Google AdWords, also known as PPC ads, are one of the most successful methods in paid marketing. When you search for a term on Google, you’ll see 3 or 4 of these advertisements marked as “Ad” at the top of the search results pages, above the maps listings. With Google Adwords’ powerful targeting features, businesses can make sure the right people see their ads at the right time. With options to adjust targeting criteria and tailor messaging, it’s a very effective method for reaching potential customers who are actively looking for the products and services your business offers.


In addition to this amazing ability for targeting, PPC campaigns also provide real-time results with nearly immediate feedback on how well they are performing. By being able to track cost per click (CPC), conversion rates, and other important metrics, you are better able to refine your messaging in order to maximize its effectiveness, while staying within your desired budget. When used strategically, Google Adwords is an incredibly powerful tool that can generate high-quality leads that convert into paying customers.


What Is A Quality Score In Google Adwords? 


what is a quality score in google adwords


A Google Adwords quality score is a score determined by an algorithm which rates the criteria and relevancy of a paid ad. It’s a way for Google to measure how useful the keywords, landing pages, and overall ads are for delivering the information that users are searching for. 


Google’s number one priority is always their customers, which are the users that are searching for information on their platform. Let’s say a user is on Google searching for “emergency plumbing services”. They click on your ad which is targeting the keyword “emergency plumbing services”, and it takes them to the homepage of your website. On the homepage of your website, all they find is general information about your company, how long you’ve been in business, etc. But nowhere on that page do they see how to contact you for emergency services. In a matter of seconds this user will click off of your website and likely click on one of your competitor’s ads. This tells Google that your ad did not provide the information the user was looking for. This type of interaction hurts your quality score. 


What should have happened is the user clicked on your ad and was taken to a landing page that had the words “emergency plumbing services” in big bold letters, with a phone number to call and/or a click-to-call button. This would have immediately provided the user with exactly what they were looking for, and they would have called the number and stopped their search. This type of interaction would let Google know that your ad did provide relevant information and in turn would enhance your quality score. 


This is why higher quality scores mean more favorable ad positioning at lower costs per click. Poorly performing ads receive lower scores, which result in either higher costs being charged or your ad not being shown. Now that you understand what the Google Adwords quality score is, let’s take a closer look at how the score is determined, as well as what you can do to improve it. 


Google Quality Score Formula


As we mentioned, Google uses an algorithm to determine ad quality scores. This algorithm is complicated and continually changing, but it does abide by a basic formula that looks like this: 


Maximum Bid Amount (for a keyword) X Your Quality Score = Ad Rank 


The ad rank is where your ad appears in the search results page for each keyword that you’re targeting. One of the benefits of Google Adwords is you only have to pay when users click on your ad. 


When your ad is selected by a user, the cost you pay is determined by dividing the rank of the advertisement below you by your quality score, plus a penny. At first glance this may appear a little confusing, but the good news is these scores can be broken down into ranking factors, each of which you have the ability to improve, and ultimately enhance your overall score. 


How To Improve The Quality Score On Google Adwords


how to improve the quality score on google adwords


When it comes to Google Adwords, there are 7 ranking factors that Google takes into consideration. 


The 7 Google Ads Quality Score Factors: 


  1. Account Level
  2. Ad Group
  3. Keyword Level
  4. Ad Level
  5. Landing Page
  6. Display Network
  7. Mobile 


These are the 7 categories that make up a properly designed and managed PPC campaign. Each of these components are detailed and beyond the scope of this article, so before you begin running your own PPC campaigns, it is advisable to research these factors. There are many online sources and books that go into depth on this topic. Or the alternative is hiring an experienced agency to run and manage your campaigns for you. 


However, don’t stop reading because we are going to provide you with a few key ways to develop a successful PPC ad and as a result, improve your quality score. 


Competitive Research 


competitive research


First things first, take a look at and study what your competitors are doing with their Google Ads. What headlines are they using on their ads? Headlines can make or break an ad. Using your company name as the headline or platitudes like “best roofing company” are not sufficient. Get creative and come up with headlines that will stand out from the crowd and catch your target audience’s attention. 


Identify Differentiating Characteristics


competitive advantage


Standing out from the crowd applies to your ad copy as well. When studying your competitors, identify characteristics that differentiate your company from theirs. What can you share in your ad copy that will convince searchers they should choose your company over your competitors’? What makes your products or services superior? What do you have that the other companies do not? This can be years of experience, awards, anything that will catch a reader’s eye and entice them to click. 


Include A Call To Action


call to action


No ad is complete without a call to action (CTA). Consider stepping up your CTAs from the basic “Learn More” or “Call Us Now”, to something that offers value. For example, if you are a law office, your call to action might be “Free Evaluation Of Your Case” — this will be much more likely to convince a searcher to click rather than “Contact Us”. 


Use Ad Extensions


ad extensions


Ad extensions are a way to increase the size of your ad, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra to do so. There are several different types of extensions, which include:


  • Call Extensions
  • Sitelink Extensions
  • Location Extensions
  • Offer Extensions
  • Application Extensions (these are for people that are searching on a mobile phone or tablet) 


Track Your Metrics


track ad campaign metrics


A great thing about PPC ads is they deliver almost immediate feedback on how they’re performing. Your metrics are your feedback. As soon as your ad gets a few impressions you can begin evaluating its performance. It’s very important to test different ad copy to see what’s resonating with your audience. Don’t assume you know what will work and what won’t. Oftentimes, it’s completely different than what you’d think. There’s no way to know until you test and let the searchers inform you. 


Developing Landing Pages 


landing pages


One of the biggest mistakes businesses make with PPC ads is sending searchers directly to the homepage of their website. The problem with this is that generally the homepage of your website is not going to be relevant to what the searcher is specifically looking for. This goes back to our plumbing example where someone is searching for “emergency plumbing services” but your website homepage is only providing them with an introduction to your company. 


What you need is a landing page that is speaking to the specific need that the searcher is looking for. A good landing page addresses the question that the searcher is asking. We refer to this as “One Decision Marketing”. It’s helping a prospect make the one decision that is relevant to them at that time. 


Does this mean that you need a different landing page for every ad you’re running? Not necessarily. But you do need a landing page for each service or product that you’re offering. 


Outsource PPC Campaigns Or DIY?  


There’s no denying that running multiple PPC campaigns and ad groups takes time and requires specialized knowledge. Can you do it yourself? With proper research and a time investment, you can. But for many businesses, this isn’t feasible and it makes more sense to outsource this task. 


The important thing when outsourcing is to do your research before hiring just any PPC ad agency. Ask questions: Do they have a track record of success with Google Adwords? Will they provide monthly reports that you can actually understand? Will they be analyzing ad results for your specific company or will they be grouping you in with other similar companies that they’re running PPC campaigns for? 


At The Alchemy Consulting Group, we’ve managed more than $10 million in PPC campaign ad spend. We’re experts in keyword identification with high converting returns on investment. We’ll be happy to share our own Adwords case studies across a variety of industries. Contact us today by calling 877-978-2110 or schedule a call at a time that works for you:

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