Dominate Google Ads with Improved Quality Score
Google Ads is all about bidding, right? So, all you need to do to get to the top of the search is bid the highest!
If only it were that easy.
Over the past number of years, Google has become incredibly intuitive when it comes to user experience. Bidding more for a keyword will place your ad higher than your competitor, but Google also places relevance on your keywords – use them incorrectly, and you’ll quickly see costly ads and little conversions.
This is where keyword quality score comes in, and why it’s so important.
As a rule, the lower your keyword quality score the more you will pay for them. But this doesn’t mean that you’ll still rank highly – quality score is a direct factor to your ad rank, and if it’s lower than Google likes it to be then your ads could be placed lower in search – or not show at all.
Quality score is also indicative of your conversion rate. While it doesn’t directly affect your conversions if your keywords, ad copy and landing pages are not relevant to the user you’re not likely to convert them into a customer.
So how can you increase your quality score?
Start with keyword research
Keyword research is often cited as a ‘must-do’ action because it’s very important. What keywords you use need to be relevant to your products and services, as well as appearing in copy naturally to increase conversions.
Use a combination of long tail, broad, phrase and exact match keywords to optimise your ads successfully. Don’t use highly searched keywords that don’t reflect what you offer – this will drastically reduce your quality score and cost you more over time.
Don’t be tempted to pick keywords with a high search volume – these will no doubt have high benchmarks for bids, and as they’re likely to be broad search terms (e.g. dogs vs dog kennels in London), you’ll see a lot of irrelevant traffic, which is very costly and renders your ads ineffective.
Negative keywords are just as important!
Don’t forget negative keywords, they’re just as important as your relevant ones. Negative keywords can seriously harm your account if you don’t keep on top of them, pulling your quality score and keyword ranking down.
Pay attention to your broad and phrase match keywords to determine if they receive a high number of clicks from irrelevant search terms. If your landing page content doesn’t show what the user is looking for they will bounce from your page, making Google will see this as a red flag and start to bring your quality score down.
Optimise your ad copy
You only have a limited number of characters for your ad copy, so try to include your entire keyword and preferably at the beginning of your copy if you can (but don’t compromise on creativity or user experience!). If you have a call to action on your landing page, such as a free trial, you can offer it in your ad copy too, so your visitors know what their next step is going to be.
Don’t forget that ad copy should never be left dormant for very long – analyse it on a regular basis and tweak to get the best performance out of your ads. Keywords and their search volumes do shift often, so you may find you need to refine these within your copy to stay relevant and keep your keyword quality score high.
Optimise your landing pages
Often companies focus their attention on Google Ads and narrow their focus to ad copy, bidding, and keyword research.
Optimising your landing pages happens outside of the Google Ads platform, so it can be easy to dismiss these as a secondary or “nice to have” feature – some businesses might even be linking all their ads to just their homepage! Which is a recipe for disaster and only costs more time and money to rectify.
Landing page copy is trickier than your ad copy. You have a lot more freedom to write content, but this can lay the path for riskier SEO and PPC practices, such as keyword stuffing.
You only need to have your URL, H1 and body copy with your keyword, so don’t be tempted to include it in every paragraph. Remember that conversions happen because your visitor likes what they see on your page and not just because the keyword they use appears everywhere.
Once you’ve created your landing page look at it from a user’s point of view – have an external viewer look over it if necessary – and ensure that every touch point, from ad copy to the final conversion action, such as contacting you, is relevant, clear, concise and interesting.
Pay close attention to every part of Google Ads
You can have outstanding landing pages, call to actions, and creative ad copy that reads excellently. You can even have fantastic keywords that gain a lot of clicks, but all of this is irrelevant if your keyword quality score is low.
You’ll pay a lot more for keywords with a low quality score if there’s no connection between them and your URLs and landing pages. You’ll likely find that your landing page bounce rates are high, and your conversions low.
Ad copy, keywords, URLs and landing pages all need to fit nicely together and have consistency throughout to be successful.
And finally, the keyword quality score is about price – having a high score means you pay less per click, so it really is beneficial to optimise your keywords and landing pages.
Your quick start guide to dominating ads:
- Research keywords relevant to your brand. Use a mix of broad, phrase, and exact match, ensuring you focus on both short and long tail terms
- Incorporate them into your ad creatively – they shouldn’t feel forced
- Optimise your landing pages with your keywords – you may need to create new landing pages
- Analyse your work and continue to focus on optimising your ads to ensure success!
Get a free health check from one of our experts and get started with improving your keyword quality score today.