Tips to Increase Google AdWords Quality Score

For those targeting PPC ad campaigns, Google AdWords assigns a quality score to each keyword used in an ad marketing group, which will determine your ad’s ranking and cost per click (CPC).

The Adwords Quality Score is a numerical measurement based on your keywords relevance to a search query and the ad copy you provide searchers.  Landing page relevance and click-through rate (CTR) are also formulated into Google’s Quality Score (QS).

A poor QS for your targeted keywords may simply result in your ad not ranking in a search query.  Google’s mission is to provide users with a relevant and quality search experience which means providing users with a meaningful experience from ad click to landing page.

Increasing your keyword Quality Score can be very useful for businesses with low budgets getting their ads to rank and get clicks. A truly optimized Quality Score with high CTR benchmarks will ultimately lead to lower bids by your business to achieve higher ad rank over your competitors.  

By utilizing basic SEO practices, such as landing page optimization and targeting the correct keywords that users are searching for, you can increase your business’s ROI. Here we present 9 tips on how to increase your AdWords Quality score and increase your business’s revenue in the process.

1. Segment Keyword Groups

The number one tip that Google recommends to increase your keywords AdWords Quality Score is optimizing your account. A well optimized account means segmenting keywords into various groups based on their relevance to a given search query. Having two ad groups with all of your keywords will mean that some of them will not be relevant to a search query. If you own a furniture supply store, grouping all of your keywords to target “furniture supplies” will be very expensive and run into a tremendous amount of competition.

Grouping keywords into ad groups with a limited amount of keywords will result  in a higher ad relevancy to a search query and a higher CTR. In the previous example, it’s good to group keywords into ad groups, such as new couches, chairs, etc. and can be more specific based on the branding and material of various furniture. Keywords with close associations, such as separated by single and plural nouns and by different brands are examples of sound keyword segmentation.

2. Diagnose low Quality Score Groups

After segmenting keywords based on closely associated ad groups you can than diagnose which keywords have a poor QS in these ad groups. Google factors the historical performance of your AdWords account into its AdWords Quality Score and adjusting keywords that don’t drive the necessary CTRs can result in a boost in your overall QS. Of course, this is left up to business preference and could mean just doubling down on the bids you place for underperforming keywords. The action you take should consider the volume of searches related to the keyword and ad group and keyword intent.

3. Analyzing Click per Impression

Often times, keywords may drive a high number of impressions but very few clicks. For B2B sales this is not necessarily a bad phenomena and can still result in a high QS. For B2C sales this phenomenon could occur for a number of reasons we’ll outline, but finding the cause will allow you to isolate different keywords and solve the root problems. Analyze which keywords with a specific QS are driving double the amount of impressions as compared to clicks. Adjusting these keywords or placing them into differ ad groups can result in your other ad groups receiving a higher QS and allow you to adjust your bidding accordingly.

4. Conduct Thorough Keyword Research

Probably the biggest misstep that marketers take is not thoroughly researching the appropriate keywords they need for their PPC campaign. Of course, there are a number of free programs that offer keyword suggestions for your PPC campaign, but there is still a degree of creativity to be found in the keyword research process. Just with all facets of your PPC campaign, A/B testing on the keywords you target should be an active process that is conducted regularly.

Once you’ve segmented your ad groups based on association and relevance it’s important to research keywords within the industry that competitors are bidding on. Determine which keywords are less competitive, have the potential to rank, and are relevant to your ad copy and a search query. Make sure that keywords are not too niche that users are not searching for it and note that broad match keywords will not necessarily drive lots of impressions early in a campaign. It’s also important to note that individual keyword QS will be based on the QS of your account as a whole and will not improve until the impression threshold (thousands) is reached before improvements will be seen. Evaluate impression share data to adjust bids to increase ad impressions.

5. Make Ad Copy Relevant

Your ad groups’ QS will be largely based on CTR and the ad copy relevance to a search query. Ad copy should be optimized to include the keywords you are targeting and be relevant to the landing page it is advertising. Ad copy should incorporate your targeted keywords within the title and description for each ad group its advertising. This will ensure that ad copy is relevant to searchers and increase your QS.

6. Test Different Ad Copies

For each ad group you create it’s important to create at least 4 ads for each group. Each ad should still incorporate the same targeted keywords you are bidding on. Test each ad and find out which ones perform better and drive more clicks. Comparing the amount of clicks rather than impressions gathered from each ad copy will be a better measure of how effective your ad copy is doing. Finding the most relevant ad copy will help your Adwords Quality Score over time and allow you to lower your bids.

7. Optimize Landing Pages

Landing pages should be optimized to include the very same keywords you are bidding on for each ad group. Users who click on an ad and result in a bounce will harm your AdWords Quality Score. Optimizing landing pages is as much about keeping landing pages relevant to searchers as much as it is maintaining your QS.

Of course your budget and time may not allow for a landing page for every single keyword you are targeting and every product you sell. Optimizing landing pages and matching them to relevant ad groups will ensure that your landing pages are still relevant to searchers. Landing pages should include a benefit of some kind and a call-to-action for conversions.

8. Optimizing Ad Copy Descriptions

The description of your ad copy will be the biggest factor determining your CTR other than the title. Descriptions should include the relevant keywords your ad group is targeting and communicate a perceived benefit from clicking on your ad. Including a CTA in your ad copy that is not perceived as spam will drive click-throughs to your landing page. If your description is relevant to the search query and the landing page than you will most likely see your QS increase over time.

9. Decrease Landing Page Load Times

A fully optimized AdWords Account will most likely result in a high QS. But, if you’re landing page suffers from a slow loading time than your ad will not rank very highly. Just as Google’s mission is to providing a meaningful user experience, page load times factor greatly into this. Fixing this issue may require analyzing the technical framework of your website and Google provides its own speed test tool to test this. Make sure on-page elements are optimized to render neatly across all devices to stave off high bounce rates.