Pay Per Click Advertising | Evolve Digital Labs

Pay per click advertising (PPC) is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites in which an advertiser pays a publisher when the ad is clicked.

New Keywords and Quality Score

What Matters When it Comes to AdWords Quality Score?

In terms of Google AdWords, one of the most important numbers to always keep a watchful eye on is your Quality Score. This is a number on a scale of one to ten that is essentially an estimate of how relevant the content of your ads and landing pages are when compared to the keywords users are searching for.


How Quality Score and Ad Rank are Calculated

Google’s Quality Score formula, (Expected Clickthrough Rate X Ad Relevance X Landing Page Experience) which itself is ultimately used to calculate ad rank,  is determined by whether or not users are actually finding what they’re looking for in your ads and on your landing pages.


Google AdWords assesses expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, landing page experience, giving each  a status of above average, average, or below average.

Quality score information




The benefits of a high-Quality Score are many. Not only does it mean that your content will rank higher on Google, but your display ads will pay more per click as a result. To say that your Quality Score is important, in that sense, is something of an understatement.
As a result, the answer to the question “What is a good Quality Score?” is simple – “The highest one you can get.” 10 out of 10 is obviously ideal, but anything in the 8 to 10 range should be able to help you get the results that you’re after. Your ROI will start to diminish with each point you drop beyond that.

Tips for Improving Quality Score and Overall Performance

Though the precise way that Google’s Quality Score is calculated is kept secret to avoid people gaming the system, there are a number of steps that you can take to start improving it today.

QS Diagnosis Suggested Action

Get more information on how to check quality score.

If ad relevance needs improvement strive to make your ads more direct or more closely related to search queries. Answer questions potential customers might have about your products or services right on your landing page.

  • Segment Ad Groups – Create more targeted creative
  • Connect Media with the User’s Intent
  • Integrate Negative Keywords into Account Structure

To improve CTR create more compelling ad text. Expected click through rate hinges on ad messaging and creative that inspires action on the page you’re driving traffic to. Don’t always use the same call to action, experiment with CTA messaging. Make sure to highlight unique benefits and products offered.

  • Create Compelling Ad Text
  • Inspire Action on Landing Pages
  • Experiment with CTA Messaging

If landing page experience is below average —

Go through your landing pages and make sure that you’re not only using your target keywords, but also related keywords to increase relevancy.  However, it’s important to not litter a page with keywords. Google search engines focus on the overall user experience. Landing pages must deliver on the promise in the ad, make sure users can follow through on the call to action.

  • Increase Keyword Relevancy
  • Deliver on Promise From Ad
  • Push Call to Action
  • Optimize for Mobile Experience


Pull out all the stops to make sure that people are staying on your pages for as long as possible. Google uses the amount of time someone spends on your page as a factor in determining Quality Score. Logic dictates if a person clicks on an ad and doesn’t flee a landing page right away, that content must be high-quality. Add elements like videos, testimonials, downloadable PDFs, pictures and more. Make sure that you’re always updating with relevant content to make that important impression on your visitors. Also setting up appropriate Google analytics tracking will help determine where searchers are converting into customers, or why a sales funnel is not delivering.

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How Does Quality Score Impact Ad Rank?

Quality score is defined as Google’s overall rating of the relevance and quality of your PPC ads and the keywords used when creating them.

How is Quality Score Determined

Quality score is rated between 1 and 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the best possible quality. It is an estimate of the quality of your ads and the landing pages that are triggered by the keywords used in AdWords Ad campaigns.


How to Find your Quality Score

Your ad’s quality score can be found by running a keyword diagnosis or enabling the Qual. Score column in your account, and both options are  easy to do.

Running a Keyword Diagnosis:

  • Click the ‘Campaigns’ tab on top of your account page. 
  • Choose the ‘Keywords’ tab.
  • Click the white speech bubble icon that is next to any of your keywords and you will be able to see what its quality score is. You will be able to find the rating for your expected clickthrough rates, landing page experiences and ad relevance here as well.

Enabling the Qual. Score Column:

Click on ‘Campaigns’ in the top tab and select the ‘Keywords’ tab that appears.

Look for the Qual. Score column – you will find it in the statistics table. If you can’t see it there, you can add it in a few simple steps:

  •       Click the ‘Columns’ drop down menu that you will find in the toolbar above the statistics table.
  •       Click on ‘Modify Columns.’
  •       Select ‘Attributes.’
  •       Click on ‘Add’ next to where it says ‘Qual. Score’
  •       Click on ‘Save’ afterwards.

Qual Score Column Explainer2

How Quality Score Component Impacts Ad Rank

So how does quality score impact Ad Rank? Each time an internet user performs a search which triggers an ad that is competing in the AdWords  auction, Google calculates an Ad Rank. (Bid x Quality Score x Extensions)

The calculation that is performed will incorporate ad relevance; a site’s overall landing page experience, the bid you have placed and the auction-time measurements of the expected Click through Rate (CTR).

Improving the factors mentioned below will help you improve the quality components of your ad rank:

  • Targeted Devices: Have your ads been performing equally well across desktop, laptop and mobile devices and platforms?
  • Quality of your Landing Page: Is this easy to navigate and is it relevant and/or transparent?
  • Expected CTR of your ad: This will be based on your ad’s historical impressions and clicks.
  • Your display URL’s past CTR: This involves the historical clicks and impressions that have been received by your display URL.
  • Geographic Performance: If you are targeting specific regions with your ad, how successful has your campaign been overall?
  • Search and Ad Relevance: Is your ad’s text relevant to what a site visitor is searching for?

Higher quality ads will normally result in lower campaign costs and they will be placed in better positions than those of a poorer quality.

Rank & File

AdWords campaigns work best when ads are relevant and they are as close a match as possible to what site visitors are looking for. Ads that are relevant will be far more successful than those that aren’t. So what’s relevant? Check out the Evolve Digital Labs AdWords Grader today, to get a better understanding of your keyword relevancy, and overall AdWords performance.

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Editing Landing Page URLs

Many advertisers make the mistake of sending traffic to their homepage even though more specific and qualified content exists on site. To achieve your ad campaign goals sending customers to specific landing pages within your site is the best solution.

Using AdWords to make changes to the landing page and destination URLs for your ad copy is simple, and can make a huge difference in the success of campaigns.

AdWords offers several ways to do this using both the desktop tool or the web interface. Please note that when you modify a display or destination URL the quality score of all keywords will reset.

Edit Destination URLs Individually

Option One – Edit destination URLs individually, using the AdWords interface. This is simply a choice when creating or editing an ad. (Follow similar steps to edit Display URLs)

Editing Landing Page URLs AdWords

Follow these steps to edit URLs one at a time.

  • Choose the “campaigns” tab.
  • Select the “Ads” tab.
  • Click on the specific “Ad text” you need to adjust
  • Modify the URL.
  • Save.


Edit Destination URLs in Bulk

Option Two– Edit destination URLs in bulk within the AdWords interface. You do this by selecting all the ads you want to modify, clicking the edit tab and then making the changes.

Here’s a step-by-step on how to edit the display URLs or landing page URLs for multiple ads at once:

  • Choose the “Campaigns tab.
  • Click the“Ads tab.
  • Check the box next to any ads you want to edit. You can also select all ads by checking the box in the menu bar.
  • Click “Edit, then choose “Change text ads
  • In the window that appears, you can find and replace, add, set or change the case of your landing page URLs.
  • Make sure to save.

Editing URLs in Bulk AdWords

Option Three – Using the AdWords Editor desktop tool, you can edit both individually and in bulk. This is the recommended method since you can check all changes before you upload them into AdWords.

It’s important to keep in mind whichever editing method you use, the quality score of keywords within the ad group will reset when you modify the URL. Resetting the Quality Score will temporarily decrease traffic volume. We suggest managers increase Avg. CPCs to maintain your desired position. The duration is not finite and varies greatly based on available traffic and quality of your account.

Destination URL for Tracking

AdWords itself offers extensive data for you to optimize your campaign. However, if you use a remote system to analyze traffic and clicks, you want to ensure your URL has proper tracking in place.

URL Options for Tracking

There are three main sections of the URL options tab, which will give you further control over your account, including ways to leverage tracking, to learn how your account is performing and how users are interacting with your site and landing pages.

Tracking template allows you to include tracking information automatically. These parameters get information about the about the source of your ad clicks. They can be added with {} to the final URL. It may be best to start with tracking templates if you’re just jumping into AdWords.

Custom parameter enables you to add your own tracking templates. These are an advanced type of tracking. Custom parameters can be added at the campaign level, ad level, ad group level, or keyword level and site link level.

The Test Button allows you to check your URL and make sure that the tracking you added still “works” to create a valid link.

If you have further questions about how landing pages URLs fit in the big picture of digital marketing, contact us at Evolve Digital Labs. We look forward to helping you reach your goals.

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Get Your AdWords Graded

Build a more efficient AdWords Campaign with just a few clicks. Learn the how & why of underperforming campaigns. Discover new strategies for growth, that are actually actionable.



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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