5 easy ways to improve your Google Ads (SEM) Quality Score.

From choosing your keywords and audience, to strategising your ad spend and designing the perfect website landing page, creating an effective ad campaign can be a complex task.

But with an 8:1 return on investment, Google Ads is a key player in every digital marketer’s strategy for growth.

To ensure all your hard work pays off, it is important to review the quality of your ads ahead of setting them live in order to support their future success. A great tool for this is Google’s own Quality Score tool.

Not sure what Quality Score is? Let’s take a look.

RELATED: eBook: The small business guide to investing in good SEM.

What is a Google Quality Score?

Quality Score (QS) is a Google metric that shows you how well your ad quality compares to other advertisers. It assigns a score between 1-10 to each keyword in your campaign, with 10 being most preferable.

As Google heavily relies on advertising to generate revenue, which is only earned once an ad is clicked, its primary incentive is to uphold the quality and relevance of its ads to users.

Keyword data from other advertisers’ past ad campaigns is used to determine Quality Score. If no data has been collected in the past 90 days for that particular keyword, then no score will show (this is what it means when “-” appears next to a keyword in the Google Ads interface).

What factors does Quality Score consider?

There are three factors that Google’s Quality Score considers when determining the quality of each ad in your campaign:

  • Landing page experience – How relevant your website’s landing page will be to the users who click on your ad
  • Expected click-through rate – How likely it is that your ad will be clicked on when it appears for that specific keyword
  • Ad relevance – How closely your ad aligns with the reason behind a user’s search term.

Each of the above elements are graded ‘Below Average’, ‘Average’ or ‘Above Average’ by Google to help you identify where to focus your efforts when it comes to optimising and improving your keyword campaigns.

Why does your ad’s Quality Score matter?

Google uses the Quality Score metric as part of its own revenue-driving model. Here’s how you can also leverage the score to generate growth in your campaigns.

The benefits of higher quality ads are:

  • You’ll typically pay less per click
  • Your ads are more likely to be displayed to users (Google requires ads to meet a certain level of quality in order to be shown)
  • Your ads will appear higher on the page, gaining increased visibility (this is known as ‘ad-rank’)
  • Your ads are more likely to perform and drive engagement and leads.

How to increase your Quality Score.

Now you understand the importance of Quality Score, let’s take a look at some ways you can optimise your strategy in order to elevate your ad’s score.

1. Make sure there is synergy between ads and landing pages.

Campaign landing pages should be optimised with the same keyword, messaging and call-to-action that appears in your ads to ensure a seamless customer interaction.

For example, if your ad is promoting 10% off flower arrangements, then customers should be able to find and buy flower arrangements at that discounted price on your landing page.

2. Ensure you perform routine hygiene checks on your campaign.

There’s nothing worse than clicking on an ad and being navigated to a page that says ‘error’ or ‘page doesn’t exist’. This creates a negative user experience, leading potential customers to leave your website and instead visit your competitors.

When this happens, the website’s server sends an error message which presents itself in the form of a number – somewhere in the 400s. When a page is performing as it should be, the website’s server will send a success message which presents itself somewhere in the 200s.

Every landing page included in your campaign should return a healthy 200 message from the website’s server. This means that when a page breaks or is removed from your website (generating a 400 error), it is crucial to remove these from your campaigns too. To check the health of your landing pages, you can use the helpful HTTP Status Chrome Extension.

When it comes to ad copy hygiene, make sure you routinely update your negative keyword list. A negative keyword list is something that you can submit to Google to signal which keywords you do not want to gain clicks and impressions for.

This is particularly important if you are using phrase and broad keyword match-types, as this means Google won’t just display ads for the keywords in your account, but any keywords related to your ad account as well.

As an example, let’s say you’re bidding on the keyword ‘phone repair Melbourne’ and as a result of broad keyword match-types, the keyword ‘phone repair Sydney’ is added to your campaign. As you do not operate in Sydney, it would be worth adding this keyword to your negative keyword list to eliminate any unnecessary spending.

3. Monitor your website’s page speed.

A quick page load time is a key contributor to a positive user experience. If your website’s landing pages are taking a long time to load, this can lead to potential customers bouncing off your website and engaging with other results that have a faster website.

Check your website’s page speed with Google PageSpeed Insights to evaluate potential site builds for improvement.

4. Highlight what makes your business unique.

Are your products eco-friendly? Have you won industry awards for your specialist services? Leverage what sets you apart from your competition to resonate with your target audience.

Remember that the set character count effectively limits how much information you can include within your ad copy. Be strategic and highlight the features of your business that will draw the attention of potential customers.

5. Match your ads and keywords.

Click-through-rate can be increasingly driven by placing keywords in primary elements of your ad, such as the headline. This is because consumers are more likely to engage with an ad that includes the query they just searched for as it appears to be more relevant.

Do you need a hand getting started with SEM or just looking for some help to maximise your current advertising budget? Reach out to our award-winning team to find an SEM plan with Yellow Pages that suits your business objectives.

Looking for expert digital marketing advice? Get in touch with Yellow Pages today.

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