I have lied.
Begged, bored and stolen, to get my Quality Score where it is today.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
“Persuade People! Don’t Chase Metrics”
I like to think about the Quality Score’s 1-10-value as the amount of people who are interested in your ad.
Let me explain what I mean by that.
If you have a quality score of 7 out of 10, then 70% of the people who see your ad, is really interested in it. And your goal is of course to increase the number of people who are interested in your ad copy.
I use this approach to keep reminding myself that I’m actually optimizing for people and not gaming an algorithm.
Some Quality Score Stuff I wish Hal Varian had taught me 4 years ago.
- You might be a great copywriter, an Adwords Ninja or an expert in testing, but some keywords are simply impossible to optimize for a 10 in Quality Score.
And that’s exactly how it should be.
Let me give you an example of a broad keyword and a very targeted keyword, using the first 10 results on Google.
“Leopard” – An example of a too broad keyword that is impossible to reach a Quality Score of 10 for.
The word “Leopard” refers to an animal, an operating system, a brand-name by only looking at the first 10 results on Google. This makes it extremely difficult to guess what the user searching for “Leopard“, is actually looking for. Is it the animal or the OS or the brand? That’s why your CTR and Quality Score will bleed if your pick to broad keywords!
Google Adwords and Quality Score optimization is about guessing what the user is looking for in order to meet their need with your ad.
An example of a targeted keyword that is easy to optimize
Now take a look at the SERP for the query “New Era Caps”. All of the results, as shown in the screenshot, contains information about the new era caps. I bet the searcher is looking for a new cap…
2. Quality Score Optimization starts with keyword selection
Optimizing your Quality Score begins with keyword research and that is what’s going to shape the foundation of your Quality Score performance.
If you start off on the wrong foot by adding too broad keywords, you might never succeed because the keywords are too broad.
Soo..Start off with targeted keywords and focus on relevance. The Basics!
If you pick very targeted keywords and create a reasonable account structure are you on the right track. It’s doesn’t have to be any harder.
3. Negative Keywords doesn’t increase your Quality Score (Auch!)
When I started working with Google Adwords I thought that excluding keywords would make my quality score raise, since the “Visible Quality Score” increases.
This is the most frequent misconception about Quality Score Optimization and it’s tough to wrap your head around because excluding keywords will make your ad more targeted.
And yes, adding negative keywords to your campaign or adgroup, will make your ads more targeted, since your are excluding irrelevant audience. But excluding keywords doesn’t effect your Quality Score, because the Quality Score is only determined when the users searches for a keyword that matches your keywords exactly. The Quality Score isn’t used when your ad matches a search query that you don’t bid for.
4. Does my choice of match type impact my Quality Score?
No. Just no.
5. Is it possible to measure your Quality Score Performance over time?
Yes. Thanks to the guys over at Tenscore. You can use this tool, to track you Adwords Quality Score over time. TenScore will provide you with a historical data on you Adwords-performance and highlight your opportunities and quality score problems. I don’t know why Google hasn’t put more effort in to Quality Score Tracking, when they always preach that it’s the secret sauce of successful Google Adwords Advertising.
Now I’ll hand the mic over to Hal Varian
Hal Varian is the Chief Economist at Google, a professor at University of California and he has a great way to explain the basics of the Adwords Quality Score. If you haven’t seen this Quality Score explanation before, it’s definitely worth watching. Take it away Hal!
What do YOU know about the mysterious Quality Score and what do think is still left untold?