Many businesses are left confused as to what influences where their ad appears on Google. They are often surprised to find out that it’s not just down to the luck of the draw but that AdWords actually gives each ad a quality score. This score impacts on where your ad will appear on the page.
So what is a Quality Score, why does Google think AdWords advertisements need them, and how do they impact your ad?
Straight from Google themselves:
“Quality Score is a dynamic variable assigned to each of your keywords. It’s calculated using a variety of factors and measures how relevant your keyword is to your ad group and to a user’s search query.”
Kind of vague, right?
In other words, what they are saying is that Quality Score is a value that changes depending on how relevant your ad is to your key word selection.
What about those “variety of factors”? I’m going to outline these here and this should assist you with ways of improving your Quality Score.
• Keywords are the most important factors in determining your Quality Score.
• The keywords that you select need to be relevant to the material in your ad
• AdWords does this to ensure that Google users are only shown ads relevant to their searches.
• For example: You select Vegetables as a keyword on your ad about your Kitchen Renovation business. This would, most likely, lower your ad’s Quality Score, as Vegetable is not directly related to your ad.
2. Ad Text
• If you have none of your keywords in the text of your actual ad you will be likely to suffer a low Quality Score.
• Having your keywords appear in your ad will improve your score.
• Again AdWords does this to ensure ad relevancy
3. Landing Page
• AdWords rates the webpage that your ad links to, known as a landing page
• Below are Google’s own recommendations on how to improve your landing page
o Relevant and original content — in other words, ask yourself:
• What is the purpose of your site? (It should be clear to users)
• Is your content copied from other sites? (It shouldn’t be!)
• Why would a user visit your page over a similar site? (Your site should offer value for users)
• What other additional products, features, or reviews can you offer?
o Transparency — in other words, ask yourself:
• Can the user easily learn more about your business (i.e. about us, company info, contact info)
• How does your site interact with a visitor’s computer? (it shouldn’t download malware or collect sensitive information without a user’s permission)
• Can users tell what they’re getting (or giving you) when they click a download button or fill out a form?
• Is it clear to site visitors how you will use their personal information?
o Navigability — in other words, ask yourself:
• If your page is conversion-focused, can the user easily access additional information to learn more or answer questions?
• Is it simple for the user to move around the site, and reach destination content within a few clicks?
4. Click Through Rate (CTR)
• Click Through Rate means how many people who see your ad actually click on it.
• For instance, if 1000 people see your ad but only 10 of them click on it you have a CTR of 1% — a pretty poor CTR. If this were the case, your Quality Score would be negatively impacted.
5. Smoke and Mirrors
• Google keep certain factors in the calculation of Quality Score deliberately secret.
• Google does this to keep advertisers on their toes and to encourage innovation in the field.
Knowing what a Quality Score is and how it is calculated is going to be vital to setting up a successful AdWords campaign.