Search marketer’s guide to improving online quality score

Roland Irwin

Roland Irwin
Roland is the general manager of Marin Software Australia. Roland co-founded the Sydney office in 2011 and has helped grow the business since its inception. Roland’s hands-on experience has given him extensive local search industry knowledge and a high-level understanding of global trends. He is passionate about how Marin Software can acquires revenue for advertisers and agencies and loves a yarn about emerging digital trends and Marin’s predictions for the future.

Maintaining a high quality score is important if you want to attract quality traffic and reduce costs. Detailed insights and solutions on how quality scores are calculated is available through software providers, however, if online marketers follow the four strategies below it will help their search campaign be a ‘quality score success story’:

  1. Campaign structure,
  2. keywords and history,
  3. relevant ad copy, and
  4. landing page.

 

Campaign structure

As a search marketer, you should make an effort to truly know the brand you wish to advertise. Knowledge of the brand will give you clear insight on how to create the campaign structure. Therefore, visit the website of your brand and read anything your can get your hands on to learn as much as you can about the business. Once you have concrete knowledge of the brand, you will be able to easily categorise your business into separate components. You can categorise in any way that you choose, as long as it makes sense to the business. Once you have determined and broken down the different categories, you can easily go about creating these into campaigns and ad groups within your search account.

Keywords and history

Once you have a well-organised campaign structure, it is time to start looking for keywords. Many advertisers select keywords after observing the campaign structure and making a ‘best guess’ on what keyword will bring in good traffic. This method is a good way to start, however, only doing this is not an effective way to increase overall quality score for your account. This is because you have no insight on how these best guess keywords have historically performed or will perform in the near future. The engines reward accounts with rich historical data by raising the overall quality score, and this in turn brings cheaper cost per click and stronger volume. Therefore, it is critical that you generate a keyword list with historically high volume keywords. Researching keywords is relatively simple due to the vast number of resources available through search engines. You can easily generate thousands of keywords by simply typing in a best guess keyword or the brand website. You can also check to see if any of the keywords you’re considering have enough historical volume to be qualified for your search account.

It is also important that the keywords you select are consistent and relevant to your ad group. Many advertisers mix a list of unrelated but high volume terms into an ad group, hoping that it will improve performance. This is, however, detrimental to quality score. Make sure that any keywords within an ad group are related and relevant to the actual ad group in which they reside. The trick is to ensure that keywords are both relevant to the structure and to each other.

Relevant ad copy

Relevant ad copy is just as important as having relevant keywords. This is because users respond more positively to ad copy that is relevant to their searched keyword.  Thus if you have an account with relevant ad copy, you will see higher overall click-through rate (CTR) for your account. Relevant keyword/creative combinations attract a high CTR. Engines take high CTR and relevancy, and use it as an important factor for determining quality score.

Creating relevant ad copy is a made much more simple once the campaign structure and keyword lists have been built. You can use these factors as a guide to keep all messaging relevant to your ad group. Simply view the keyword list for any given ad group, and use the keyword list to determine the best theme for the ad copy. The key is to create ad copy as relevant as possible to your original keyword set.

Landing page

Once you have completed building your entire search account, it is time to find the appropriate landing pages. This is where your knowledge of the brand will come to the fore. As you have already visited and learned the website for your brand, you should be able to easily navigate and find relevant micro-pages to use as landing pages. Instead of having every ad default to a generic landing page, it is important to find micro-pages that are closely related to the ad copy and keyword list within an ad group. The engines want to ensure that advertisers are providing the best user experience, thus making sure landing pages are closely relevant to the ad copy. Therefore, for any given ad group, use the keyword and ad copy set to determine the most relevant and closely related landing page. This will help to guarantee a high quality score.