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How to improve your Google ad quality score?

Jason Roy

Despite how well your Google AdWords ads and campaigns are performing, know that there is always room for improvement.

That’s the beauty of PPC marketing campaigns — and the curse of it.

You must always have to be on your toes and continue looking for ways to decrease the cost, increase the click-through and conversion rates, and improve the profit margins.

One very effective way to do all that is to improve your Google ads quality scores. By improving your ad quality score, you can decrease the cost of your ad campaigns, improve its position in the SERPs, and increase clicks and conversions.

In this article, we will be discussing how paid search engine marketers can improve their ad quality scores.

But let’s make sure that everyone is on the same page by highlighting the factors that affect the ad quality score.

Three factors that affect ad quality score

According to Google, there are three factors that directly affect your ad quality score. Those three factors are:

  • Ad relevance
  • Expected click-through rate or CTR
  • Landing page experience

By improving these three aspects of your ad, you can improve the ad quality score — which will eventually lead to better ad positions in the SERPs, lower bid cost, and increase ad profits.

Viewing quality scores

Google has recently updated the way Quality Scores are displayed in the ad performance reports. Moreover, Google has also introduced historical reports that you can view side-by-side to monitor the performance and improvements in your ad quality score.

The data (columns) that you can use are:

  • Quality Score
  • Quality Score (hist.)
  • Landing Page Exper.
  • Landing Page Exper. (hist.)
  • Ad Relevance
  • Ad Relevance (hist.)
  • Exp. CTR
  • Exp. CTR (hist.)

As mentioned earlier, you can view historical ad quality scores side by side to measure performance and improvement.

Note: According to the Google update, historical ad quality score data will not be available for dates later than January 22, 2016.

Now that you are all set by customizing your columns and adding all the relevant information that you would require to regularly monitor any improvements in the ad quality score, let’s dive into the numerous tips and tricks that can help you improve the ad quality score.

Let’s do that by diving into each component.

Each of the following three headings contains the actual tips and tricks you will need to improve every component, i.e., ad relevance, landing page experience, expected CTR.

1. Improving ad relevance

Poor ad relevance — which is also commonly known as keyword relevance in PPC marketing — is a problem that you face when there is not a strong connection between the keywords and the ad copy.

What usually happens is that you — or inexperienced PPC marketers, usually — copy ads from different ad groups without customizing and tailoring for their own primary keywords. As a result, the ads do not really have a strong connection with the keywords, which eventually leads to poor ad relevance.

How can you improve the ad relevance? Here are a few proven tips:

  • Make sure you have a proper structure and hierarchy for the Google ad campaigns and ad groups. If you don’t have a proper structure, it is extremely difficult to improve ad relevance.
  • Create tightly knitted ad groups and campaigns. Each ad group should be created around a certain theme/set of keywords.
  • Make sure that the top keywords are in the ad copy. Incorporate those top keywords in:
    • The headline of the ad
    • Body of the ad
    • Display URL
    • Extensions (when possible)
  • Regularly revisit your ad groups and evaluate if keywords need to be moved to a different ad group or removed altogether from your account.

2. Landing page experience

There is more than one reason to improve the landing page experience. Here are a few of them:

  • An improved landing page experience directly increases the conversion rate on your website. For instance, if 5 people were purchasing out of 100 — a 5% conversion rate — after improving the landing page experience, you could have 10 out of 100 people buying from you. In other words, you can literally double your sales without increasing your cost or running any marketing campaign.
  • Improved landing page experiences can also improve the search engine ranking of your website — which leads to free organic traffic.
  • A good landing page experience also leaves your customers satisfied and increases brand credibility.
  • Lastly, an improved landing page experience can directly affect your ad quality score.

How can you improve the landing page experience?

Here are a few different things that you can do:

  • Improve the loading speed of your website. When it comes to websites and landing pages that directly sell a product or service, the loading speed of the web page becomes extremely crucial. Make sure that your web page loads within 1-2 seconds. Use this tool to see what Google thinks of your landing page and the experience it offers.
  • If there is a sign-up form, a call-to-action button, or an add-to-cart button, it should not be difficult to find. It should be displayed in a way that it just can’t be missed.
  • There should be no ambiguity and no surprises. Everything should be clearly mentioned. Tell your users what will happen after they take action, e.g., they would be subscribed to a monthly newsletter, they will be able to download a .PDF, or they will be redirected to their free software trial, etc.
  • Last, but not the least, make sure that your landing page copy uses the same keywords that the ad copy did. Don’t use synonyms — even it makes sense contextually. Use the exact keywords that you used in the ad copy, or your ad quality score will suffer.

3. Expected click-through rate

Behind the scenes, Google calculates the CTR your ad is expected to get. Needless to mention that it is the expected CTR, and it is different from the one that you see in your AdWords account and ad performance reports.

There are a few different reasons why an ad may have a low expected CTR. You will have to resolve those problems to improve on this front.

Following are a few of those possible reasons that could negatively affect the expected CTR of your Google ad:

  • Your ad may have a below-average expected CTR if the ad copy isn’t closely related to the keyword that is triggering the ad. For example, if someone searches for “online marketing services” and your ad says “content marketing” services, you are likely to have a below-par click-through rate.
  • A lack of negative keywords can also contribute to a below-average CTR. Make sure that your ad is being triggered by only the most relevant keywords.
  • A boring or non-engaging ad copy is also a big reason why some ads have below-average click-through rates.
  • You might be using inappropriate keyword match types. Make sure to experiment and try different keyword match types to see which one best fits your requirements.
  • Examine the search terms which people use to trigger your ads and optimize your ads accordingly to get the best possible CTR.

Focusing on ad quality score is an important fundamental of successful Google Adwords campaigns. However, a lot of marketers completely ignore this aspect and ignorantly pay more for their ads than they have to.

Use these tips to improve your ad quality score and bring down the cost and increase your conversions. Good luck!

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