Use AdWords Accounts to Improve Rankings

by: | November 22, 2011

Pay per click advertising is the best way to get immediate, targeted traffic to your website, and no one does it better than Google AdWords. However, if you don’t set up your account correctly, you could be costing yourself hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in wasted advertising dollars.

If you didn’t hear, the AdWords team recently announced that there will be increased importance on “quality score.” This is the numeric value (one through 10) that AdWords assigns a website’s relevancy to a search term. For example, if you own a website selling widgets online, Google will assign you a very low quality score if you’re bidding on the term “online poker.” This system was set up to reduce the amount of PPC spam, rewarding websites that provide relevant content for users.

Improving you quality score is complicated. However, if you know how to use it to your advantage, you can end up getting much more traffic than your competition, all while paying less.

If you’re an online marketer, this presents an absolutely huge opportunity for your marketing campaign. If you alter your AdWords account to tailor towards a “quality score-friendly” setup, you can end up running circles around everyone else in your niche.

How to Improve Your Quality Score

Quality Score is determined by three things:

  1. Landing page quality
  2. Relevance of the keyword in its ad group and your landing page
  3. Click-through rate

AdWords assigns a Quality Score to each keyword you bid on in your account, from one through 10. A 10 means that your landing page is perfectly relevant to the term you’re bidding on. A one means that your landing page has absolutely nothing in common, and you’ll be lucky if your ad is even displayed.

Therefore, one of the best ways to increase your quality score is to serve the most relevant page on your website to the search term that you’re bidding on.

For example, if you sell carpet cleaners online, and you’re bidding for the term “Hoover carpet cleaner,” then you want your landing page to be dedicated to Hoover carpet cleaners.

This means having the term “Hoover carpet cleaner” sprinkled all over your landing page. Put your search term where it makes sense in your H1 tag, in your page’s content, in your title tag, and even in your meta description, but be careful not to overuse the keyword just for the sake of using it.

Google also likes it when your landing page is transparent to your visitors. Be up front with how you intend to use a visitor’s personal information. Also, a fast-loading site with simple navigation is preferred.

Another great way to ensure a high quality score is to have very defined, targeted Ad Groups within your AdWords account. Each one of your Ad Groups should be centered on a particular phrase, such as “Hoover carpet cleaner.” It should only have between three and 15 keywords, all closely related to Hoover carpet cleaners. This is because the fewer keywords you have in an Ad Group, the more targeted and relevant they are to your landing page, and the higher your Quality Score is.

By setting up your account with several highly targeted Ad Groups, you’ll also increase your ad’s click-through rate. By having a high click-through rate, it means that searchers see your ads as relevant to their search. Therefore, Google AdWords takes it into consideration when assigning a Quality Score.

A high click-through rate (CTR) indicates that searchers see your ads as relevant and helpful. Low click-through rates mean that searchers tend to ignore your ad.

By writing a helpful, relevant ad for your Ad Groups, you’ll see a nice bump in your CTR. Be sure to continually test your ads, seeing which ads have high clicks and conversions.

Impact of AdWords on Your Budget

Years ago, PPC ads were served in a straight auction-style bidding system. The highest bidder for a certain term won the top spot, and that was that.

Over the years, AdWords has become more sophisticated. They’ve shifted from auctioning off the top spot to the highest bidder towards rewarding the most helpful and relevant websites with lower costs.

By using these techniques to raise your quality scores in your account, you’ll effectively lower the maximum bid that Google requires you to meet to reach the top spot. This means you’ll be able to get more traffic and more sales to your site, while paying less per visitor than your competition.Marketing Zeus

Posted in: Analytics, B2C, Campaign Development, Content, E-Commerce, Lead Generation, Link Building, Optimization, Paid Search (PPC)

About the Writer:

Travis Zboch graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with a degree in Economics. One month later, he began his career in e-commerce and never looked back. In the past six years, Travis has worked on multiple multimillion-dollar startups. Through his experiences, he finds that the most fulfilling part of his online ventures is creating jobs and opportunities for others. Travis is an avid baseball fan, and often takes an objective approach to the sport, much like his approach to online marketing. You can learn more of his perspective at his blog, StoresOnSteroids.

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