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6 Hacks To Improve AdWords Quality Score & Ultimately Reduce Your CPC

In the podcast:

01:31 – What is quality score
04:08 – Components of quality score
04:40 – Click through rate
05:07 – Ad relevance
05:39 – Landing page experience
06:05 – Create a good account structure
07:47 – Add negative keywords
08:26 – Don’t use broad match type keywords
09:22 – Create an ad relevant copy
10:35 – Put a keyword in the headline
11:25 – Improve the landing page experience

If you are running AdWords, then Quality Score is an important metric you need to pay attention to. I reveal about 6 different ways you can improve your Quality Score so you can ultimately pay less per click.


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In this article, we will be discussing about something which is quite specific. So for those of you who have an Adwords account and are running traffic through AdWords then read up because this article is for you. And I’m going to be talking about the six different hacks that you can do to improve your quality score.

Before we get stuck into the nitty gritty of these hacks you can do to improve your quality score. Let’s take a little step back and just reiterate or cover if you don’t know what quality score is and why it’s why is it important to you.

What is a Quality Score?

So firstly what is quality score? It is essentially a number which Google assign between 1 and 10. One being the worst and ten being the best. That’s a sign at a keyword level in your account. So every keyword has its own quality score and it’s kind of like Google’s way of telling you as an advertiser if they’re happy with that keyword.

If you think about it from Google’s perspective, what Google ultimately want is they want to retain their users and to do so they have to ensure that their users are getting a good user experience from advertisers. The worst thing that they want is for people to be showing ads that they don’t provide a good experience for people they’re not relevant. And there’s a bit of a disconnect. And so, to reward you as an advertiser for providing a good user experience for their users, they reduce the amount you pay for a click.

Contrary to what you might think that most people know that AdWords is an auction. Contrary to what you might think that the person who is in the number one spot who’s effectively won the auction is paying the most. Not the case with AdWords. The person in the number one spot might just have a really good quality score. And most of the time they’re actually paying a lower cost per click than the person in the number two spot. So it’s an auction but it’s an auction with a bit of a twist and that twist is due to quality score.

So hopefully now you can start to appreciate just how important quality score is to an account because it is the fundamental driver in what you pay for a click. And in really expensive industries for example in Australia plumbing, which last time I checked was about 50 dollars for a click that could make a really really big difference to how much you pay for a click. So we’re talking about big differences in budget.

Hopefully now you can appreciate why quality score is so important. And often when we audit an account and take on a new account we identify the quality score of some sort of really key keywords. Make these changes which we’re going to reveal in this article to improve the quality score and we can often reduce the cost per click for our clients quite considerably.

Components of Quality Score

Before we get started into how you can improve it, it’s important to cover the components which make up quality score. Now Google have revealed these components but they’re pretty broad brush categories and they don’t reveal exactly the weighting of these metrics that make up quality score. But they have said that the biggest factor contributing to a keyword’s quality score is its click through rate. And click through rate is a number that’s basically the number of people who have clicked on your ad divided by the number of the people who have seen your ad. Obviously, Google want a high click through rate. They want lots of people who see your ad to click on your app. So that’s the biggest and largest proponent of quality score. And they’ve also revealed that a next proponent of quality score is ad relevance. Now personally I’m of the belief that ad relevance it is very tightly related to click through rate. I mean I think it would be quite difficult to have a good click through rate and bad ad relevance.

Personally, I view them as kind of one of the same because I think you know the two relate so tightly to each other. So ad relevance is the second component and the third component is landing page experience. Whatever that means by Google, but I think it means a number of things which we reveal a little bit later.

So, those were the three components that drive quality scores. Always have those three factors in mind in terms of how you can improve a quality score.

6 Hacks to Improve Your AdWords Quality Score

1. Good account structure

You need to employ proper and very granular structure in your AdWords account. And the best way to do this and often the easiest way, is to have single keywords in an ad group. So if I step back for a second and just explain the structure of AdWords. At the top, you have a campaign. Within a campaign you will have adgroups. And in those groups, you have keywords. So to apply good structure, often we will run single keyword groups. That means we will have only one keyword in an adgroup. The reason for this is that it ensures that we write a really good and that is tightly related to that keyword so we get a good click through rate and good ad relevance and as a result of those good factors we get a good quality score.

This is by far and away the biggest and easiest way to improve quality score for a keyword. Always put it in its own adgroup and writing a really good relevant ad that people will most likely click on and Google will reward you with that with a good quality score and ultimately reduce your cost per click. So please apply good account structure in your account because it will no doubt affect the bottom line of how much you are spending on advertising.

2. Add some negative keywords

Because if you think about it, by preventing your ad for showing up for unrelated search terms as a result of that you’re going to improve the click through rate because your ad is not going to be showing for irrelevant terms. They’re only going to be showing for good terms which people are more likely to click on. So by adding a whole bunch of negative keywords that will in turn improve your quality score. You might be wondering how do you find such negative keywords. Just have a look in your search term report for ideas where you can set up, this is not relevant, I’m going to add this as a negative.

3. Not using broad match type keywords

Broad match type keywords will give Google as much rope as they pretty much like for your ad to show. Often quite relevant search terms and I see this all the time I was auditing a dental AdWords account, they were using broad match keywords and as a result of that their ads were showing up for vet type queries such as animal, animal teeth problems, so they don’t deal with animals. They only deal with humans and therefore that’s no obvious negative keyword that we would be adding in. But really we shouldn’t be doing this but someone else was using broad match keywords and that shouldn’t be happening.

4. Do ad relevance

One way I like to do that is by rewriting the ad with the intention to improve the click through rate by having some kind of call to action. And I’ve tested this heavily. You know often you think it’s obvious what you want people to do but you know as I said I’ve tested this heavily and pretty much every time I test having a call to action in the ad copy vs. not having a call to action, the call to action one always wins. So what do I mean by a call to action. I mean explicitly saying in the ad copy “Click here to download X or call us for a free appointment download for free”. Now you’re telling people ultimately what you want them to do. And alarmingly they do it. So go figure. Rewriting your ad with some kind of call to action and some kind of enticing ad copy will improve the ad relevance, will improve your click through rate and will ultimately improve your quality score.

5. Put a keyword in the headline of your ad

So you know continuing on with the dental example for example because we were talking about that a second ago if we’re bidding on dentist Sydney I might put dentist Sydney in the actual headline of the ad because if you think about it, someone’s gone to Google because they’re just looking for a solution to their problem and they pretty much scan the results. They don’t really spend time reading ads. It is you know desperate to find a solution so they’ve just typed in that keyword. You know that and if you’ve put it in your ad copy you know it entices people to click on your ad provided it’s a keyword you want. Once again improving ad relevance and click through rate and thereby quality score.

6. Improve the landing page experience

Really what Google looking for is they don’t want people to go to your website and then leave straight away. That’s a bad user experience for their users. So you want to try and create some engaging content. Use visual imagery and good imagery not just some really bad stock imagery. Maybe even improve your website speed. Load speed because people are quite impatient and if your loads speed is not high enough they’re not really going to have the patience to hang around and all these elements will improve your overall landing page experience and hopefully improve your quality score as well.

So there you have it. I hope you found this content helpful. Log into your AdWords account and have a look to see if you’ve got any keywords that are in trouble. Be it with a bad quality score. How do you know it’s going to have in the status column next to that keywords and it will say rarely shown due to bad quality score. That’s a little signal that you don’t want to see in your account which usually means that that keyword needs a little bit of love.

So use the tips tricks and strategies that we’ve literally just revealed in this article and I really think that you will improve your quality score. Maybe you won’t get it to a 10 but undoubtedly, you will get it to a higher number and hopefully reduce the cost per click.

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