The process of managing PPC campaigns in AdWords has its unique challenges, but most of them pale in comparison to improving and maintaining a good quality score. Your quality score is the rating that Google gives to your ads and keywords and it depends on three factors: ad relevance, landing page experience, and expected click-through-rate (which is estimated by Google using your account’s historical data).
Your quality score has a vital influence on your CPC: the better your quality score is, the less you will pay for showing your ads in competitive positions.
The most important metric to consider when you want to increase your quality score is the click-through-rate. In this article, we will look into improving your Quality Score by increasing your CTR.
Seeing as the click-through rate is a quotient of clicks divided by impressions, both decreasing the number of your impressions and increasing the number of your clicks will help improve your CTR.
To decrease the number of your impressions, we have to significantly reduce the number of irrelevant searches our ads could appear for, by painstakingly negativising any irrelevant search terms in our search terms report and creating an Account Negative Keywords list in our shared library, which we would apply to all our campaigns in use.
Always aim to add the most generic version of the search term into your negative keywords list, in order to avoid appearing for any irrelevant searches relating to that keyword. For example, if someone has searched for “oak nursery room furniture in pink” and your furniture store does not sell any nursery room furniture at all, ad “nursery room” to your account negative keyword list to minimise the chance that your ad will show for any searches about nursery room furniture.
Keep building up your negative keywords list daily and revise it monthly to make sure that all of your negative keywords are still irrelevant for your business (e.g. you might have started to stock and sell nursery room furniture, and therefore would want to show ads for relevant searches).
In addition to negativising irrelevant search terms every day, look at all your broad match and phrase keywords, identify the ones that bring you too many irrelevant impressions and decide whether you want to keep them active.
Using AdWords dashboard interface, you can quickly create a chart that sorts your impressions by match type. A high number of broad or phrase match impressions suggest your keyword targeting is not tight enough and could use some of your attention.
Once you identify the problematic broad or phrase match keywords with low CTR and quality scores, you can optimise them by negativising any irrelevant search terms and adding the relevant search terms to your exact match campaigns/ad groups.
Alternatively, you might decide that the broad match keyword is bringing too much irrelevant traffic to your site while draining your PPC budget, that’s when it’s time to pause and consider an alternative like Dynamic Search Ads.
In addition to your effort to decrease irrelevant impressions, you need to work towards increasing your number of clicks.
To do that, you need to help your ads naturally stand out from your competitors’ ads, without being gimmicky or engaging in deceit.
Firstly, identify your key messages and unique selling points – these will be used as building blocks for your search ads.
Start writing your ads, ideally using the keyword you are targeting at the beginning of your ad. Use proper grammar and punctuation, and make sure to capitalise every word – this helps your ads stand out.
In addition to that, use all the relevant symbols in your ads – from £ and %, to ™ and ® (only use trademark symbols when you are allowed to and if unsure consult Google’s article on using trademarks in advertising).
Finally, try to include any offers or promotions that are applicable to the product, brand, or category you are advertising in your ad.
Aim to make your ads naturally stand out from your competitors with good grammar and punctuation, accurate descriptions that include your unique selling points, relevant promotions (were available), price points, and more. Use ad extensions like sitelinks, callouts, structured snippets, price extensions, reviews, and more to give your customers more information and capture more of the advertising space Google’s SERP.