One of the things a lot of Search Engine advertisers are stuck with are the quality score of their keywords. Every platform has internal scoring system to award advertisers who have good and relevant ads and landing pages and penalise the rest with higher costs.
Google AdWords has the quality score which is assigned to every keyword which generates enough data (over 100 impressions in the last 30 days). The score is from 1 to 10 and score of 1 or 2 is below average. If many of your keywords are scored low, this can serverly damage your account with unnecessary high cost and overall poor performance.
How is the Quality Score calculated?
The exact formula is not publicly available, but Google is quite transparent about the main factors which influence it.
You must always consider the historical click-through rate(CTR) of the account. If the CTR is bellow 5% this is considered already a bad sign. This metric is important because it reflects directly the vote of people who see the ad. If more than 95% of them don’t click on it, it means it is highly irrelevant to what they were searching for.
One way of increasing CTR is using ad extensions – as many as possible. Read my article to find out which ones could make sense for your business.
If you are also running display campaigns in the same account with your search campaigns, make sure to keep an eye of their CTR, because the account average can influence the performance of your keywords. Display ads like banners and YouTube videos on average have a low CTR. However, if most of them have under 0.2%, you can work more on your creatives.
You can improve your CTR by testing out longer combinations of words and carefully matching the ad copy to them. Don’t try to cheat! If you would like to bid on a popular term, but you cannot write it in your ad or landing page, your score will suffer. Best practice is to include all the words which make the keyword in the title of the ad. For example, if you are bidding on +ppc +consultant +in +London, make sure that your ad includes all these words in the title, preferably in the URL of the landing page and the landing page itself.
Landing Page Experience
Your landing page also plays a big role in the equation. Try to include your keywords in the first fold of the page. Also, make sure your page is well optimized for mobile devices and loads fast even with slower internet connection. There are great landing page tests from Google and Webpagetest which give you recommendations on how to improve the performance. Simple fix could be reducing the size of the images, for example.
Historical account performance
If your account is new it will take some time until you establish yourself and achieve great quality scores. You must be patient and very vigilant on your ad copy, landing page content and keywords. Results might take some time to accumulate, but if you are focused on consistently improving your CTR and Quality Score you will end up with higher performance and lower costs in the long term.