3 Ways to Influence Google Quality Score
In the last FirstWord blog post, you learned the “5 Critical Components of Google Quality Score.” Now, you’ll learn how to influence those factors using three basic tactics.
But first, a refresher course:
What is Quality Score? It’s the algorithm Google uses to estimate how relevant the ads, keywords and landing pages in your digital marketing campaigns are to someone seeing them after a search. A higher Quality Score means Google’s systems consider your ads, keywords and landing pages relevant and useful to each searcher’s particular topic.
The higher your ad scores, the higher your ad ranks in every search auction. And the more likely clicks will become sales. That’s why it’s important to do everything you can to drive your Quality Score higher. Now, here are three ways to do just that:
- Improve Clickthrough Rate (CTR) – As the most important factor in Quality Score, CTR should receive the most attention. Four simple adjustments can improve CTR’s and drive up Quality Score:
- Keyword Negatives – Continually add new negatives to eliminate unwanted queries. Run your Search Query Reports weekly to identify opportunities and reach beyond eliminating bad clicks. Look to eliminate irrelevant high-impression terms that can drive down CTR.
- Match Type Breakout— Breakout keywords by match types and separate match types by campaign or ad group. This will further group not only like terms, but like match types and increase CTR on better performing Exact match groups. In addition, shy away from Broad match and focus on Broad Match Modifiers to improve CTR.
- Sitelinks – Add Sitelinks to all campaigns and use ad group Sitelinks, when possible, to deliver more relevant Sitelinks. Traditional Sitelinks may increase CTR by 15%, and Enhanced Sitelinks may increase CTR by 20%.
- Targeting – Eliminate poor performing targets for greater CTR by using all the targeting options available, including GEO targeting, ad scheduling and bid modifiers.
- Landing Pages – Because Google will crawl landing pages to determine how relevant they are to each keyword, picking the most relevant, most granular landing pages possible is imperative. When possible, regularly adjust content on landing pages and/or create specific paid-search landing pages that align with keyword to improve Quality Score.
- Build Quality History – Set up every campaign the right way every time and manage each and every campaign on regular basis. That’s the only way to build the account history Google seeks to reward with high Quality Scores. This is where discipline comes into play; if you can’t execute a campaign the right way, then maybe that campaign shouldn’t launch.
In addition to these three tactics, practice Search Engine Marketing (SEM) best practices. In short, create a logical campaign structure, craft tight ad groups with similar-themed keyword clusters, develop granular ad copy using keyword themes within copy and, most importantly, continually test and tweak, tweak, tweak.