How to Improve Your AdWords Quality Score

The survey results I posted on Monday ranked the importance of 12 AdWords Quality Score attributes. At the top of the survey rankings were click-through rate, ad text/keyword relevance, historical performance and landing page keyword relevance. Search relevancy is the core that binds the quality score together, and our survey reflects this idea. Also, these survey results are very favorable because each of these attributes are well within your realm to control and improve upon.

Click-through rate (CTR) is the highest ranked attribute. CTR made it to the top of the list because it is a core indicator of you advertisement’s relevance to users.

Keep in mind that only your CTR within Google search and search network determines your quality score; CTR within Google’s content network is not a factor. There are two click-through rates included in the score: your advertisement’s CTR, and each individual keyword’s CTR.

The fate of your CTR is in your hands. To increase your CTR here are a few quick steps you can take:

  • Begin/continue ad text testing. Even if you feel you have an advertisement that is your clear winner, you can always find ways to enhance your message and speak to your audience.
  • When used properly, dynamic keyword insertion can increase your relevancy to users, and in turn, increase your click-through rate.
  • Adjust keyword bids to increase your ad placement (i.e. higher ranking) and this can increase your CTR.

Ad text/Keyword relevance within an advertisement is ranked second on the survey. The second place ranking was given to this attribute because it too directly contributes to your relevancy to a user’s query. If your advertisement highlights a user’s search term, then they are more likely to interact with your ad. This increases your click-through rate and your quality score.

This is another aspect of the quality score that is in your control. To make sure that the majority of your keywords appear within your ad texts, here are a few steps you can take right now:

  • Dynamic keyword insertion (DKI). If you are having trouble making sure that your keywords appear within your ad text, then this can be helpful tool. Utilizing DKI within your headline will draw more attention to your keyword and you don’t have to worry about weaving this feature into the body of your ad text.
  • If you are still finding it difficult to boost your keyword relevancy within your ad text, then you should take a step back and analyze your campaign structure. Could your campaigns or ad groups be more specific, more targeted? I bet if you look, you’ll find that you can re-adjust your campaign structure so that your keyword clusters are even tighter.

The third ranked attribute is historical performance. This attribute is important because it indicates to AdWords that your campaign is improving and becoming more relevant to users, and AdWords will eventually reward you with higher ad placement and cheaper clicks.

Let’s face facts: you can’t change history. If you had no idea what you were doing when you started your AdWords campaign and your performance was awful, don’t worry – the future is still ahead of you. To take control of this quality score factor just make sure that you are constantly improving your campaign’s performance (even if it is a slow growth) and over time AdWords will notice your efforts.

Since relevancy is the name of the game, then the fourth highest attribute is landing page keyword relevance. This attribute made it to the top of the list because there has to be consistency from keyword query, to your PPC ad text, and finally to your landing page.

This attribute is in your hands by making sure there is a logical progression for the user. If your campaign, ad text and landing page are structured in this fashion then you will see a higher click-through rate and conversion rate.

As you may have noticed, the over arching theme of this analysis is that your quality score is not a scary mystery shrouded in darkness – the ability to improve your quality score is in your power. Hopefully this survey and this analysis has given you a plethora of ideas on where to begin improving your quality score today.