If you’ve ever taken a road trip, you essentially have two options: the most direct way and the scenic route. Now, no matter what your preference may be, they each have one thing in common; the destination. Advertising and marketing are very similar. Of course on our hypothetical road trip, the scenic route may offer better views and different experiences, but it also costs more in terms of time and fuel, and we eventually (hopefully) end up in the same place. Taking the “scenic route” with your ad dollars can be an expensive mistake. Avoiding unnecessary elements that consume time and money is crucial for an effective campaign that provides an ROI.
When it comes to Google AdWords it can be easy to get overwhelmed by ensuring you meet all of the “best practices”. But just like stopping off to see the world’s 3rd largest ball of yarn can delay you from reaching your destination; spending resources on things that don’t impact your ad’s quality score can delay, if not derail you from reaching your campaign’s goal. As the fuel in your car moves you down the road, the fuel of your AdWords campaign is your “quality score”. Quality score is a rating used by Google to determine the quality of your ad based on its relevancy to the user’s search query. On a scale of 1-10, the higher your quality score, the less you will pay to have your ad placed in an enhanced position. The motivation behind the quality score is to provide users with the best experience possible by presenting them with the best possible ad for their needs. But when it comes to establishing your ad’s quality score, what matters and what doesn’t?
Realizing what practices and strategies influence your quality score gives you the ability to take the most direct route to your destination, and avoid the scenic route of working on things that don’t matter.
Does a searcher’s device affect your quality score?
Absolutely. Whether they are searching on a laptop, desktop, or tablet, and especially if they are searching on mobile, how your ad’s landing page is optimized will play a big role in determining your quality score. You can specifically target mobile users with mobile-friendly ads and your landing pages should also be mobile-friendly with a responsive design. This is a direct reflection on what Google perceives the user experience to be should they be shown your ad.
Does your ad’s relevance to a searcher’s intent matter?
Without a doubt. If only one thing mattered, this would be it. Ads and websites that help users gather the information they are seeking and provide easy and clear navigation along with other elements yield higher quality scores. The content of your ad, as well as the content of your landing page should strive to deliver this. By simply providing what your audience is seeking (answering their question) versus attempting to manipulate your score will result in much better results.
Does it matter how you structure your account?
Not at all. The way you structure your account (i.e. campaign names, ad group organization, etc.) is all part of the internal AdWords interface. Essentially if the action doesn’t affect user experience, it doesn’t affect your quality score. So organize your account however you are most comfortable and in the way that works best for you.
Will running your ads in other networks impact quality score?
Nope. No matter what network (or networks) you decide to utilize, your quality score will be unaffected. However by reviewing your performance analytics you can identify the best placements and keywords for your ad. While this still won’t directly influence your score, it can provide other benefits.
Will your ad’s placement on a page influence your quality score?
No it will not. In theory having the highest placement sound great, but it actually doesn’t do anything to your quality score. Increasing your bids to achieve a higher position won’t change how Google thinks of your ad in terms of their users.
Now that we know what is essential, and more importantly, what isn’t, we can focus on improving the quality score of each ad, and in turn lowering CPC and increasing CTR, and eventually ROI. BlinkJar Media is a Google Partner that designs, creates, and manages pay-per-click campaigns for businesses and organizations.