10 Tips to Improve Your Google AdWords Quality Score
Posted on 5th September, 2007
In late 2005, Google began testing a new algorithm for AdWords to improve the quality of AdWords landing pages when Google realized that some advertisers were sending visitors to sites with low quality content or duplicate content.
Now, imagine yourself clicking on an AdSense ad and landed on such sites, you might not click AdSense as often because your may perceive the ads as low quality.
When users stop finding the ads useful, Google, AdSense publishers and AdWords advertisers will stop to make money.
To avoid this problem from plaguing the system, Google introduced an ad evaluation system called Quality Score.
The official definition of Quality Score is:
Quality Score is the basis for measuring the quality and relevance of your ads and determining your minimum CPC bid for Google and the search network. This score is determined by your keyword’s clickthrough rate (CTR) on Google, and the relevance of your ad text, keyword, and landing page.
We believe high quality ads attract more clicks, encourage user trust, and result in better long-term performance. To encourage relevant and successful ads within AdWords, our system defines a Quality Score to set your keyword status, minimum CPC bid, and ad rank for the ad auction.
Any advertiser using Google AdWords extensively know that their Quality Score can make or break their business. After the scoring system was introduced, many advertisers found that some of their best performing ads were suddenly deactivated.
The only way to reactivate them was to increase the quality or increase their bid to an unreasonable amount, often $5.00 or $10.00 per click. Unless you are selling products with large profit margins, I doubt anyone can afford to pay $10.00 per click and still make a profit.
Here are 5 tips to help you avoid the Google slap and improve your quality score
- Improve Your Pages Organic Ranking
While there’s no official words from Google that say better site’s ranking in the organic search result will improve your quality score, I often find that most of my pages that have good organic rankings enjoy better quality score than those that aren’t ranked as well.
So the best landing pages are those that not only do well in paid search but in the organic search as well.
- Improve Your Keywords and Ad Text Relevancy
It’s important to offer exactly what your ad says it’s offering. The keywords that you are bidding on should present in the text ad.
To improve the relevancy between your keywords and ad text, you should organize your keywords into tightly related categories or ad groups.
For example if you are promoting handphones (a.k.a. cellphones or mobile phones), you may come up with the following keywords:
Samsung Mobile Phones
In order to improve your keywords and ad text relevancy, you should create two separate campaigns, each contains individual ad groups for each handphone model so that you have the following:
Campaign 1 – Nokia
Ad Group 1: Nokia Nseries
Ad Group 2: Nokia N90
Ad Group 3: Nokia N-Gage
Campaign 2- Samsung
Ad Group 1: Samsung E700
Ad Group 2: Samsung SGH-X820
Ad Group 3: Samsung Mobile Phones
I know this looks like a lot of work but it’s worth taking the effort if you want to improve your quality score.
- Improve Your Keywords and Landing Page Relevancy
When your keywords are prominently featured on your landing page, AdWords bot will see it as more relevant and reward you with a better quality score. This will also improve your conversion rates because users perceive your page as more relevant to their search.
For example if you ad says you are offering a 10% discount of the blue widget, make sure your landing page offers exactly the blue widget discount, not red or green or 5% discount.
Don’t simply link to your home page and let the users hunt down the product.
- Offer Quality and Original Content
I often stressed that it’s important to offer good quality content to your users if you want to increase your blog’s readership and ultimately make money from your blog.
It’s no different when it comes to getting a good quality score in paid search where writing good quality and original content is a must. The AdWords documentation explicitly mentions that you should provide relevant and substantial content.
Ideally you should write your own review and create resource pages that are linked from your landing page. Avoid shortcuts like copying and pasting product’s description from the vendor’s page. If you do that, it should not be similar or nearly identical in appearance to the original.
Co-branded affiliate landing pages may means less work for you but it’ll score poorly in AdWords Quality Score.
This allows you to openly share information about your business and inspire user’s trust. You should also create a shipping and delivery page or refund policy.
You are collecting email addresses; make sure to follow the CAN- SPAM guidelines.
- Let Your Users Add Content
Allowing users to rate or review products or services is a good way to generate content for your site without any work from your part. User-generated content is free and it can make your site sticky and trustworthy because of the transparency it creates
It also helps in developing unique content that differentiate your pages from your competitors.
- Don’t Ask Users to Register
Try to provide information without requiring users to register. If user’s registration is necessary, provide a preview of what the users will get. Also ensure that the registration requires no more than the user’s name and e-email address.
- Provide a Disclosure Statement
Pages that contain advertising or ads should have them distinguished from the rest of the page content. You may consider including a disclosure statement somewhere on your site.
- Offer Easy Navigation on Your Site
Adding a search box in addition to your navigation menu should improve your site usability tremendously.
If you can’t provide all your good content on your landing page, consider linking them from your landing page.
- Improve Your Account Performance
Improving you click through rates (CTRs) will improve your quality score. So you might want to start bidding higher than what you would normally be comfortable with.
Do this for the first few days to get your ad into a higher position to attract more clicks. Once your CTR has increased, you can then lower your bid amount to a profitable level.
If you have campaigns that perform poorly in you account, delete them or try to improve their quality by following my recommendations outlined above.
This ensures that they won’t affect your overall account performance. Google considers your account’s historical performance to predict if your new campaigns are going to be good.
So, it helps to get good Quality Score if your have a proven track record.