Ask MatchCraft: How Can I Improve My Quality Score?

October 3, 2016 · Ask Matchcraft

If you’re a digital marketing geek, you’ll nod in agreement when we say that part of the fun in what we do is the never-ending opportunity for optimization.

Website mechanics and under-the-hood tinkering allow for constant improvement—that’s part of the fun! Quality score is a good example.

What is a Quality Score and why does it matter?

We have to point out that, like many things Google, quality score is shrouded in a bit of mystery. It’s a complex algorithm, based on many factors.

Google defines quality score as, “an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages.” In other words, if your ads and landing pages are relevant to users, you’ll be rewarded with a higher quality score.

More importantly, quality score is also used to determine your cost per click. It’s multiplied by your max bid, resulting in your ad rank in the auction process. High quality scores give you a lower cost. On the other hand, if the keywords and keyword phrases you’re using are not found to be relevant (resulting in a poor quality score), you’ll pay a hefty CPC.

There are many factors that roll up to your overall quality score, but the three key ones are: Keyword and Keyword Phrases, Click Through Rate, and Landing Page Content.

quality score matchcraft

Note, these three elements must all be at play for best quality score results.

Two out of three of these factors can be ‘good enough’ and will likely result in a decent score. However, if you are doing a fantastic job with one and the other two are shoddy, you’re not going to see a great quality score, or have much success with improving it.

So, how can you improve your Quality Score?

Quality score starts with some no-nonsense analysis. Within your AdWords account, you can see which Keywords have better quality scores.

Do some quick analysis on how the keywords may or may not be relevant to the landing page associated with your ads. But remember, your page needs enough content—enough copy, literally—for Google to crawl and interpret the landing page.

Not having substantial copy on your landing pages will render your keywords useless; they won’t be able to have good scores based on relevance. There just won’t be enough content to support that connection.

landing pages

Yes, over time, quality score can improve based on just CTR alone. But to truly move the needle this way, you’d have to generate massive traffic! Most campaigns that don’t generate the kind of traffic for this to make much of a difference.

So, here’s what we recommend:

The Easiest Way
Make sure the keywords you’re using in the ad copy are also included in the copy of your landing pages.

The Better Way
Leverage advanced SEO tactics and sophisticated copywriting to beef up both your on-page content and keyword optimization within the page, coding and tagging.

The Best Way
Design landing pages and ‘lead nurturing funnels’ specific to your SEM strategy, following industry standards. Don’t assume a home page or other ‘general’ pages are a great landing page. They may not offer the best experience for the user. They are not necessarily going to have the most relevant content or copy that is tightly focused on a single category or product. Instead use or create a page, or sequence of pages, that follows digital marketing standards and is focused on the specific topic or product you expect is being searched.

If you’re partnering with MatchCraft, we can take a variety of targeted landing pages and take the necessary steps to further segment and better structure your campaigns with tightly targeted categories.

If redesigning landing pages or re-doing your page content is overwhelming, remember, it’s okay to chip away at your quality score improvements over time. Total overhauls aren’t often necessary. Enjoy the optimization journey.