Most business owners and Internet marketers are already at least somewhat familiar with the concept of the Google AdWords Quality Score. It basically amounts to a numerical evaluation of how relevant and effective your pay-per-click ads are, which in turn affects how often they are shown and the prices you need to pay to maintain a certain ad position.
The basic idea is that, when your Quality Scores are high, Google will allow you to bid very little for a prime advertising position; with low Quality Scores, though, you'll pay through the teeth to even show up for your most important keywords (because your Quality Scores vary from one keyword to the next, the best way to check them is by logging in to your AdWords account).
The net of all of this is that it's impossible to run an efficient and effective paid search campaign with low Quality Scores. Getting clicks and conversions will just cost too much, especially if you want to maintain a high bid position.
So, what can you do when Google's Quality Score evaluation process treats you like a Russian gymnastics judge at the Olympics and marks you with a lower number than you expected?
The first step is to understand where your score actually comes from. Here are a few of the ingredients that are known to be important:
Click-through rate. Google runs ads to make money, but also to help searchers find what they're looking for. Running ads with lots of click-throughs helps them do both, since it's a sign that searchers find the offer to be relevant.
Content on your site. If relevance didn't matter, people would simply choose the keywords and search phrases with the highest traffic and put unrelated ads with them. That would lead to a lower-quality experience for end users, so Google evaluates the content on your site to make sure it matches up with your keywords and ad copy.
How focused your campaigns and groups are. Google likes to see campaigns and ad groups that are tightly focused. If you have too many keywords stuffed together, your Quality Score will suffer.
Account history. Google factors your account history (and even other accounts for the same keyword or search term) into your Quality Score, so it pays to be an excellent advertiser over time.
There are other things that factor in, but these are the most important and easiest to change. So, if you find your Quality Scores are suffering, your best course of action is to first reevaluate your ad groups and keyword combinations, and then start testing new versions of your ads to increase your click-through rates.
The important takeaway here is that bad Quality Scores can be overcome, but it's always going to be easier – and less expensive – the sooner you start.
Need help getting your AdWords account in order? Let the team at WebRevelation help.