Google Adwords don’t just simply display your add according to how much you pay per click. there is a little more to it than that. AdWords use their ‘Quality Score’ to see if your ad is worthy of display. It’s important to know what you need to have in place before you start spending on AdWords as you can waste a huge amount of money very quickly.
Imagine AdWords as a horse show – you’ve payed your entry fee, but this doesn’t guarantee a win. It’s the quality of the performance that will determine if you take home the cash.
As we know Google is all about quality, and they do a quality check even when you are paying for their services. In order to provide good quality and relevant ads to the searcher, Goolge makes sure that your work is up to par. In Google’s eyes there is no point in providing ads that are irrelevant to the search. If they provided ads that are not relevant enough for the person searching, that would make their AdWords service pointless, reduce the click through rate and ultimately make AdWords and unsuccessful service for both parties. So you see, it makes a lot of sense to assess ads for quality.
What Criteria Are Measured for the Quality Score?
Google uses several factors to determine the quality of an ad, the most important of those factors are –
- Keyword relevancy
- Landing page quality
- Landing page website relevancy
- Ad copy content
Relevancy, relevancy, relevancy!
As I’ve said many times before, it is important to understand that Google only reads words and your ads are composed of Keywords. It is vital that you recognise that your Keywords need to be focused on what you are selling, what your add is about and how relevant those keywords (or phrases) are to a potential search. There is no point on throwing in words that are not related to the add in the hopes of getting a click, if you are not relevant to the search that has been carried out you will be waisting your money! Not only this Google measures the relevancy of your Keywords, against the rest of your campaign. This also applies to your ad copy, this need to be relevant and catchy. It will need to contain the words most likely to be used in a serch and relating to both the words on your landing page and those that you have listed in your keywords.
The landing page is the most important of your quality factors to consider (the page that the customer arrives on after clicking on the ad). The landing page must have content relevant to the keywords and ad copy. Your landing page must relate to the ad, have words that would be considered related to the words and keywords of your ad. If you are advertising a hoodie, make sure that the ad goes to the page that the hoodie is on. This is a common mistake, it is not of benefit to you or your customer to have an add for a specific product and that ad clicks through to the home page of the site – this will cause a costly bounce.
Not only does it matter that you have relevant content on your landing page, but it also needs to have a quality build. If your page is badly constructed, lacking content and missing tags, you are missing out on opportunities to raise your quality score. If you carry many ads, consider having that landing page as a separate new page for the site, keep it high quality and reader focused.
This doesn’t just end with your landing page, your site needs to be relevant and have a quality build. If Google can find lots of words, phrases and keywords related to your ad on your site then it will hold your add, landing page and keywords in higher regard. If your site is poorly structured, code heavy or badly built then Google will demote it. Your pages need to be relevant, your site needs to be intuitive to use, well organised and well constructed.
Where do I find the Quality Score?
It all starts with your Keywords. Google don’t give away all their secrets, and they also don’t tell us if all of our quality factors are aligned. When you applying all your Keywords to your add Google will give you a Quality score out of 10 for each keyword. Remember this sore relates to the relevancy and quality of your ad copy, landing page, keywords and website – as well as a few other factors. If your quality sore for a keyword is 5 or above you are doing well.
Even if you were paying 80% over the odds with your ad, it is not a guarantee that you will appear first in the AdWords listings. Many site owners like to skip the on site SEO and just chuck budget at AdWords. However by skipping the on site work, you are also loosing out on opportunities to maximise your PPC budget and have more quality clicks that are more likely to convert into cash.