As most search marketers can attest, Google has really tightened up their guidelines as far as relevance is concerned.  For Google, serving up useful, relevant search results to users is a top priority. This focus on relevance is especially evident in Google’s paid search with quality scores.

Quality Score is a metric Google uses to determine the relevance of a particular keyword search in relation to ad copy, the landing page, etc.  If your Adwords campaign is performing poorly, or you’re paying too much per click, chances are your keywords have low quality scores.  Improving your quality score will help your ads show in a higher position and for less per click than competitors with lower quality scores.

Here are a few tips to help improve your quality scores and earn better ad positioning for less money:

 

  1. Take advantage of "Phrase" and "Exact" keyword match types – Using only "Broad" keyword matches will trigger your ad to show for a ton of search queries that may have nothing to do with your products or services.  "Phrase" and "Exact" matches are much more targeted, and allow you to show for the exact query you want.  These keyword matches will lead to better click through rates (CTR), and will ultimately help improve your quality score.  You may want to read up on keyword matching options.
     
  2. Eliminate keywords with historically low CTR – Google takes into account the overall click through performance of a keyword when determining quality score, so keywords with low CTRs will receive low quality scores.  Pausing or deleting these poorly performing keyword from your Ad Groups is a quick and easy way to improve the CTR and overall performance of your PPC campaign.
     
  3. Create smaller, more focused Ad Groups – Group all related keywords together, and remove non-related ones.  Each product or service you are trying to advertise should have it’s own Ad Group.  Try to get as granular as possible with your Ad Groups.  This will help you in optimizing your ad copy and lead to better CTRs.

  4. Adjust ad copy to reflect keyword groups –  This is where your smaller, more focused Ad Groups come into play.  It is much easier to write targeted ad copy for a small, specific group of keywords than a larger Ad Group with hundreds of unrelated keywords.  Be creative with your ad copy and try to think like your consumers- what would make you click on an ad?  Also, utilize dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) in your ads to help improve CTR and boost quality scores.
     
  5. Create specific landing pages for your Ad Groups – Ideally, each of your Ad Groups should have it’s own targeted landing page, which should be optimized for the specific keyword terms targeted in that group.  You want to create a unifying message between your keywords, ad copy, and landing page- that means adjusting title tags, META tags, and page copy to reflect your ad copy and keywords.  This will really up the relevance factor in Google’s eyes, which is huge for quality scores.  Something else to keep in mind – if your destination page takes too long to load, this can negatively impact your quality score, so keep it moving fast!

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