If you’re running one or more Google AdWords campaigns, chances are you’re always trying to improve your strategy in order to lower your CPC (cost per click). Just as with SEO experts, marketers spend countless hours trying to figure out what exactly Google’s algorithms are looking for. One of the most important algorithmic functions for AdWords campaigns is the automatic calculation of something called your quality score. This post will explain how to improve your quality score to lower your CPC.
Why Quality Score Matters
Quality score is Google’s way of determining whether your ads are relevant to its users. That tells you a little something about why it’s so important: since Google’s mission is to deliver the best and most relevant content to its users, if it thinks your site or ads aren’t quality, it won’t show them as prominently as it would some higher quality content. The higher your quality score is, the lower your cost per click will be and the higher your click-through rate will be. Quality score is actually a blessing since it allows advertisers with smaller budgets to compete with more moneyed firms by investing time into crafting their PPC campaigns to be relevant and high quality.
How Quality Scores Are Assigned
There are a few factors that Google acknowledges are weighted heavily in AdWord’s quality score. The expected click-through rate, based on the past performance of your ad when matched when the designated keyword, is believed to be the most critical factor in your quality score, accounting for over half of the score. The relevance of the ad itself to the keyword it’s linked with is a smaller factor but is still of significant importance. Google has conceded that it also considers landing page experience in its quality score. Other factors people include the historical CTR for all the ads on your account and your performance in the geographical region.
You can start improving your quality score by improving your keywords. You need to be sure that the keywords you’re selecting to have your ads displayed for are things that people with an interest in your product will be searching for. Conduct some keyword research with a tool like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush Keyword Research, or Moz Keyword Explorer and identify the phrases that motivated consumers are using when they hit the internet to look for a product or service like yours. You also need to make sure that the ad title, the text of the ad, and the display URL all have the keyword included. Web users aren’t always the best at making connections, but incorporating that keyword as much as possible will go a long way toward earning their click. Not only is keyword relevancy a factor in your quality score; improving your keywords will also boost your CTR, which is the most important factor.
Increasing Click Through Rates
While making sure your keywords are relevant will help your CTR, there are other things you can do to improve it as well. You won’t improve your quality score by paying to get your ad more highly placed, as the CTR is assessed in comparison to other ads that once held your position. Instead, try improving the text of your ad. Include a call-to-action and some standout words, like “free,” “limited time,” or “new.” Since your historical CTR matters too, it’s important not to waste time and money on bad ads, as they’ll also lower the quality score of your future ads.
Level Up Your Landing Page
Google doesn’t just score your ads based on their relevance to your keywords—it also looks at the page they link to. If you’re attempting some sort of bait and switch, where you sucker in someone searching for a keyword with an ad that looks relevant but links to something else entirely, your quality score will be lowered. The same thing is true if your landing page is relevant but difficult to navigate or unattractive. Including your keyword throughout your landing page, and making it easy for users to respond to the call to action in your ad, will help your quality score improve.
Understanding Google’s ranking systems for AdWords, how they positively or negatively affect your campaigns, and what you can do to better capitalize on them, is the best way to lower your CPC. The steps above can help get you started on Improving your quality score.