Dan Rudy, Leading Edge Digital, Visiting Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California
If you’re new to Google advertising, you may be confused by terms such as Quality Score Ad Rank and Ad Extensions, which determine where your ad appears on a search results page, and how much you’ll pay per click. Let’s look closer at these concepts and see how you can improve your ad performance.
A Google Quality Score is a number from 1 to 10 assigned to your ad that indicates how efficiently your ad will perform in auction against other ads. Quality Score directly influences you Ad Rank (where you appear on the search page), and thus improving your Quality Score benefits you by:
- Reducing your cost per click while increasing the number of clicks or web visits
- Improving the position of your ad on the page
- Enabling ad extensions and other formats
- Prompting higher quality prospects to visit your page and help drive higher conversion rates
Google calculates Quality Score based on your ad’s clickthrough rate (the ratio of clicks to appearances of your text ad), how well your ad matches the user’s search intent, and the quality of the landing page in terms of transparency, relevance and ease of navigation. Quality Scores are determined dynamically each time your ad participates in an auction to appear on a search page. Google reports an average of recent Quality Scores on your AdWords account page. Think of Quality Scores as a diagnostic tool to help improve your Ad Rank.
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Each time a user performs a search, Google calculates Ad Rank, which determines where a relevant ad appears on the results page. Higher ranks place ads at the top of the page, which is the most valuable real estate on the screen. The calculation is as follows:
Ad Rank = Your Max Bid x Quality Score.
In recent years, Google also started factoring into account ad extensions (components which can increase the information in your ads) into Ad Rank. The above formula shows just how critical quality score is to ranking in search. It’s not just about the money, it’s also about the searcher’s experience. After all, Google does not wish to go extinct (or diminished) as other search engines have…anyone remember Alta Vista?
Google reports your average search page ad position in your AdWords account summary. Usually, the best Ad Position is 1, meaning your ad is the first ad on the page. To improve your Ad Rank, you can increase your bid, improve the quality of your ad, and/or increase the number of ad extensions.
Improving Your Quality Score
You can directly improve your Ad Rank by improving your Quality Score. Here are a few tips how:
- Use high-quality keywords in your ad. A keyword is high-quality if it is a relatively popular search term, is relevant, has a high expected clickthrough rate, and is used to populate your landing page. Each keyword is initially assigned a Quality Score of 6. You want each keyword to improve to 7 to 10, and you want to replace the ones that have lagging scores.
- Use keywords that closely match typical user search queries in preference to broadly matching keywords.
- Consider multiple ads groups with more specific terms, ads and landing pages.
- Clean up your landing page:
- Make sure landing page keywords are consistent with those in the ad & the keywords themselves
- Use consistent landing page meta-keywords – URL, Title, H1
- Ad extensions are a key for improved Quality Scored and clickthroughs. These extensions are a type of ad format displaying additional information about your business. They add visibility and help improve the relevance of clickthroughs. You can add links or set up a phone connection in the extension. Only ads with high Ad Ranks will get ad extensions, and only then when Google determines there’s enough room to fit.
Other factors that affect your Adwords experience include:
- Geographic signals, such as location of the search
- The relative quality of different ads within an ad group
- Use of negative keywords to prevent showing ads that are not relevant to the intent of the user.
As you can see, the use of valuable positive and negative keywords in your ads and landing pages is essential to maximize the value of your ads. Google’s Keyword Planner is a powerful tool for identifying effective keywords.
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Clearly, optimizing your Quality Score and Ad Rank is a complex task that requires time, money and expertise. Should you choose Leading Edge Digital to manage your Adwords campaign, we learn from you what your best prospects are searching for and help you to connect with them. We will design your ads and landing pages for maximum efficiency. We can’t always guarantee Quality Score 10, but we will always strive to achieve it. Contact us today for complete details.