We’ve been hammering out the ins and outs of search marketing lately with posts about landing page optimization, search marketing metrics, and general SM overviews. Why stop now? Fortunately for you, we’re going to talk more about Google AdWords Quality Score (QS) and how you can get more bang for your buck by improving this paid ranking factor. In doing this, we’ll reference a Search Engine Watch article titled “Is Your Quality Score Costing or Saving You Money?” Let’s go ahead and dive into the post by introducing you to QS, in case you forgot.
Quality Score is a term that applies to the keywords of search marketing campaigns in Google AdWords. QS works in a few different ways; it’s mostly associated with assigning a keyword with a landing page grade that is based on the average quality of the landing pages in the ad group and of any landing pages in the rest of the account with the same domain.
For example, if you are an RV dealer who’s advertising with the keyword “travel trailers,” then your ad should go to a page that is highly specific for that keyword. This means that some of the copy, image alt tags, and anchor text on the page should consist of the phrase “travel trailers,” therefore making the page extremely relevant to the keyword.
The content of SEW’s article can help you identify keywords that are relevant or irrelevant by examining QS’. Noran explains that a keyword of 7 or higher is ideal, so anything with a score of 6 or lower are considered to be low. She suggests determining the percentage of keywords with a QS of 7 or higher and 6 or lower. Then, illustrate your findings in a pie chart where 7 and above are relevant and 6 and below are irrelevant.
Continue by trying to improve the irrelevant keywords that are the closest to being relevant. Noran gives 6 examples of how you can increase the QS of your keywords, but Noggin wanted to supplement the section by looking at three areas of improvement:
- Landing Pages. If you read the AdWords certification material, you’ll quickly learn that Google takes landing pages into high consideration when determining QS. Noggin believes that you should allocate your time and effort into improving your landing pages to better coincide with your keyword and ad groups.
- Ad Groups. When creating your ad groups, try to make them as specific to your product or your landing pages as possible. For instance, BTCamper.com should have ad groups that closely follow their products like travel trailers, fifth wheels, expandables, toy haulers, etc. Then develop keywords that are very specific to the given ad groups.
- Localized Ad Groups. I’ve seen dramatic improvements in QS by creating localized ad groups based off the ones you’ve already created. For instance, it wouldn’t hurt to create the “St. Louis travel trailers” ad group for BTCamper.com, even if you’re targeting specific areas in St. Louis. Use “St. Louis” proceeding all of the keywords you’ve used in the more general “travel trailer” ad group. The local component will keep your cost-per-clicks low and QS’ high when people search for your keywords but use St. Louis in their query.