Monitor Quality Score at the keyword level. When you encounter poor scores, abandon the phrases or improve the scores! Poor quality scores for keywords drag down the performance of an entire pay per click account. Here are some tangible things you can do to optimize quality scores.
Do You Know the Score?
For every account you manage, make sure you understand the accoun’ts Quality Scores at the keyword level. At present, these are shown explicitly in only one place, within each ad group in the online Adwords interface.
I’ve recently made a request to Sergey to have keyword Quality Scores shown as exportable data in the Desktop Editor, and as an option in the keyword reports; we’ll see how that goes.
To see your quality scores for each keyword, open any ad group in the online interface, click on customize columns, and select “Show Quality Score.” There you’ll see scores of Poor, OK, and Great.
Don’t Tolerate Poor Quality Scores
There are occasions where we purposefully undertake a tangential advertising approach which is bound to earn Poor Quality Scores. That exception notwithstanding, we don’t generally tolerate Poor Quality Scores. When you find them, improve them, or pause the keyword. Don’t wait for keywords to be classified as inactive. There are tangible things you can do to improve quality scores.
Break Ad Groups Apart
Often, when you find a group of keywords within an ad group with poor quality scores, it means that Google is trying to tell you to split the ad group into finer groupings. In such cases, you can improve quality scores by moving some of the keywords into a new ad group, then tailoring ads more precisely for those keywords. For example, if you advertise pay per click services in Denver, then you might bid on a keyword like, ppc consultants denver. Such a keyword (and its derivatives, like ppc consultant denver, denver ppc consultant, and denver ppc consultants) might qualify for inclusion in your “PPC Consultant” ad group, or your “Denver PPC” ad group. It’s not clear in which ad group they would earn a higher quality score, however it is clear that they would earn the highest quality score in a new ad group called “PPC Consultant Denver.” By breaking the keywords out, including them in this new ad group, and tailoring ads precisely for these specific phrases, we can improve their quality scores.
Is it Really Your Keyword?
Sometimes you’ll find poor quality scores for keywords, even though ads are finely tailored to include the phrases. In such cases, you have to ask yourself, are these keywords essential? Are these keywords specific? If you answer “No” to either of those questions, then simply pause the keyword. You don’t own the keyword and if you’d just listen, you’d see that Google is calling you out on it, “Yo, Butch, whodoyathinyooaw, biddingonawoodlidat? Git bakinyohn adspace!”
Analyze Landing Pages
If you answer “Yes, to BOTH of the questions above, then search for the keyword on the landing page. If it’s not there, then why isn’t it there? Are you sure you have the right landing page for the keyword? If you find the phrase elsewhere on the site, then consider an alternative landing page for the ad group. Otherwise, consider making a recommendation in the Monthly Client PPC Report to include the relevant, Specific Essential Keyword on the landing page, or possibly create a new landing page specifically for the ad group.
Conclusion – Improving Quality Scores
Don’t bid on General or Tangential Keywords. Such keywords will earn poor quality scores. However, when you find Specific Essential Keywords with poor quality scores, then improve the scores, by refining the account structure, improving the ads, or including the specific essential keywords on the landing page.
Before undertaking account restructuring, include a recommendation in the Custom Pay Per Click Report. This makes the client aware of our plans, before we undertake the improvements (and also ensures that a manager approves the changes in advance).