Tuning AdWords, Part 1: Quality Score

16 Jun, 2008  |  Written by  |  under AdWords

Very often these days, I see AdWords campaigns that have either been set up by clients or set up by web folks who weren’t quite sure what they were doing.  So here are some ideas for things to do with AdWords so you can minimize cost, maximize clicks, and try to get more conversions.

For this first installment, we’ll cover Quality Score (QS).   This is basically Google’s idea of how well your keywords, ad text, and target page “match”.  If they’re all 3 about “happy widgets”, then you should have a Great QS.  If the keywords are “happy widgets”, the ad text is “our company is great”, and the page is just the site’s home page, covering all kinds of widgets, your QS will be lower.  Lower QS = higher bids required, and it’s also a warning that you have a problem that will likely result in fewer clicks and fewer conversions.

First off, make sure you can see QS:

1.  Click into an ad group, click to the Keywords tab, then click ‘Customize Columns’.  Be sure that the Quality Score column is visible.

2.  You want all keywords to have ‘Great’, ‘Good’, or at the very least ‘OK’ for Quality Score.

3.  For each “Poor” keyword, make a new ad group for just that keyword.

4.  Customize the ad text to emphasize the phrase, and try to link to a page on your site that emphasizes the phrase.  To find pages on your site that Google thinks are about the phrase, do a search like site:www.mysite.com happy widgets.

5.  If you don’t have a great page for an important phrase, consider making one.  It’ll help your organic Search Engine Optimization, as well!

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