Google Adwords Quality Score: Improve Quality Score, Improve ROI

Quality Score is a grade applied to your paid search advertising campaigns by the search engines. The higher your grade, the less you're charged and the more prevalent your ads are in the sponsored links.

It's already probably pretty obvious to you that if you're going to run any kind of pay-per-click marketing campaigns, this is going to be a vitally important metric.

AdWords Quality Score optimization offers two core benefits:

  • Lower Costs - By creating Quality Score friendly ad campaigns, you are driving down your costs by allowing search engines to create lower minimum bids and first page bid for your account.
  • Better Exposure for Less Money - Google determines ad position based on your maximum CPC bid and your Quality Score. Additionally, how much (or more accurately, how little) you pay for a given ad position is determined by your maximum bid in combination with your Quality Score.

It's important to remember that Quality Score is self-reinforcing. Quality score is determined by a combination of factors:

Google created the following handy graphic regarding Quality Score:

Google Explains Quality Score in this graphic.

These things are all closely related:

  • Tight keyword groupings make creating relevant (and compelling) ad text easier (your group-wide ad can only be relevant to an entire Ad Group if your group is very closely related)...
  • Compelling and relevant ad text means higher click through rates (if you speak to what people are searching for, they're more likely to click your ad)...
  • Creating these groupings at the outset and then building iterative campaigns offers you strong historical account performance and compounding pricing and positioning benefits.

how to increase quality score with WordStream

WordStream helps to create Quality Score friendly Ad Groups with three core tool-sets:

By providing you with a means of generating extensive and targeted keyword lists, creating intelligent keyword groupings by relevance, and writing effective ad text, WordStream offers you a full-featured Quality Score solution.

Let's take a closer look at how it works...

improving quality score through keyword research

At first blush, keyword research doesn't seem to have much to do with Quality Score. But in reality a few facts link the two:

  • Quality Score takes relevance into account.
  • Relevance in your keyword grouping makes it easy to write compelling (click-worthy) ads which will speak to all of the terms within an Ad Group.
  • It is difficult to identify numerous traffic-driving keywords that are semantically related (and subsequently, candidates to be grouped).

The problem is that it is difficult to identify and then group numerous closely related keywords that actually drive traffic.

Often, ad campaigns are comprised of a handful of loosely related keywords that Google and other search engines don't consider highly "relevant" to each other.

This is where WordStream's keyword research tools help to improve Quality Score. The application offers search-focused Web analytics which generate massive (yet relevant) keyword databases.

First, you install a line of JavaScript code on the footer of your website pages. Then, the application defaults your keyword settings to "broad match":

Broad matching terms and tracking the traffic brought in by those terms presents an excellent opportunity to raise Quality Score.

This means that AdWords and the other search engines will match your keyword on terms they deem relevant. What this does is afford you the opportunity to create more extensive, better targeted keyword lists. For instance, you might start with a keyword list like:

Creating a closely related keyword list is crucial to high quality score.

By broad matching on these terms, WordStream's Keyword Generator will eventually broaden your keyword database to include terms that have been broad matched against waste management services. Through these new keyword suggestions, you will build an ever-growing repository of keywords to begin segmenting and targeting in your ads.

Here we can see the suggestions offered to us by WordStream for potential keyword group segmentation.

quickly and easily segment keywords into targeted groups to increase your quality score

As WordStream continues to suggest keywords, we are able to build a strong database of long-tail keywords that will provide targeted traffic with the highest ROI.

ad text quality score

Ad text is written at the Ad Group level. For this reason, intelligently designed Ad Groups are crucial: writing ad text that will effectively speak to an entire group of key phrases is difficult unless the keywords are carefully segmented.

You can create a text ad right from your main keyword view in WordStream:

Create text ad groups for Google AdWords with WordStream

Since WordStream's keyword research and grouping tools assist in creating traffic driving keyword groupings, the chore of messaging to an entire group of keywords with a single (or a few variations of a single) text ad becomes infinitely easier:

WordStream suggests ad text for quality score, offering you suggested text for your PPC ads.

Here we see WordStream's ad text tools at work. The application has pulled data from this customer's WordStream database. The software then suggests the most appropriate words to include in ad text creation for a text ad that search engines will deem Quality Score friendly.

You should always modify the WordStream suggestions. This waste management mogul should now spend a few minutes editing the suggested ad text to make the ad more compelling:

Create more compelling ad text to increase click through rate and Quality Score.

Note how this modified version carries over some of the suggested, Quality Score friendly phrasing while including:

  • A call to action
  • Proper syntax
  • Attractive punctuation

(For a more in-depth list of best-practices in authoring ad text please see our Ad Text and Landing Page Guide.)

This ad is now very likely to be clicked on and is also likely to beget conversions.

the most important factor in improving quality score

While there are several factors that go into creating a desirable Quality Score and driving down ad costs, the most important and most prevalent of these requisite tasks is the creation of effective (related) Keyword Groups.

Keyword grouping plays a major role in each of the factors considered in the Quality Score algorithms:

  • Click-through rate - Creating closely related groupings creates an opportunity for you to write ad text that is compelling to all of the searches within your Ad Group. Compelling ads get clicked on.
  • Relevance of a keyword to its Ad Group - This one's pretty straight forward: creating semantically related groupings helps to increase Quality Score.
  • Landing page quality - Creating tight keyword groupings makes it very easy to author optimized landing page text that speaks directly to that entire group of keywords.
  • Relevance of your ad text - Here, too, having closely-knit Ad Groups enables you to write ad text that is relevant to each of your grouped terms.
  • Historical account performance - This is where a keyword tool that automate the process of grouping keywords and integrating new, relevant key terms into existing groups can ensure that your account is perpetually gaining Quality Score steam.

WordStream provides highly sophisticated grouping instruments which dynamically help you to manage numerous keyword groups and hundreds, thousands, or even millions of meta keywords.

WordStream's research and actalytics tools create a keyword database for your personal WordStream account.

You can then easily manipulate this database, creating numerous intelligently segmented keyword groups in a matter of minutes.

Segment your keywords into even more specific groups.

Now, instead of a vague "waste management" grouping, we have:

  • More specific groups with more targeted traffic.
  • Groups which will become even more closely segmented over time (as more and more specific keyword variations are recorded by WordStream, the keywords may attract enough search volume and a high enough number of variations to warrant their own, highly-specific Ad Group).

You can view your segmented keyword groups easily in a group tree on the left-hand side of your WordStream Explorer window:

view your full group taxonomy in WordStream quickly and easily

Obviously, this process is iterative and continuous, meaning that you are creating more and more Quality Score friendly Keyword Groups as time progresses and you utilize WordStream. You'll be adding value at every level, right down to individual keyword Quality Score.

If you query a keyword in your WordStream database, you can go even further. WordStream also offers:

  • Automated Grouping Tools - This functionality means that as the software's keyword suggestion tool develops the above mentioned keyword suggestions, it also funnels them into the Keyword Groups you've already created.
  • Grouping Suggestion Tools - WordStream also offers workflow prioritization tools which help you to determine which keywords to group.

The software orders your suggestion by importance (the number of people reaching your site) and group size (bigger potential groups mean a better opportunity to write one message to several queries).

Think about the advantage in being able to craft ad text for each more specific segmentation:

  • We can use suggested words somewhere in our ad text now, making the ad more compelling to people searching for this term.
  • We can create ad text that speaks directly to a more specific sort of service.

This sort of highly specific long tail keyword grouping and messaging only becomes a realistic possibility with the use of automation and workflow suggestions.

raise your quality score today

So if you're interested in raising your Quality Score, driving down costs, and increasing your productivity, you can:

Learn more about Quality Score on our Twitter Quality Score Page.