This behavior tells Google that your website is making the searcher happy…thus Google rewards you with a better Quality Score.
You should not be running ads for “Car Detailing” on searches for “Car Oil Changes.” Even though you may think it’s a complementary market, your ad is not directly relevant to the search, and your Quality Score will suffer.
Landing Page Experience
This just means that you can’t have a horrible website. It can’t be slow. It can’t be cluttered with ads. It can’t have anything bad. And it should have decent design, and obvious navigation.
What To Do To Improve
1. Make Each Ad Group As Unique As Possible
It’s ok to have just a couple keywords in an Ad Group…actually that the way it’s supposed to be. The keywords in each Ad Group should be very, very similar to each other. Never mix even slightly un-related keywords.
This improvement helps your Ad Relevance (by keeping “car detailing” and “oil changes” separate), so that you can write more targeted ads, and help Google understand what you want to bid on…which also helps improve your Expected Clickthrough Rate.
2. Make Multiple, Specific Ads For Each Ad Group
If you are searching for “car detailing” – you are probably more likely to click an ad for “car detailing” than “car services.”
That holds true in AdWords. It’s tedious, but to improve your Quality Score, and overall performance – you need to write multiple ads for each ad group, so that they are relevant and are being tested against one another.
3. Create Custom Landing Pages For Each Ad Group
Instead of sending visitors to your homepage – send them (via the Destination URL when building an ad) to a custom landing page that has relevant keywords, offers, and information for the person that just clicked on that ad.
They will have a better experience, and your Landing Page Experience will improve…thus your Quality Score.
4. Don’t Have A Horrible Website
This bit is self-explanatory. If you’re not sure, and need outside eyes – contact us for a website audit.
5. Use Targeted Keywords
Consider using Phrase match instead of Broad match (the default setting). In other words, put your keywords in quotes, so that you are bidding on targeted searches.
For example if you have the keyword: car detailing – Google will run ads on everything related and containing car or detailing, so you’ll be getting a lot of unnecessary and irrelevant clicks.
Instead, put more specific phrases within quotes so that you only bid on searches with that phrase in it, you’ll get better Quality Score, and better traffic.