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What Can You Do About Your Google Adwords Quality Score And Why

August 27th, 2009 No comments

You should, it could be costing you big bucks.  You already spend mega dollars of your hard earned money to advertise, why not lower your cost to more reasonable levels.  Learn what your Quality Score is and what you can do to improve it. 

Google is a for profit business even though it has many excellent freebies you can use whether or not you use the Adwords feature.  One way Google makes its money is through its search engine ad listings.  The more relevant the ad listing to the keyword searched for, the better the experience the user has when searching, the more often the user will come back to Google to search.  

So from the advertiser’s point of view.   The more relevant your ad and the keyword is to your ad the better it is for everyone.  You get a targeted customer who is more likely to click the ad and buy, the searcher gets the information they were searching for and Google gets paid because they clicked your very relevant ad.

But there is one more thing that Google does for you the more relevant the ad is.  Think of it as a reward for being relevant.  Google will lower your bid cost for that keyword and  your ad will move up on the page and or move closer to the number one spot on the first page of search results.  This is what you are all about.  Getting your ad in a spot where it can be seen and clicked on.

Quality Score

The Quality Score is made up of three elements:

 1)  Relevance. The relevance of your ad that is displayed to the keyword phrase typed in by the seacher.  The stronger the relevance the better. 

TIP:  Make sure the keyword is in the ad, preferably in the headline and in the display URL in your ad.  Many of you know this but don’t do it.

2) Click Thru Rate.  The Click Thru Rate is a powerful component of the Quality Score.  Click Thru Rate (CTR) is the rate or percentage of people who see your ad, click on the link and go through to your site.  So if  200 people see my ad and 24 click on the link and go to my site that is a CTR of 12% (24/200=.12 x 100 = 12%).  The higher the CTR the more it shows Google that your ad is relevant to that keyword phrase and search result.  Google likes this.  (All hail Google!)

TIP:  To help increase CTR in your ad utilize the following:

*Use Keyword macros.  It looks like this {KeyWord: keyword headline}.    The macro:{KeyWord: Your KeyWord Headline} tells adwords to put the  searchers keyphrase in your ad headline replacing your headline.  Your headline is the default headline.  If the searchers keyword phrase is longer than 25 characters it will defualt back to your headline.  Captializing the K and W in the KeyWord Macro will automaticall bold every word in your headline.  Imagine the searcher finding exactly what he/she is looking for in your ad!

*Exact Match – [keyword] will display your ad if the search keyword phrase matches your keyword exactly.  This is the best.

*Phrase Match – “keyword” will display your ad if the search keyword phrase contains your keyword term.  Good, but not the best.

*Broad Match – your keyword ad will display if the search keyword phrase contains your keyterm words in any order.  Not the best to use especially if your keyword has many meanings or uses.  This is one most often used unwittingly advertisers.  You will get a lot of useless impressions that will lower your CTR.

*Negative Keywords-    -keyword, minus sign keyword will block any keyword that you don’t want coming up in the search.  Like the word Free (Google doesn’t like free) or any word that does not really apply to your product or the type of targeted customer you want.  Really want to use this if you are going to use broad match.

*It is human nature to believe that people are holding information back – either on purpose or by accident.  So use this to your advantage.  Use the word secret, closely guarded, insider, under the table, exposed, must read or any words that imply that no one knows this information and you are letting them in on it.

*End your headline with a question mark.  It will boost their curiosity or make them want to answer or see the answer.  You have left an opening that needs to be closed and people will seek to close it.

*In the second line of the ad create a big benefit for the reader.  A benefit is what the product will do for them.  A feature is something specific about the product that builds its value.  When you look for a benefit dig deep for a psychological value.  Money is not always the answer, but what can that money help them get or do something that is of great value to them.

3)  The Landing Page.   The landing page from the url displayed in the ad.  The more relevant your landing page is to your keyword and your ad the better.

TIP:  If you are a Internet Marketer who knows HTML you have an advantage.  If you outsource your work make sure they know HTML and know why to apply these tips below.  To help your landing page, optimize these items below.  They are important and they will also help your page ranking.

*Title Tag – that’s the text at the top of the browser page, way at the top, usually the grey area.  Get your main keyword in the title.

*Meta Description Tag – a short readable description using main keywords written about that page for search engine results.  In other words, a short description about that page like you would for an Ezine Article.  Do one for every page or at least the main pages.

*Meta Keyword Tag – add 1 to 3 keywords to each page specifically.  Don’t overdo it.  The keyword should match the content on that page.

*HTML Tags – the image alt tag – is for images on a web page.  The search engines cannot see images but can read text.  So write what the image is about and if you can, throw in a keyword.

*On your display URL leave off the  “http;//www.”  Capitalize each word in the URL and in the headline.  If possible have the domain name the same as the URL in the ad and on the landing page or as close as you can get.

QS:  The Formula

I bet you did not know that Google is also in the auction business.  You bid the maximum price you will pay to get your ad to show up in a certain position in Google search.  You should never bid more than you are willing to pay.  If you are the highest bidder you get spot number one, second highest bidder gets the second spot and so on.  This is the norm, but not necessarily so.

You can also get the top spots and pay next to nothing or pay a fortune.  You can also pay a fortune and end up in a low spot.  How?  Your Quality Score has everything to do with this.  Google rewards those who comply to its unwritten, mysterious rules.  You will go through a painfully expensive initiation until you figure it out or quit.

This is how it works:

Price You Pay = Your Maximun Bid Per Click x Quality Score

Quality Score = Ad Relevance + Click Thru Rate + Landing Page Relevance

Approximate Weightings

            Most Important = Click Thru Rate 50%+

            Ad Relevance = about 25%

            Landing Page Relevance = less than 25%

To be fair the Quality Score is NOT the only factor in determining your actual bid price but it plays a very significant part in it and it is something that you can control to a very large extent.  Google will not let its secret formula out (or they will have to kill you if you know).  But we do know some parts of it, the parts Google wants you to clean up because it affects their business.  They will charge you maximum pricing till you go away or fix it.  It’s all about the money.

Goodle wants extremely relevant ads and clicks so it can get paid, and for the searcher to come back to search again.  The searcher want extremely relevant ads so they can find what they want very quickly.  You want relevant ads that give you targeted clicks so you can get sales and you can keep more of your revenue by paying less to Google.  So relevancy and Click Thru Rate is very important.  Anything you can do to improve this is to your advantage, Google’s advantage and the searcher’s advantage.  It is a win-win-win situation.