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While setting up a Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) campaign is fairly easy, making sure it yields a positive return is an entirely different matter. It requires intimate knowledge of not only how AdWords functions, but also familiarity with all the tools and options available to make a campaign cost effective. To truly understand the inner workings of AdWords nothing is more important than understanding Quality Score.
Why is Quality Score important?
Simply put, it is the most important metric used by Google throughout an AdWords campaign. Quality Scores are assigned to:
. The campaigns
. The Ad Groups
. The keywords
. The ads
More importantly the AdWords' algorithm which determines the position in which your ads will show on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) relies heavily on Quality Scores. Remember, the higher your ad position the more clicks your ad will receive and of course clicks lead to conversions, which are the lifeblood of an e-commerce site.
To fully understand how Quality Score works and how to use it to your advantage, various fundamental concepts must first be defined.
What is Quality Score?
The Quality Score is a ranking assigned by AdWords to the major components of a pay-per-click campaign. The components ranked are the account, the campaigns, the Ad Groups, the keywords as well as the ads themselves. Of all these, Google will only let you see one, the keyword Quality Score, which is listed under a column labeled "Quality Score" in the Keywords tab within the Ad Group or Campaign page.
How is Quality Score
All Quality Scores rate a component on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being poor and 10 being excellent. The algorithms that help Google arrive at a ranking are of course, a well guarded secret. However Google has documented some of the variables that make up the different rankings as follows:
. Ad Groups - Ranked by keywords and ads within the Ad Group.
. Keywords - Ranked by click-through rate and relevancy to corresponding ads and landing pages.
. Ads - Ranked by click-through rate.
. Landing page - Ranked by navigation and relevancy with corresponding keywords and ads.
Click-Through Rate :
CTR= Clicks / Impressions
CTR is arguably the most important metric within the Quality Score algorithm. Google believes that CTR is a good indicator of the relevance between the user's query, the keyword and the ad's text. The higher your CTR, the more likely that your ad is relevant to the user's search engine query. A CTR of less than 1.5% is generally considered poor.
Google believes that a user's search query is a question which is answered initially by the search ad and eventually by the landing page. The more relevant the connection between the keyword that triggered the ad and the landing page, the more relevant the answer will be to the user's query. Ad CTR and landing page relevance contribute to the keyword's quality score. The more relevance you have, the higher your Quality Score will be.
Ad Rank :
The Ad Rank formula guarantees that the top positions in the SERP are filled with the most appropriate ads for the user query. It is virtually impossible for a non-relevant ad (low Quality Score) to wind up in the first ad position, regardless of how high the CPC bid might be. Indeed, it is possible to have a lower CPC bid and still beat out a competitor with a higher bid, as long as your Quality Score is higher. A typical example is listed below:
(Quality Score = 9) x
(CPC bid = $2.50) = Ad Rank = 22.5
(Quality Score = 5) x (CPC bid = $4.00) = Ad Rank = 20.0
As you can see from the above example, advertiser Z bid 60% more than advertiser Y in a fruitless effort to reach the number one SERP position. Conversely, advertiser Y with a quality score of 9 bid substantially less for the number one position yet attained it due to his high Quality Score. Taken one step further you can see that even with a very high CPC bid, a low Quality Score could keep your ad at the bottom of the page, or it may even keep it from showing at all.
How to Attain a High
Quality Score :
Below are some general guidelines to help you improve your Quality Scores:
2. Create different ads for each Ad Group. Make your ads compelling enough to generate clicks. A high CTR is critical.
Make sure your keyword shows up in the title, the body and the display URL of the ad.
Select or create very relevant landing pages for each Ad Group or even for each keyword. Your keywords must show up several times within the landing page's content.
Make sure there is always a continuity of relevance between your keywords, your ads and your landing pages.