Did you know there are 7 types of quality score? Before we cover them off though let’s chat a bit about judgement. We are all being judged every day, and now on top of your friends and employees doing it, we have the mighty Google to worry about. Google can be more judgmental than your mother-in-law and your neighbours. It can be more judgmental than Simon Cowell on a bad day. Unfortunately, unlike with all of the above, in Google’s case we cannot just ignore it (unless, of course, we want our business and our online presence to slide into oblivion). What am I on about? I am talking about your Adwords account quality score.
The key to understanding what can increase your quality score is to understand Google. What would happen if every time, as a normal searcher, we type a word or phrase into the search box, we got tons of irrelevant suggestions? We would start using their competitors like Bing more, use Google less or in the extreme cases: never use it again. It seems unlikely to happen today, but it seemed unlikely for many services that disappeared over the years to be swept away by their then-small competitors. Never underestimate competition!
So Google started rating the quality of your ads too, in order to offer the most relevant results to their customers. There is only so much space on page one, so they need to make sure only the best will do.
You may be familiar with the Quality Score available for individual keywords in your Google AdWords account, but there is more to your account than that. Let’s look at different types of Quality Score first:
1) Account-Level Quality Score.
This is Google’s assessment of everything that ever happened in your account: your keywords, the relevancy of your ads, your click-through rate, the lot. This score is intangible since Google doesn’t confirm the existence of the Quality Score, so unfortunately there is nowhere you can simply click to check it.
Google generally favors older accounts with more history over the new ones, providing that the history is good. They are looking for accounts where the individual Quality Score of all the keywords is high and the click-through rate (CTR) is high. If your Quality Score on the keyword level and the CTR is poor, it will be hard to introduce new keywords, as they’ll start out at an overall lower Quality Score.
It can take months to see progress once effort has been made to improve poorly performing AdWords account and low Quality Score, so at the beginning you may feel slightly discouraged not seeing as much progress as you would like to, but refrain from starting over with a brand new account.
It’s against Google AdWords’ policy to have two accounts for one URL active simultaneously, (although there are exceptions, i.e for larger accounts that cover many sectors) so make sure you use a different e-mail to set up a new account and cancel your old one.
You ran read more here : https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2424604?hl=en
2) Ad Group Quality Score.
To get your Account Quality score up and achieve better ROI, you need to look at the Ad Group-Level Quality Score. It’s another one, where you cannot simply check it out in your account settings, but it’s easy to figure out looking at the average score for all your keywords. When you establish which Ad Group drags your Overall Account Quality Score down, get to grips with it! Restructure your Ad Group, run multiple (but not too many ads, i.e 2-6) and A/B test the ad copy, dig deeper into the keywords that perform well, pause the ones that don’t, add some new ones by running the search query report for ideas etc. Make sure you put all your effort into improving the Ad Group that lets you down, because it drags your overall Quality Score down, and in turn makes your bids more expensive.
3) Keyword-Level Quality Score.
This is the most common level that we are all familiar with. It’s tangible and clearly marked next to your chosen keywords. The maximum Quality Score you can have is 10 out of 10, although this isn’t so frequent for most people.
Opinions vary regarding how to handle low Quality Score keywords, but generally there are two schools of thought: we either pause them or delete the poorly performing keywords with low Quality Score.
Both options will stop queries coming your way for those particular keywords but there is a catch. Think twice before you delete any keywords you are not happy with, because re-adding them to the account later will make Google recognise the keyword as a duplicate (remember: Google never forgets, so deleting a keyword from your account doesn’t really “delete” it from the AdWords system).
If you want to fix the quality score instead of just binning it, the best way to do it is to look at the Click Through Rate (CTR). If it’s less than a reasonable percentage like 1.5% and your ad position is fairly high (i.e position 1-4) it’s an indicator that users may be finding your ad misleading or irrelevant you need to make sure your ad copy is specific to the ad group it represents and has a display URL that would be consistent with that if possible by using the folder or sub-domain like domainname.com/relevant-page or relevant-page.domainname.com
You have to keep in mind that the Quality Score of your keywords is not always in your hands. When you introduce them to your account, or before they get significant number of impressions, the Quality Score is awarded by Google based on the keywords historic performance on Google.com as a whole, not your account.
This may feel especially frustrating if your AdWords account holds a lot of low search traffic keywords. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do and simply patience is the key here. After you get past this “threshold”, the Quality Score will start to reflect your own efforts (remember, this can be a good or a bad things though so if you get good Quality Scores which drop quickly you can take from that your keyword is performing worse than the average keyword in other accounts.).
If you are not very patient, you can put some extra effort into increasing the number of impressions for low-traffic keywords:
– If you get too specific with your keywords, it will of course give you laser targeted and specific traffic, but you may not be getting enough of it. Loosen up the themes, so keywords are not so niche.
– Add Broad Match keywords (and monitor them closely!). Many AdWords account managers run their campaigns only based on phrase and exact match. It works in sectors with a lot of organic traffic already existing, but if your business is slightly more niche, limiting yourself only to phrase and exact will result in slow impression growth. In order to roll this out strategically, start with keywords and Ad Groups with the highest click-through rate.
– Also consider using Broad Match Modified Keywords, they can be considered like a hybrid between Broad and Phrase Match, they’re Broad but more targeted.
– Increase your impression share. Impression share is the percentage of times your ads were shown out of the overall number of impressions they were eligible to appear. If the number is low, you can improve it by increasing your daily budget or boosting bids to rank in higher positions.
4) Ad-Level Quality Score.
Everything you do in your AdWords account is being “judged” by Google. Everything! Don’t be fooled by the fact you don’t see the rating when it comes to your ads or anything else for that matter (apart from your keywords’ Quality Score).
When it comes to Ad-Level Quality Score, it’s mostly determined by your click through rate (CTR) (as that’s Google’s indicator of how much you are worth to it every hundred impressions!) Low CTR ads affect your account’s Quality Score.
There is an easy solution to that though: include Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) ads in your Search Network campaigns. They will show user’s exactly what they are looking for within the ad (providing it doesn’t exceed the limit set on the number of characters you can use). DKI ads usually have higher CTR because they appear more relevant to user’s search query. DKI is not a fool-proof solution to all your worries though and at times (although rarely if implemented correctly) it doesn’t work. You can then pause the ads that still come up with low CTR or edit them; however editing will delete the ad’s history.
DKI is best used to identify which Keywords will perform if broken down into their own more targeted adgroups.
Ad-level Quality Score is even more important if you are an online retailer with visual products you would like to display alongside your search results. If your ads’ Quality Score is poor, your ad extensions will not show. Competitive bids are just half of your success here, and without good CTR and Quality score, there is little to no hope of your extensions ever shoving up, regardless of how much money is in your marketing coffers.
5) Display Network Quality Score.
Paraphrasing John Gray’s bestselling book’s title: Display Network is from Mars and Search Network is from Venus. You have to treat both as separate entities and approach them VERY differently. The Search Network is a place where people are looking for things to buy, compare prices etc. They are consumers and buyers.
The Display Network provides us with ads we consume passively, and quite often they are totally unrelated to what we are interested in. We may not be in the market for things we are presented with at all, therefore engaging potential customers via the Display Network is harder and it’s more of a long tail process, rather than an instant sale. It’s always better to have separate campaigns for Display and Search Networks and almost run them as separate entities, to make sure the ads are more targeted to the type of user / client at the receiving end.
The Quality Score on the Display Network works differently, too. AdWords will consider your ad’s historical performance on the site you are eligible for and similar sites.
To make it more complex, Google takes into consideration you ads’ and keywords’ relevance and the quality of your landing page.
On top of that, the Display Network has different bidding options, which will determine your Quality Score. If you decide on using the CPM model, your Quality Score is mostly dependent on your landing page. If you go for CPC, the historical CTR of your ad will be just as important as the quality of your landing page.
As with everything Google and marketing related, testing is paramount here as well. Images will probably perform better than text on most pages, but you need to cover your bases in case the website where your ad is shown doesn’t allow for images.
Another way to improve your Display Network’s Quality Score is to review your relative click-through rate. This will help you place your ads against others and see if you are falling behind, when displayed on the same website. There is a dedicated column available for the Campaign and Ad Group tabs in your AdWords account.
How to figure out calculate your relative CTR? Divide your Display Network’s CTR by the CTR of other ads running in the same place. To improve to, review potential exclusions, have another look at your ads, utilise contextual targeting and include negative keywords where necessary.
6) Mobile Quality Score.
Officially, Google claims that mobile Quality Score is calculated the same way regardless whether you are on your laptop or mobile, however Google does take the distance between the user and the business location into consideration when available.
7) Landing Page Quality Score.
Landing Pages are probably one of our favourite subjects. They can destroy all the efforts you put into your PPC campaign very quickly. Regardless how awesome your AdWords efforts are, if your landing page is not up to scratch, it’s like going to a swanky boutique you saw in a magazine, just to find out it smells and is damp. You need to offer the whole package, and if you invest you time and money on AdWords, make sure you follow through and give your users / potential clients a great, easy to navigate landing page with clear call to action, no disco colours (unless of course this is relevant to your target market) and preferably no flash. Clean and simple sells much better than chaos. Relevancy, original content and transparency will get you far every time. Google wants to be the hub for clean, easy to navigate, informative websites. Keeping that in mind will not only help you with your AdWords, but also SEO. What comes with that is the inevitable increase of your ROI. Remember, you are creating landing pages to keep Google happy, but more than anything, you are creating them for real people, real customers, who also judge your business based on what they see. A/B test your landing pages at all times. Measure and implement changes. Getting people to your page is only half of the success. Making them reach for their credit cards is where you need to be.
Quality Score in your AdWords account is like a great relationship. It takes time to get it right. You can destroy it very quickly. You cannot take it for granted. When it’s strong, it will help you through a rough patch.
We hope this helps and shines some light at the elusive Quality Score and helps you see the importance of keeping on top of things.
If you feel you need help from the experts, give us a call or drop us an email. Converted is here to help!