I receive a lot of questions and complaints about the infamous Google AdWords Quality Score. Even if you’ve never advertised in AdWords, chances are pretty good that you’ve heard of the quality score.
It’s essentially Google’s measure of the quality of your ad campaign on a scale from 1 – 10. This little score can have a huge impact because Google uses it to determine where your ads will rank versus your competitors, and how much you’ll end up paying for those ads. A low quality score means your ad will be be ranked lower and you’ll pay more than your competitors. A high quality score means your ad will be ranked higher and you’ll pay less.
There’s a lot of confusion and frustration surrounding the Quality Score and I don’t talk to many people who like it very much. But I actually love it.
So in this article I’m going to go against the grain. I hope by the end I’ll convince you that Google’s Quality Score is really your best friend, and you should use the Quality Score best practices to set up and optimize any marketing channel.
Every Marketing Channel Has a Quality Score
If you think about it, every marketing channel has a quality score. It’s just not visible in your reports and it’s not used in the ad ranking algorithm like in Google AdWords. But it’s still there and it affects your ad performance just the same.
For example, what happens if you write generic ads that don’t resonate with your prospects? Well you won’t get too much traffic, which means you won’t get too many sales, which means you won’t be able to afford to reinvest as much in the ad campaign, which means your ads will lose out to your competitors. In other words, low quality ads inevitably lead to lower ad rank because you won’t be generating as many sales as your competitors.
Let’s look at one more example. Now let’s say you have a compelling ad that tons of prospects are clicking on, but your website is a bit disorganized and hard to navigate. Again, you’re not going to generate many sales, which means you won’t be able to reinvest in the ad campaign, which means your competitors will eventually out-bid you. Same result as before with the poorly written ads.
So even though other channels do not have a formal quality score, the results will tend to be the same. If you’re not following best practices, then you’ll eventually lose out to your competitors.
3 Quality Score Best Practices to Improve All of Your Marketing
The Google AdWords Quality Score can be broken down into 3 key areas:
- Ad Relevance
- Ad click through rate
- Landing page experience
And you can use each of these best practices for ALL of your marketing channels (not just Google AdWords).
1. Ad Relevance
This is basic marketing 101, which is to match your message to the market. In an AdWords search campaign, that means to use the keyword you’re targeting in the ad copy. If you’re advertising on the keyword “couples massage” then your ad should probably mention “couples massage” so that you’re matching the market. Pretty simple right?
Now take a look at some of your other marketing campaigns like SEO, email, and social media. What is your Ad Relevance score? Is your message hitting the market’s need?
2. Ad Click Through Rate
The ad click through rate, or CTR, is the measure of how many times your ad is clicked compared to how many times your prospects saw the ad. For example, if your ad was displayed 100 times and 2 people clicked on it, then you would have a 2% CTR.
As you can see, CTR is simply a measure of how well your ad copy and offer resonates with your prospects. A low CTR tells you your prospects do not like your ad copy and offer. Don’t take it personally and don’t throw in the towel. To be successful you’re going to have to test a lot of different ads and offers in order to find the best combinations. Use CTR as one of your measuring sticks to improve your campaign performance.
3. Landing Page Experience
Finally, one of the most important elements of a successful marketing campaign is congruence. By that I mean a congruent message from the ad copy to the landing page, all the way through to the sale. More recently, this also means a congruent message across devices like tablets, mobile devices, and computers. If you do not have a congruent message, then your prospects will likely jump out of the sales path before making a purchase.
The other two factors in your landing page quality score are transparency and easy navigation. These should really go without saying. Every business needs to be as transparent as possible online. Everyone (including myself) is hesitant to make online purchases for fear of getting ripped off. So anything you can do to ease that fear, the better. And if you don’t make it easy for prospects to navigate your website, then how do you expect them to contact you or complete a purchase?
So did I convince you that the Google AdWords Quality Score is really your best friend to improve all of your marketing?