Understanding Ad Ranking and Quality Score

What you need to know to climb the ranks in a Google search

 

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If your Google AdWords account isn’t giving you the results you want, chances are it has to do with your Ad Rank and Quality Score.

Understanding Ad Rank with AdWords can make or break your campaign. You need to understand how ‘quality score’ and ‘cost per click’ work together in order to rank your business higher than your competition. Luckily, there is an equation that breaks this down:

Quality Score x Bid Amount (CPC) = Ad Rank

Let’s dig deeper into what all this means.

 

QUALITY SCORE

Google determines a quality score for each keyword by measuring the relevance, performance and overall quality of your ads. If you have a high quality score, you are able to pay less for your keyword bid and still receive a high ad ranking. For instance, a business with a quality score of 1 who spends $8 on their ad campaign will rank lower than a business with a quality score of 10 who spends $2 on their campaign. Sound appealing?

There are several ways to boost your quality score, such as keyword use, ad relevance to your landing page, click through rate of your ad, and performance history.

 

KEYWORDS

Choose keywords that are most related to your ad (the product or service you are selling). Take a look at your own web analytics to see what people are using to find your site; what are your hot words? This will help cultivate an ad that gets the message across clearly to perspective customers about what you are advertising. If you are promoting a law firm, you would want to include ‘lawyer’ as one of your keywords, but honing that in more to describe what type of lawyer (i.e., ‘divorce lawyer’) will help your keyword success and your overall quality score.

 

RELEVANCE

One of the most important things to keep in mind while creating your AdWords campaign is relevance. Your ad should have a clear purpose; are you having a sale on potted plants at your garden store? Are you running a special on graduation balloons? These are specific items that you are advertising, so your ad should reflect that. It is vital to ensure that your landing page is relevant to the ad itself (when clicked on, where does the ad take you?)

 

CLICK THROUGH RATES

Click through rates (CTR) are the most important aspect of your quality score. It’s simple: more clicks on your ad will increase your quality score. But how do you get more clicks? The best way to discover what works is through trial and error. Experiment with different ad campaigns to decide what elicits clicks, and what doesn’t. It is important to remember that, while you are want to boost your clicks, the relevance of your ad to it’s landing page is still a factor – so don’t try to dupe searchers into clicking on your ad. Keep your keywords to a minimum and make them as on-task as possible.

 

PERFORMANCE HISTORY

Your performance history matters for your quality score. Similar to a credit score, your past performance will help determine if you have a high score or not. Along with the factors listed above, if your ad has worked well in the past Google will take it into account when generating your quality score. The longer your ad performs well, the higher your quality score will go. It can seem unfair when you are starting out (we’ve all been there with our credit score, right?), but the best way to deal with this aspect of quality score is to make a great ad campaign. It is in the present that you are building your performance history, which will ultimately factor into your quality score. So, make it count.

 

IN SUMMARY

When creating your first ad campaign, make sure to incorporate keywords into the title of your ad that are highly relevant and focused, and experiment with ads to find what works. Don’t be fooled into spending too much on your ad campaign, or using irrelevant keywords to get attention. This will only hurt your quality score and waste money.

Ad ranking may seem like a mountain to climb at first, but follow these tips and you’ll find yourself at the top in no time. Focusing on boosting your quality score (instead of spending more on your campaign) will help put you at the top of the search. What are you waiting for?

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