I’m sure you are familiar with the concept of a credit score. The higher your number, the more likely you are to qualify for a loan and the lower your interest rate.
Quality scores in paid search operate the same way.
High quality scores (they are ranked on a 1 – 10 scale) can discount your Cost Per Click (CPC) and accelerate your lead volume. Low quality scores do the opposite.
How much does it matter? According to WordStream, a top-quality score can discount your CPC by as much as 50%! That saves you money while improving the performance of your campaigns.
Google Cares About Clicks
Google doesn’t make money when people see ads. It makes money when people click.
Which means they care about two things:
- Click Through Rate. The higher the rate, the more revenue for Google.
- Relevancy. When ads are displayed that perfectly match the search terms used, more people click and with more frequency.
Google uses these two factors (and some others) to determine a quality score.
It’s worth noting that with a strong quality score you can have a lower bid on a given keyword and still end up in a higher position. That saves you money and drives more traffic.
Three Things That Really Matter
Clearly, quality scores are important to Google. Here are three ways to boost your score and improve performance as a result.
#1. The more tactics you employ, the better.
There are dozens of tools available in Google Ads for optimizing a campaign:
- Ad extensions
- Localized search terms
- Negative and longtail keywords
- Mobile optimization, and more
Yes, using these improves your results. But there’s more going on here. Google wants advertisers to take advantage of its entire suite of tools. When you utilize a broad range, this is viewed favorably by Google, boosting your quality score in the process.
#2. The more frequently you optimize your campaigns, the better.
Google is always watching. It favors those who are consistently fine tuning.
Unfortunately, account managers do not optimize their campaigns enough. That’s a missed opportunity.
When you optimize your campaigns regularly – changing bids, improving landing pages, creating new ad groups, expanding keywords, etc. – Google notices.
So stay focused. Make improvements to your campaigns a regular routine and a better-quality score will follow.
#3. Keyword housekeeping matters.
Not only does Google reward the tools used and the frequency of optimization, it also takes a favorable view of tidy keyword lists.
That means the keywords that you target need to be grouped into categories. Start with broad categories (“windows”) and create subgroups from there (“vinyl windows”).
Have keywords that don’t seem to belong in a group? Create a new subgroup that relates to the theme of those terms specifically.
Once your keywords have been grouped effectively, you can hyper-focus your ads and landing pages to match exactly what a homeowner types into the search bar (this also known as “message matching”). That’s going to lift your quality score.
Google is Keeping Score, So Should You
Just as an excellent credit score unlocks a wealth of possibilities, a high-quality score will crack open your lead generation potential. A better-quality score will improve both the frequency with which your ads are displayed, as well as their placement. When that happens, your cost per lead goes down and the quality of your leads goes up.
The bottom line is simple: Get good with Google and they will help you drive more business.