The Quality Score Metrics That Matter

Your Quality Score is the type of tool that will provide you with a huge amount of valuable data that you just won’t find anywhere else. However, it’s always important to understand that NOT every metric you now have in front of you will necessarily be relevant to what you’re trying to accomplish. Improving the overall health and effectiveness of your campaign ultimately requires you to know WHICH Quality Score metrics are the ones that you should be paying attention to and which are ones that have no affect on your overall Quality Score.QS Metrics that matter


Quality Score Metrics That Matter

  • Expected CTR. This is a very straightforward measurement of how likely it is that someone will click on your ad when it is displayed during a search for a particular keyword. This is essentially the “be all, end all” Quality Score metric and one that you should be focused on driving as high as it will go at all times.
  • Ad Relevance. This is a measurement of how closely your particular ad matches what the user was searching for in the first place. This ties directly into your expected CTR rate.
  • Landing Page Experience. This will give you an idea of how “successful” your landing page is in terms of how relevant the content is, how easy the page itself is to use and navigate, transparency and more.

Quality Score Metrics You Should Really Consider

These metrics aren’t necessarily as important as the ones we just listed but are still ones that you should carefully consider anyway.

  • Relevance to User Intentions. This will tell you how likely it is that your ads (and your site in general) will actually help users complete the job that they’re trying to do in the first place. The higher this climbs, the higher your ad quality will climb as a result.
  • Newly Launched Keywords and Performance on Related Keywords. This helps present new keywords from being measured from scratch and instead compares them against historical data relating to similar ads, landing pages and more.

Quality Score Metrics That DO NOT Matter

We’re not saying that these metrics don’t provide you with valuable information. We’re just saying that these metrics, currently available within AdWords and Bing, don’t actually affect your Quality Score in any way that you need to be concerned with.

qs metrics that don't matter

  • User Devices. Whether your users are on an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 6 Plus doesn’t directly affect your Quality Score. However, the larger idea of user devices is closely considered when determining whether or not your website is mobile friendly.
  • Running Your Ads in Other Networks. If you’re using your AdWords account to target Google’s search partners or even the Google Display Network, this ultimately won’t affect the quality of your ads on in any appreciable way.
  • Ad Placement. While it’s true that position does play a big role in CTR, having a high position does NOT guarantee that your ad is going to perform well. Because of this, you really don’t need to go out of your way to bid for higher positions if you’re JUST concerned with increasing your Quality Score.

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How to Improve Quality Score

Your AdWords Quality Score can have a major impact on your entire campaign from the top down – from the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns to the costs and everything in between. A high AdWords Quality Score essentially means that each dollar goes a lot farther to generate the types of exposure and conversion that you’re after. A low score essentially means the opposite – you’re spending more and getting less.Quality Score and CPC

If you feel like your AdWords Quality Score could or needs to be higher, there are a few key steps you should take next.

AdWords Account Structure

One element that can have an immediate impact your overall AdWords Quality Score is the structure of your account. In essence, how effective your keyword group techniques are will play a big role in the performance capabilities of your account, which in turn can positively or negatively affect quality score depending on the situation. Because of this, the importance of guaranteeing that all of your keywords are grouped together as accurately and specifically as possible cannot be overstated enough.

Whenever possible, try to group the core terms for your campaigns based on a root topic or focus – this helps keep things consistent, which only helps with effective account structure creation. Group your core terms based on certain key modifiers and ALWAYS segment your keywords into topic specific groups of related phrases that real users are searching for.

Additionally, a great way to improve your AdWords Quality Score is to try to group your terms with the idea that you’ll be targeting a single page within your site, like a landing page. It helps keep things in perspective.

Landing Page Exp Easy to nav

If you believe that you have a problem in this area, start by going over your existing site content to determine just how “ready” your landing page is to receive customers. Is it related to the topic they were searching for? Does it tie directly into the focus of each ad group?

You should always designate a landing page on an individual ad group basis and, whenever required, create a series of recommendations for additional content creation that can help you service these goals.

Ad Copy and Messaging

Make no mistake about it: without the type of actionable, thought-provoking ad copy that your users are ultimately looking for, even the best keyword list in existence won’t generate the results you’re looking for. Ad copy goes a long way towards setting the experience for the user in terms of your website, which is why things like messaging and language are so important to AdWords Quality Score.

AdWords Effective PPC Ads

Above all else, you should always be focused on the creation of focused, actionable and thought provoking messaging. You should try to incorporate both landing page messaging and ad group focus topics wherever possible to create a seamless experience across the board. Also, focus on the placement of key messaging like promotional text, making sure it’s always located where it will have the most impact.

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Make the Most of Paid Search Bids

We live in an age where Cost-Per-Click (CPC) bidding has never been so forward-thinking. Unfortunately, at the same time, this also means that it’s never been more complicated. The key to CPC optimization always involves picking not the best strategy overall, but the best strategy to help you accomplish your own unique goals. Doing so will not only help get you the results you’re after but will also help you lower your general CPC spend and will stretch the value of each dollar as far as it will go.

Bidding Types

 Manual Cost-Per-Click

Manual CPC bidding gives advertisers complete control over their bids, allowing them to focus on driving click traffic as much as possible. When experimenting with manual CPC bidding, it’s always important to remember that AdWords will automatically take the ad group default bid FIRST, unless you specify a different bid manually at the keyword level.


Automated Cost-Per-Click

Automated CPC bidding is great for the advertiser who wants to focus all of their attention on driving click traffic by giving AdWords control over bids on an individual basis. All you have to do is set your daily budget and AdWords will automatically increase or decrease your bids as needed in relation to your goal. Setting clear goals is imperative to preventing unwanted spend and traffic.


Enhanced Cost-Per-Click

Enhanced CPC bidding is a major benefit to the conversion-focused advertiser. AdWords will automatically adjust your CPC bids to help drive as many conversions as possible based on conversion tracking data. However, conversion tracking MUST be enabled before you can get started with this method.


Cost-Per-Acquisition Bidding

Also commonly known as the “Conversion Optimizer,” CPA bidding adjusts your bids based on a specific cost-per-acquisition that you’re targeting. In order to experiment with this method, you’ll need to have at least 15 conversions in 30 days. The optimizer performance will increase as additional consumer data populates within AdWords. Based on your detailed and unique conversion history, AdWords will essentially “predict” future conversions and apply its own bid adjustments accordingly.

CPA bidding typically gives you two bid types to work with depending on your needs: max CPA (or the maximum amount of money per conversion you’re willing to pay) and target CPA (or the average CPA you’re willing to pay).


Flexible Bid Strategies

If you’re looking for a superior level of customization and flexibility, flexible bid strategies are likely the way to go. These automated bid optimizations can be applied to campaign’s keywords and more and give you additional options that were previously unavailable. There are five key types of flexible bid strategies to concern yourself with:

  • Maximize Clicks. This is essentially a more flexible version of the automated CPC strategy.
  • CPA Bidding. This is a more flexible version of CPA bidding that allows you to target average CPA capacity.
  • Enhanced CPC. This is a modification of an existing enhanced CPA strategy.
  • Search Page Location. This will increase or decrease your bids to target the specific location of your ads – be they on the top of the page or in another first-page position or more. This only works with keywords, ad groups and campaigns targeting a specific search network.
  • Return on Ad Spend. Also called ROAS, this uses historical data to predict future conversions. So long as you have 30 conversions in 30 days, AdWords will automatically try to reach your “Return on Ad Spend” goal across keywords, ad groups and campaigns.

Flexible Bidding Strategies AdWords

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Why Landing Page Experience Matters

An old saying goes “you can only make one first impression, so you’d better make it a good one.” This simple idea is true in nearly all areas of life, but it’s especially true in terms of your landing page. For many, your landing page will be the first experience that they will have with your business and a poorly-designed, unfriendly page is a really efficient way to drive customers right into the arms of competitors.

Your “Landing Page Experience” is a term referring to how Google perceives the type of experience a visitor will have when they get to your page for the first time. This one core idea can affect everything from your Quality Score to your Ad Rank to your advertising costs and more. To say that improving your “Landing Page Experience” is important is something of an understatement.

Landing Page Experience

Tips for Improving Your Landing Page Experience

For starters, you should always be focused on providing useful, relevant and (most importantly) ORIGINAL content on your landing page above all else. Promote transparency whenever possible to help create the idea that your site isn’t just a source of information, but a TRUSTWORTHY one. Always make it as easy as possible for users to navigate your site, especially if they’re visiting it on mobile devices. Finally, go out of your way to do whatever you need to in order to encourage customers to spend as much time on your site as possible.

If You’re Working With Multiple Landing Pages

A sad reality is that many advertisers utilize very few, or sometimes even only one, landing page within a paid search account. Ultimately, this is only limiting the potential of what your campaigns can achieve.

You should always work to utilize multiple, unique landing pages for each keyword theme, but never take the lazy approach. Always focus on unique, relevant content that not only helps create the best possible experience for the searcher, but that also helps them accomplish whatever job they set out to do in the first place.

If you’re working with multiple landing pages and want to improve your “Landing Page Experience,” always keep these factors in mind:

  • Go out of your way to make sure that the content on your landing page is actually relevant to the ad you’re displaying, and vice versa.
  • DO NOT overwhelm your visitors with links. Visitors hate this.
  • Create a solid, logical and strategically-sound site architecture system that will help you accomplish your long-term goals.
  • Make your Calls-to-Action as clear as possible to help direct users to the exact spot you need them in next.
  • Fill your landing pages with high quality, relevant images.
  • Write a powerful heading. Write the type of heading that captures the user’s attention in a way that they’re never quite able to break away from.
  • Brevity is the soul of wit – keep it short and to the point, period.
  • Experiment with things like form length to see how they affect “Landing Page Experience.”
  • Add social buttons and other trust signals to help establish a rapport between you and your users whenever possible.

Landing Page Exp Easy to nav

Finally, always keep in mind that users have a need – a need for speed. Studies show users will flee a site as fast as they can if it takes longer than an average if three seconds to load. If your site follows all of these rules but still takes awhile to get off the ground, you still have a problem you need to solve in any way that you can.

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Three Things to Remember for Maximizing Clicks

In terms of CPC optimization, one of the single best ways to both embrace automation and help you get as many clicks within your desired budget as possible is undoubtedly “Maximize Clicks.” Also called automatic CPC, this gives you the benefit of focusing on driving click traffic while giving AdWords control over the individual CPC bids that you’re making on a daily basis. Once you specify a daily budget, AdWords will automatically adjust your bids on your behalf with a simple goal in mind: driving as many clicks as possible without exceeding the limit you’ve set for yourself.

Maximize Clicks AdWords Setup

Why Maximize Clicks?

One of the great things about this strategy is that you can use it both on a single campaign or for your larger portfolio. Using it on your portfolio extends its benefits to ad groups, keywords multiple strategies and more – helping to make sure that your account is maximizing its performance opportunity whenever possible.

Maximize Clicks Automatic CPC

If you want to set up a “Maximize Clicks” strategy as effectively as possible, you’ll want to keep a few key things in mind.

  1. Always Use Bid Adjustments

Specifying your bid adjustments will allow your bids to increase or decrease automatically based on certain necessary context. Your bids will adjust if your ad is competing to appear on a mobile device, for example, or if you’re targeting a specific location. This gives you a deeper level of control over when and where your ads are appearing in front of end users.

  1. Don’t Forget to Schedule Your Ads

When using “Maximize Clicks,” always be sure to set up custom ad scheduling so that your ads will appear on certain days, or even certain times during those days. Once you’ve done this, you can then use your “Maximize Clicks” strategy within those ranges to stretch its natural power even further. It’s important to note, however, that this requires intervention on your part. If you’re scheduling your ads with campaigns that already have a “Maximize Clicks” bidding strategy in place, those desired bid adjustments won’t instantly apply to your bids. You’ll have to do it yourself.

  1. Always Adjust Your Keyword Bids

As marketers, one of the primary goals that you always have involves increasing efficiency through automation without giving up control. As a result, one of the keys to success in a “Maximize Bids” strategy becomes clear: you should always make an effort to set CPC bids both for individual keywords AND for specific placements. Remember that no two ads will operate in quite the same way. They’re all going to be influenced by a number of factors like the keyword itself, the intent of the end user and more.

Adjusting your keyword bids gives you a deeper level of control over this process, while still allowing you to leverage the power of an automated “Maximize Clicks” campaign to your advantage. In essence, it really does give you something of a “best of both worlds” approach to getting as many clicks as possible without spending more money than you’re comfortable with to do it.


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