Quality Scores – What’s Secretly Killing Your PPC
Your Pay Per Click campaign may be doomed. You have all the right keywords, great ads, and perfect landing pages, but it’s still doomed. You’re missing the vital third element in the battle against your competitors and against Google itself. Ad quality scores the vital third element of the PPC fight, alongside campaign setup and landing page design.
Ultimately, even your well-designed campaign with conversion-friendly landing pages will falter if you haven’t optimized for ad quality. Optimizing for ad quality score, which one of our clients describes as “SEO for Pay Per Click,” is not simple or quick, but it is essential.
What Are Ad Quality Scores?
Ad quality scores are a bizarre prediction of the effectiveness of an entire Google search to landing page PPC experience which will never happen and uses a gestalt, “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” view. Google says that quality score “measures how relevant your keyword is to your ad group and to a user’s search query.” It’s Google’s way of grading ads so it can serve the most relevant ads with each and every search. This maximizes clicks and boosts Google’s PPC income.
Why Quality Score Matters
Quality score determines two things: how much your ads cost and whether your ads are shown at all. Every time Adwords displays ads, each ad position is determined by an automated auction that considers the maximum each bidder is willing to pay multiplied by the quality score. That means an ad with a quality score of 8 can get displayed in the same ad slot for 1/4 of the price of an ad with a quality score of 2. For the same ad spend, it can buy four times the number of clicks, which ultimately means four times the conversions.
A high quality score will also decrease the minimum bid required by Google, which will lower your overall average CPC, particularly with low-competition keywords. Not only that, but quality score determines whether your ad will show at all. If Google judges your quality score to be too low, it won’t even consider showing your ad, crippling your impressions and starving your campaigns of clicks.
Which first page bid do you want?
Why Quality Score Optimization Isn’t Easy
Quality score optimization is difficult because it’s a detailed, time-consuming process that has to be reiterated to work properly. You can have excellent ad group structure, keywords, ads, and landing pages, that unfortunately combine to form a poor campaign. All of these must be tied together with several optimization run-throughs to run a truly successful PPC campaign.