So you have read my Google AdWords guide and you started a couple of campaigns. First of all, kudos to you for taking action. 90% of the people do not do that.
Now you might be wondering why your ad isn’t showing up as high in the search engine results pages, aka, SERPs, as you hoped.
In most cases, it is because of the Quality Score of your ads. If the quality score isn’t high enough, your ads won’t be shown as high as you think they should.
What is the Google AdWords Quality Score?
Simply put, the Quality Score is a measurement that rates your ad and determines whether it is good or bad. The rating is from 1 to 10. 10 being the best and 1 being the worst.
Obviously, Google wants to show the best ads possible. They do not want their users/visitors to be scammed by people. And this is a way for them to filter that out.
So, depending on your score, Google decides where your ad will be placed.
Do remember that your quality score is also compared with other advertisers bidding on the same keyword. And if their quality score is higher than yours, then their ad will appear higher in the SERPs. And you definitely don’t want that.
And it is a good thing that you are reading this article, so you can get a higher quality score than your competitors.
What Are the Factors that Affect Your Quality Score?
There are a couple of things that hugely affect your quality score. All of these factors are something that you control.
In other words, you can improve your ad and these factors will improve as well.
Here are the factors that affect your quality score:
Expected click-through rate (CTR): Once you create your ad, AdWords uses an algorithm to predict how many people would click on your ad.
If this number is higher, then you will have a higher quality score.
The number needs to be higher because that lets Google know that your ad is enticing and that people will click on it.
Ad Relevance: Obviously you are targeting some amount of keywords in your ads. And you want your overall ad to be relevant to those keywords.
The more relevant your ad is, the higher your quality score will be. In fact, if you just use some of the keywords you are targeting in your ad copy, that alone will increase your quality score.
Landing Page Experience: This one is a biggie.
AdWords will evaluate your landing page from the perspective of a user and determine how relevant is it to the keywords you are targeting, how easy it was to navigate, and whether or not it is optimized for all the devices.
You want to cover all those bases before you get disappointed because if your ad is not optimized for mobile, you will get a lower quality score.
If you want to check whether your landing page is mobile optimized or not, you can head over to Google Mobile-Friendly test and check it out.
Now that we know a little more about the quality score, and how it is calculated, let’s dive into how you can increase your quality score. And maybe even achieve a perfect 10/10 (yes, there are people who can achieve that score.)
- Smaller targeted ad groups
You want to structure your ad campaign in a way that each campaign has ad groups that target only a small number of keywords. Anything between 15-20 keywords is good.
By doing this you are increasing the relevance of your ad to the keywords you are targeting.
So let’s say that you want to run a campaign in which you want to target a total of 30 keywords in total.
The best thing would be to divide that campaign into 2. And if you don’t want that, you can choose to have 2 different Ad Groups. And then you can target 15 keywords in each campaign/ad group.
I know that this can be a challenge at the start, but it will be well worth it in the end. Because you will see your ads appear higher than your competitors because of the high-quality score.
One thing you should remember is that the smaller number of keywords you target in a campaign/ad group, the better. That will increase the relevancy of your campaign. For instance, having singular, plurals and closely associated keywords in one ad group will be better than just adding all the keywords together.
Also, if you have a huge list of keywords, this is the time to start grouping them into logical groups. You can start by identifying branded and non-branded keywords. Have a separate group for both of them. And do the same thing for specific products and services keywords.
So when you start setting up campaigns, it will be easier for you to keep all your ads highly relevant.
This also overlaps with better account organization. Although it is not a huge factor, it still influences the quality score to some degree.
So the better account organization you have, the better your quality score will be.
It is best if you plan things out, structure our account, campaigns, and ad groups in a way that you planned. This way, they will not be cluttered as your competitors account. And you will also have an easier time creating, managing and optimizing your ads.
- Keyword optimize your ad copy
This obviously goes without saying that your ads MUST be keyword optimized.
You want your ad copy to be as close to the keywords you’re targeting as possible. And as I mentioned above, it will only help you if you include one of your target keywords in your copy.
AdWords wants to know that your ad is relevant to those keywords, what better way to show that by including the keywords in your ad copy itself.
The adding keyword in your copy has a two-fold benefit. It will definitely increase your quality score.
But it will also increase your click-through rate. This is because people will see that your ad is relevant to what they are searching for. So, the relevance plays a huge role here.
I know that using Dynamic Keyword Insertion might seem like a great idea, but trust me, it’s not.
Keep reading on and you’ll see in tip #5 why dynamic keyword insertion is not good for your quality score and the performance of your overall campaign.
- Relevant landing pages
This goes without saying that your landing page should be highly relevant to the keywords you are targeting.
People do not like it when they click on an ad about weight loss and end up on a page that is selling an acne product. And Google wants to avoid those kinds of ads from appearing on their beloved search engine.
So, you want to make sure that your landing page contains at least some of the keywords that you are targeting in your ad. I understand that it is not a practical idea to design a completely new landing page for each ad group, but you want to at least include some keywords from those ad groups to increase the relevancy of the overall campaign.
Do remember that the more relevant your landing page is, the higher your conversion percentage will be. So there is always incentive on the things that you do to increase your quality score.
It is not just here to help Google maintain their quality, it is also here to help you increase the revenue you earn from AdWords advertisement.
If you want to check how relevant your landing page is, and how Google sees it, head over to Google AdWords Keyword Tool and enter your landing page URL in the website search box.
Hit Search and you will end up with all the keywords that Google thinks it is most relevant for.
If you see some of the keywords you are targeting in your ad group, then you are doing a great job.
If not, then you know what to do next.
- Increase the Loading Speed of Your Landing Page
Don’t you just hate it when you have to wait an entire minute just for a page to load?
Yeah me too.
And so does Google.
That is the reason why the loading speed of your landing page has become an important factor that influences your quality score. If your landing page takes more time to load, the lower your quality score will be.
You want to take the time to optimize your landing page so that it loads faster.
Some of the factors that you can work on reducing the load times are:
- Slow redirects
- Large page size
- Slow server
- Meta refreshes
- Multiple redirects
You can do some research on how to increase the speed of the page and work on those factors.
As far as testing the loading speed of the page, you can do that on Google’s Page Speed Insights.
This might an unconventional advice, but what I’ve found to work best for me, is just to pay $5 to someone on Fiverr to do it for me.
It saves me a lot of time from research and it also helps me focus on other important things mentioned in this article.
I’m not the most tech-savvy person, and that is the reason why I do that.
But if you know a ton about webpage speed optimization, you can do it yourself. Or if you would love to learn more about it, here’s a list of everything that you should do to increase the speed of your landing page.
- Do Not Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion
There are a ton of people that praise Google’s Dynamic keyword insertion tool. This is a took that allows the advertiser to insert their exact target keyword into their ad copy to increase the relevance.
Although it seems like a great idea. And probably the best way to deal with this issue, it’s very unlikely that it is going to help increase your quality score.
I do acknowledge the fact that the dynamic keyword insertion tool has a lot of value when it is used at the right time. But when you’re trying to increase your quality score, that’s not the right way of going about it.
My reason for that is, using Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) can lead to some pretty bad ad copy. And that will lead to lower click-through rates which will then decrease your overall quality score. And then we will be back where we started.
Reason #2 is that if you are using a low amount of keywords in your ad group, you won’t need DKI in the first place. You can naturally write your ad copy and include your target keyword.
If you follow these tips exactly how they are mentioned, you will see a stark increase in your quality score and the placement of your ads.
Remember, it is all about relevance and providing a better user experience to your visitors. If you can deliver that to your visitors, you will end up with more sales.
So at the end of the day, we all are on the same side.