8 Tips for Improving Your PPC Quality Score

When it comes to pay-per-click (PPC) ads, quality score is everything.  If your score is too low, you won’t be able to get the best placements in the sponsored search results, and you’ll wind up paying so much more for your clicks than other advertisers that it will be nearly impossible to turn a profit on your campaigns!

If you aren’t seeing the results you want with your PPC advertising campaigns, a low quality score could be to blame.

Here are 8 tips for improving your PPC quality score:

1 – Narrow your ad groups

One of the biggest mistakes new PPC marketers make is to create a single ad group and stuff it full of hundreds of different target keywords.  The problem with this strategy is that it makes it very difficult to create the highly relevant keyword + ad group + landing page combinations that the PPC engines love.

For example, say you run a dog training tips website and set up a single ad group that includes all of your target keywords, from “dog training tips” to “raising pit bulls” to “best dog collars”.  No matter how you structure the ad text and landing page you create for this ad group, there’s no way to make the content relevant to all of these different keywords at once.

Instead, create ad groups that focus on one main keywords, with only a few other tightly-related keywords included to capture additional traffic.  In the example above, a better strategy would be to create a single ad group focused around the keyword “dog training tips”, with a few keyword variations that will allow you to create highly-specific ad text and landing page content (for example, “dog training tip” or “dog training tips online”).

2 – Create a landing page for each ad group

Once you’ve got your newly-focused ad groups created, it’s a good idea to create a specific landing page for each group.  Yes, this can be a lot of extra work, but not only will doing so help you to improve your quality score within the PPC engine you’re working with, it will also help to make your landing page content more relevant and interesting to the people who click through your links to your site.

3 – Incorporate ad text into your landing pages

As you’re building these ad group-specific landing pages, be sure to incorporate both the keywords you’re targeting and the specific language used in your ad text into your page content.

Continuing with our previous example, say you’ve created an ad group based around the keyword “dog training tips” and are now in the process of building a landing page for this group.  As a part of this campaign, you’ve also created the following ad text in order to attract visitors back to your page to purchase your report:

When building your landing page, use the keywords you’re targeting in your ad group and the language you’ve used in your ad in your page content in order to promote a sense of continuity for the visitors that arrive on your page.  As an example, you could incorporate the headline, “Got a Bad-Mannered Pooch?  Make Him Behave With Our Free Report!” into your landing page and use your target keyword “dog training tips” several times throughout the page.

The reason it’s so important to add these repetitive elements to your landing pages is that they’ll make your visitors feel more secure and comfortable upon arriving on your site.  Clicking on any link is a risk – even if it’s just risking wasted time – but seeing the specific elements that drew these visitors to your site in the first place repeated on the pages they’ve landed on will help to reassure them that they’ve landed in the right place.

4 – Place misspelled keywords in their own ad groups

Targeting misspelled keywords with your PPC campaigns can be a powerful strategy, but incorporating them into the ad groups that contain your correctly spelled keywords can lower both your content relevancy and your overall quality scores.  If you decide to use misspelled keywords, be sure they’re separated out into their own ad groups so that you can create targeted ad text and landing page content that won’t

5 – Experiment with keyword insertion

Quality score is all about relevancy, and what could possibly make your ads more relevant than using a special code to dynamically insert the keywords your visitors searched for directly into your ads?  This code is called dynamic keyword insertion, and it’s a great way to both increase your ad click through rates and improve your overall ad group quality score.

According to the Google Adwords program:

“Depending on a user's searched keyword, AdWords automatically places your triggered ad group keyword into the ad text. This makes your ad more relevant and useful for users while making it easier for you to create multiple unique ads for a large amount of account keywords.”

Dynamic keyword insertion is a more advanced feature, and it may take some time to learn how to incorporate this code into your ads and manage the different outputs that can be achieved.  However, if you’re struggling to get your quality scores high enough to be seen in the SERPs, it’s worth taking a look at.

6 – Split test your advertisements

We say this all the time here on Single Grain, but the reality is that split testing is an absolute must when it comes to PPC advertising.  That’s because, with PPC advertising, it’s your money that’s on the line if you’re receiving ineffective, poorly targeted clicks.  With SEO and traffic generation strategies, split testing is a helpful tool that can be used to guide website decisions.  But with PPC, it’s one of the only things that can conclusively stop you from wasting money on bad clicks.

Within your PPC account, the most important thing to test is different versions of your text ads.  For each ad group you create, you should always have two ad options running, experimenting with different headlines, body text messages and display URLs.  Just be sure to set the ads to rotate evenly – otherwise, your split tests won’t give you any conclusive data to work with.

7 – Improve site load times

Google has made no secret about the fact that it loves fast-loading websites, although it isn’t as widely known that overall site speed can influence quality scores within its Adwords PPC engine, just as much as it can affect your placement in the traditional SERPs.

According to PPC Hero’s “The Ultimate Google Adwords Quality Score”:

“Check your site speed in Webmaster Tools or Google Analytics.  Google considers a slow load time to be the regional average plus three seconds, and if your page’s load time is below this threshold, it could be negatively affecting your Quality Score.”

Speed up lagging pages, and you should quickly see an improvement in your PPC quality scores.

8 – Contact Google

If you’ve implemented all of the tips described above and still don’t see an improvement in your PPC quality scores, there could be other factors at work.  Interestingly enough, if the keywords you’re targeting incidentally match a new brand or trending topic, you could see a decrease in your quality scores – even if nothing else has changed within your account!

If you believe you’re the victim of this type of situation, get on the phone with Google’s Adwords support team and ask them to review your account manually.  They won’t always be able to help, but in some cases, you may see an immediate improvement in your PPC quality scores.

Image: aithom2

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