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September 21, 2017

Understanding Adwords Quality Scores: Ad Relevance

Monitor your Google Quality Score to improve your ads.

Sometimes organic traffic just ain’t enough. Especially if you’re in a high competition industry or in an area where there is saturation. Like if you have a restaurant in New York City. In those cases, it’s best to supplement your organic traffic with Pay Per Click. According to iProspect, the likelihood of someone clicking your link doubles when they see both paid ads and organic search results. Further, recent data from Digital Marketing Philippines supports that combining PPC and organic SEO efforts increases clicks by an average of 25% and profits by an increase of 27%.

But it’s not just tossing an ad into Google Adwords. It’s crafting ads that get a high Adwords Quality Score. For the next few weeks we’re going to break down quality score so that you can take your PPC efforts to the next level. We’ll start this week with looking at the anatomy of Google Quality Scores, why they matter and then looking at the first part: ad relevancy.

What is an Adwords Quality Score?

Google created its quality score metric to determine how to place ads. That means it’s a handy diagnostic tool for you: hitting their requirements increases your likelihood of gaining visibility. It assesses three things to determine your score. Here’s what they’re known as and how to understand them in layman’s terms.

First, and what we’ll cover this week, ad relevance. How well does your ad align with the intent of a user’s search? Are you hijacking popular keywords only to pull a bait and switch? Or does a user get what they want when clicking your ad?

Second is landing page relevance. When a user gets to the connected page, how relevant, transparent and navigable is that page? Is it designed well? How’s it’s SEO? Does it provide exceptional UX? That’s right: it’s not just about designing a great ad. You also have to have a stellar landing page to back it up.

Finally, the Google Quality Score looks at the expected click through rate. Or, the likelihood your ad will be clicked.

We’ll close out this series with tips for how to assess and refresh the SEO of your site and especially those pages linked to your PPC ads.

Why is a Google Quality Score vital to your campaign?

Quality Score goes beyond an indication of whether or not your ad is “good”. It keeps you aware of the ads you create and whether or not they can help your audience. Essentially, Quality Score allows you to think from your user’s perspective and figure out whether or not you are meeting their needs.

The Adwords Quality Score also brings some serious benefits. The higher the quality score, the lower your cost per click – so investing time and effort into it not only increases your chances of visibility (high quality score translates to more appearances to searchers) but also maximizes your budget.

Because of this scoring system, and thinking from the perspective of your targeted audience, you will develop the practice of constantly assessing, modifying and growing campaigns by remaining aware of the importance of authenticity and overall user experience.

Always remain aware of your quality score and remember: ads with low scores are not often seen. Google makes money from clicks, so if your ad is unlikely to get clicks, it’s unlikely to get shown. High quality ads don’t just benefit you, they benefit Google.

How to improve your ad relevancy

A user’s relationship with you starts when they see your ad. . Casting a wide net and calling it a day is not enough. Instead, carefully crafting an authentic ad that is relevant to those it shows up to is vital. Here are nine tips to improve the relevance of your pay per click ads.

  1. When writing ad copy, never forget causality. Why do users need your product or service? Why is it better than the competition? Give a reason that stresses your strengths in the context of your keywords.
  2. Think about where their eyes go. Use headlines for the most important information. Users are automatically drawn to larger text to find what they’re looking for. Give it to them! Headline 1 is more important than Headline 2. Keep these hierarchies in mind when developing your ads.
  3. Place your main keyword in the headline. Don’t just use flashy words or your offer. Make sure you target your #1 keyword in the #1 headline.
  4. Always look at your demographics. Users respond to different language. Know who you’re targeting with your ad and increase its relevance by using appropriate language. Older, wealthier men might prefer plain speak or some jargon. Guys in their twenties still dig a sports analogy. Go deep and figure out words and phrasing that work for specific groups. Do women prefer BOGO over men? Who is more likely to click on that language?
  5. Use exclamation points! Our content writers are freaking out but, in the case of ads, exclamation points work. Used to express alarm or excitement, ads with exclamation points in the call to action are compelling.
  6. Break some of the rules. No, it’s not okay to go overboard with the text speak but it is okay to use abbreviations to maximize the space you’re given. So go ahead and use 8 instead of eight. Capitalize everything except articles (a, and, the, this, these… you get the picture). That said, spelling and grammar must be impeccable for users to take you seriously.
  7. Make it match. To help with your ad relevance score, make sure that the keyword in the ad matches the keyword on the landing page – otherwise Google won’t get the connection and consider the ad irrelevant.
  8. Group and diversify. Don’t just write one ad and call it a day. Think about how people search and create ad groups for synonyms and even different potential spellings. If you sell custom tee shirts think about how someone might search. Create groups based on the action and the product you’re selling. Instead of saying, “Buy funny tshirts.” Create groups that change up “browse” (search, find, browse). Do the same for “funny” (hilarious, humorous, silly) and “tshirts” (t shirts, t-shirts, tee shirts, teeshirts).
  9. A/B test. Always monitor and assess your ads to see what works and what doesn’t. You may have thought a particular word would attract your target audience but what do your analytics say? Could rewording a headline gain more clicks? Be responsive to your analytics!

Ad relevancy is vital to your quality score so take some time to assess how your ads measure up to these nine pointers.

Monitor Your Ad Relevance

As you move ahead, assess your ads to see if you’re hitting on these key improvements so that you can increase your audience, engagements and revenue. There’s a lot to keep track of, so it’s not a bad idea to contact us for a free evaluation of your current PPC strategy.

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