How To Improve Quality Score?

March 27, 2017 by Nedim Talović

Start Your Free Trial Today!

Quality Score is a metric invented by Google AdWords team which estimates the quality of your ad and landing page.

Google always tend to display the best content for its users, so if you wish to succeed, you’ll definitely need to optimize your ads.

But, before we talk about optimization, let’s see which factors determine Quality Score:

  • Expected CTR
  • Ad relevance
  • Landing page experience

Expected CTR measures how likely is that your ads will get clicked. It seems obvious to add this factor in the formula because Google charges you per click (on Search Network). They are not interested in displaying ads that nobody wants to click.

Next, Ad relevance means that your ads need to be related to keywords. If someone searches for blue shoes it means that your ad must be about blue shoes. If your ad isn’t relevant, users won’t be satisfied with the SERP.

Finally, the landing page is very important. For example, it’s well-known that Amazon sees a decrease of 1% in conversion rate every time when their site gets slower for about 100 ms.

Simply said, Quality Score is an important part of every AdWords campaign.

Now, let’s see how to optimize it!

#1 Structure Your Campaigns

Every AdWords campaign needs to follow Google’s guidelines on structuring the campaigns.

AdWords has three levels of campaigns:

  • Campaigns
  • Ad Groups
  • Ads

Campaigns level let you define how much you’re willing to spend, the network you want to display your ads (Search Network, Display Network, etc), time schedule, and so on.

Ad Group name tells you what this level does. Basically, it’s a group of ads that you create, and also, it lets you enter keywords that you’re interested in.

Finally, the last level (Ads) is where you see the ads you’ve created.

Now, let’s imagine that you’re selling Televisions and Cameras. Here’s what you need to do.

You would have to create two campaigns – one for televisions and one for cameras. After that, you have to group products in the Ad groups.

Depending which products do you sell, you can create the following groups:

  • Flat Screen TVs
  • Plasma TVs
  • Digital Cameras
  • Compact Cameras

Here’s the image that explains AdWords structure.

The main reason why this matters when optimizing your campaigns is that ads share keywords in one Ad Group.

Simply said, you don’t want to display Plasma TV ads when someone searches for Flat Screen TVs. That would surely happen if you don’t organize your campaigns.

So, always put one product per one group because they share keywords. This way, your Quality Score goes up.

#2 Add Ad Extensions

Ad Extensions are extra pieces of content that appear in the search results.

The reason why ad extensions help your Quality Score is that ads with extensions get a higher CTR which is, again, an important part of Quality Score formula.

For example, if you search for new york call a cab, you’ll see something like the following.

New York: Call a cab

Calling a cab is just one click away, so every local business should leverage this feature because it’s awesome.

Now, I want to say that we split ad extensions into two groups:

  • Manual extensions
  • Automatic extensions

If you would like to have a maximum control, then I suggest you use manual suggestions and here are some of them:

  • Location extensions
  • Affiliate location extensions
  • Callout extensions
  • Call extensions
  • Message extensions
  • Sitelink extensions
  • Structured snippet extensions
  • Price extensions
  • Review extensions
  • App extensions

On the other side, automatic extensions will appear without your influence because Google understands your content. This is one reason why you should implement rich snippets.

Automatic extensions include dynamic sitelink extension, consumer rating extension, seller rating extension, and previous visits.
Now, take a look at the following photo.

Ad Extensions and CTR

According to one SlideShare presentation, you could see an increase of 64% in CTR if you add site extensions which is pretty good, isn’t it?

#3 Use Magnet Words

There are always words that you must use in your ads. Those words that attract more attention we call magnet words.

As you can see, site extensions are not the only way of increasing your CTR. Let’s see which words might be interesting to you.

Magnet Words

If you’re asking yourself how does this help in increasing the Quality Score, here’s how.

Consumers react differently when they see different words which is actually the science of copywriting.

Brian Clark published an interesting article about being a more effective blogger. He says that if you use words You and Because your content will be more engageable.

You is very important because, as he says, “people are ultimately interested in fulfilling their own needs”.

What I want to say is that you should use magnet words everywhere you can, and not only in your ads and blog posts. Just use it everywhere.

#4 Limit The Number of Keywords

If you add too many keywords within Ad Group, it will be become hard to optimize it. So, you should limit the number of keywords, but not only because of hardness optimization.

You should limit the number of keywords because every keyword that you add makes your ad broader (less relevant).

Official Google AdWords Help recommends adding 5 – 20 keywords per ad group. They just say that each ad group should contain keywords that are directly related to that group’s theme.

From my experiences, I know that optimization gets easier when you don’t add too many keywords.

AdWords Keywords

However, some marketers don’t add 5 – 20 keywords because that’s too much for them. Instead, they follow SKAG tactic which means Single Keyword Per Ad Group.

The idea is to add only one keyword per ad group and use that keyword in the headline and the description.

Simply said, this way you’ll make sure that your keyword and ads are very related to each other which is very important.

Next, the keyword you target will be very related or even exact to the user’s query, so your ad text might become bold which gives you more attention.

#5 Check The Website Speed

Nobody likes slow websites. In fact, I’ve already told you that Amazon experiences a decrease of 1% in conversions for every 100 ms load time.

You maybe think that 0.1s is not too much, but when you hear such a statistics, you’ll actually realize how much in a loss you can be.

One of the most popular tools for checking the website speed is Pingdom.

Pingdom Jellymetrics Test

Firstly, you need to open the tool and enter your domain name in the URL field. After that, just click on START TEST.

After a couple of seconds, you’ll see how fast your website is. For example, our site is faster than 89% tested sites which is pretty good.

Jellymetrics Summary

If I wish, I could even improve the website speed, but currently, that’s not our focus since we’re still new players in the industry, so we’re mainly focused on content marketing.

Another great tool is Google PageSpeed Insights. Checking the site on PageSpeed Insights is also simple. You need to enter the URL and click on ANALYZE.

PageSpeed Insights

Here are the results.

PageSpeed Insights Results

Once I optimize images (e.g.) my site will become faster.

As you could see, checking the website speed is very easy and very important for consumers, so before starting an AdWords campaign you should check your site and see if there’s something to improve.

#6 Check Responsivity

Having fast website isn’t enough because your site needs to be mobile ready. This is not only important for advertising on Google, this is also important for SEO.

You probably know that Google has rolled out the mobile-friendly update on April 21, 2015.

Non-responsive vs Responsive

Now if you are the non-tech guy, let’s see how to check if your site is mobile ready or not.

Firstly, open Google Mobile-Ready Test Tool, and enter your URL. I’ll, of course, enter jellymetrics.com in the input field and click on RUN TEST.

Is your page mobile ready?

The results will come after a few seconds.

Mobile-Friendly Test

As you could see, our site is mobile ready which is good both for AdWords and SEO.

Keep in mind that if your site isn’t mobile ready, then you should target only mobile visitors and there won’t be problems with user experience in this context.

However, I’d always suggest you make your site mobile ready.

#7 Use Negative Keywords

I’ve already written that you need to limit the number of keywords, but it doesn’t mean that you have to limit the number of negative keywords.

No! You actually need to use as many as possible negative keywords because that’s the way how you get rid of keywords who don’t add any value.

Here you need to be very careful because the biggest mistake AdWords professionals make when adding negative keywords is that they don’t make decisions based on statistically significant data.

So, keep the keyword as long as the sample doesn’t get statistically significant.

Now let’s see how to check for which keywords do your ads appear. Open your campaign, pick your Ad group and get the list of keywords you’re bidding.

There, you’ll see three tabs: Keywords, Negative keywords, and Search Terms.

Search Terms Tab

So, click on Search Terms, and you’ll see the list of keywords you are actually bidding.

Search Terms

Notice how I added two keywords as negative keywords. In the comments section, I’d you to write me if I did it correctly in terms of statistical significance or not?

If you don’t know how to check if some data is statistically significant or not, I suggest you using a free calculators that might help.

#8 Don’t Ask Too Many Information

You know that your landing page needs to be relevant and optimized to users who come to the landing page, but what does it mean?

Well, imagine that you just wrote an eBook and you want to drive the traffic to the landing page.

Here’s how Kissmetrics’ landing page looks like.

Kissmetrics Landing Page

It looks nice, doesn’t it?

On the left side, there are fields that Kissmetrics requires users to enter because they will probably call them by the phone.

On the right side, there’s an explanation what does this eBook is about. This is always good for convincing visitors to download the book because that’s the place where you describe the book.

The potential problem with fields is that there are various researches who claim that every additional field decreases a conversion rate you can expect.

For example, there’s a research from VWO which says that removing three fields may increase the conversion rate by ~11%.

A/B Test

Simply said, if you want to optimize your Quality Score you need to make sure that you don’t ask too many fields because otherwise, visitors will go back and click another Google SERP result.

Another important part of optimizing your landing page is using heat maps. Various tools will help definitely you to see how your users engage on your site.

For example, you can use free Yandex Metrica which is similar to Google Analytics, but it offers link maps, click maps, scroll maps, form analysis, and other interesting features.

Higher Quality Score is surely achievable with Yandex Metrica.

#9 Make Landing Page Relevant To Ads

Your landing page must be related to ads you create. You can’t write in ads that you offer free shipping if you don’t.

If you do that, you’re going to have a high bounce rate which means your content isn’t at the level it should be, and at the end of the day, your Quality Score will go down.

Google always want to provide the best user experience so if your landing page sucks, you won’t see any increase in sales.

However, creating landing page relevant to ads is not only what matters. I mentioned above that you need to limit the number of fields, and also, use tools like Yandex Metrica, but there’s something else that matters: Call-to-Action.

CTA that will be on your landing page seems very important. If you take a look at the photo below, you’ll see that it’s important to be very careful because even a small change may decrease in conversion.

Personally, I think the best way to perform A/B tests is to pick a small sample and test on that sample. Again, don’t forget to get statistically significant results.

Conclusion

As you could see, Google tends to provide the best user experience to its users, and that’s actually the reason why they invented Quality Score.

Personally, I think Quality Score is a very smart way to make sure users see the best ads. Ads that they might be interested.

There are really many ways how you can optimize Quality Score, but at the end of the day, everything is about user experience.

However, if someone asks me what is the best way to get the highest Quality Score I’d mention two things: number of keywords and campaign structure.

It’s high to outrank someone only by having a fast and responsive website because lots of your competitors have that too.

Finally, give it some time. You can’t expect to see the best results if you just started a campaign. You need to invest and optimize your ads for at least three months.

Say something cool

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Engage customers.
Drive leads.
Increase sales.

AWeber is the trusted partner
in email marketing for 120,000+
businesses nationwide. Isn’t it time
you elevated your marketing game?

Powered by AWeber