28 Jun 2011
Optimizing Quality Scores
How do you achieve the best position for your ad at the best price possible? Quality Score has everything to do with position and price, and it should be well nurtured to ensure you are getting the most exposure for your money.
A Quality Score, or QS, is calculated whenever a keyword matches a search result, or every time a keyword shows the possibility of prompting an ad. Quality Scores are utilized in a number of ways, mostly to make sure that the most pertinent ads appear in Google Search results in relation to ad text and keyword. This reinforces that users always see the most relevant ads in their search endeavors. The more relevant an ad, the more likely it is to achieve success.
A higher QS directly influences a keyword’s actual CPC. Actual CPC is the true price an advertiser pays per each click, based on the highest bid set for their ad group. The AdWords Discounter always sets these at the lowest price possible. These CPC’s effect first page bids on Google, which are measured when a search query directly matches a keyword, thus giving an ad a higher probability of appearing on the first page of a Google Search. The first page bids are assessed using a combination of the QS and the number of competing advertisers using similar keywords. QS effects keyword eligibility in ad auctions that happen when a user submits a search. It also directly affects the ad’s overall rank and position; a higher QS designates better position at a lower cost.
So, how can you improve your overall Quality Score? That’s where the magic word comes in: optimization. Optimization refers to the specific steps you take to improve the performance of your account, without increasing the cost.
Google AdWords offers their tips, or steps, for success. First, AdWords suggests that you clearly identify your advertising goals. Think about what users you are trying to reach, and what marketing message will be most effective. Refining the wording in your ads, and using the most relevant keywords are the first steps to a more functional, and lucrative account. If you want to improve your return on investment over time, focus on the whole package. Your keyword and placement should be tailored to reach the right audience. Make sure that this audience is being directed to the correct page on your website. The landing page should present the product or service you’re advertising, making it easy for your audience to make their next purchasing move.
Next you should focus on organizing your account to present the best topics, target the correct language and location of users, and appeal to highly specific users. Be sure to avoid duplicate keywords so your ads are not competing against each other. When creating your ads, use your marketing brain. Make sure to include your keywords in the ad. Keep ads short and to the point, but make them enticing to a wide audience. Include a call to action that makes your audience excited about clicking through. Remember not to put all of your eggs in one basket; use different offers and different calls to action within your ad group to ensure you’re getting the maximum amount of clicks.
Make sure your website is ready to serve your audience. Make the landing page easy to understand, and point those click-throughs in the right direction. Make the offers in the ads visible and enticing to users. Take advantage of Web Optimization tools, and test how effective your content can be. Most importantly, put yourself in the user’s shoes. How would you want to navigate a site? Make the layout clear, make sure users can get what they need in three clicks or less, try to limit pop-up windows and ensure a flawless transaction process.
Make sure to tracking your account throughout the campaign. Setting up alerts, running reports and using tools like Google Analytics can show you who is responding to your ads, and give you insightful information into how to shape future campaigns.
In short, make sure your ads are relevant, simple and to the point. Use keywords that are easy to match, and don’t be afraid to experiment with matching options. There are several tools out there you can utilize to make sure that your website is optimized and ready to serve your users. Think of your Quality Score as your key to profit. Treat that QS well, grow it as you should, and your campaign income should follow.