Quality Score influences your AdWords success, from cost per click to ranking on the page. Let’s unlock the mysteries of Google’s Quality Score.
Upon first, second and several other glances Google AdWords can seem like a labyrinth of terms and technicalities. Overwhelming to say the least. Luckily, we’re all about keeping things easy to understand! As Google defines it:
Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.
This score defines your overall performance. Especially your page rank and how much you pay per click. The better your fundamentals are, the higher your score, ranking 1 through 10, with 10 being super awesome! A high Quality Score leads to a better return-on-investment per visitor you convert. So how do we nurture the quality score and landing page relationship to improve our score and conversions?
Quality Score Starts With Relevance
In the world of online marketing, content is the number one area of evolving improvement. First and foremost, does your landing page clearly align with what the visitor searched? Meaning do the keywords they searched match keywords that relate to you? This makes having the keywords in titles usually a good idea, even with semantic indexing. It is all about relevance of your content, not about of how much of it there is. People who are on a search have a question and they want to solve it fast, so quickly show how you can help.
Tip: Teacup’s AdWords tool automatically matches keywords and relevant landing pages!
Quality score is almost synonymous with quality content. Not only does Google take in account relevancy but also originality. No, Google hasn’t become a judgmental critic but Google does knows when it has seen more of the same phrasing, information and design. Make your landing page content original and useful. Low value content is low quality and so lowers your quality score.
Does Your Landing Page Have Good Usability?
The user experience (UX) of a landing page can make or break your quality score quite easily. A landing page should be simple, clear and concise. No need to resemble a Wikipedia entry. (Remember, limit navigation!) Only 22% of visitors will scroll through all pages of text to figure out and answer or purchase something. The forms that you use can be long or very short, depending on the type of lead, value, and stage they may be at A longer form will generate a smaller pool of higher quality leads. While a shorter form will often generate more leads.
You should meet your visitors’ expectations and intent. Any links in your landing page should relate to their search and direct them them to a next step or more information. Remember, be good or be gone. Don’t make it a trap or trick visitors into seeing a different product. Having a high bounce rate = a lower quality score. Keep your visitors focused, jumping for joy but not bouncing.
Quality Score Likes Transparency
We all want to know what we’re getting ourselves into. We need transparency, not tomfoolery. Analytics places a lot of weight on trustworthiness. Let visitors (and Google) know who you are and what the business does. Clearly explain what the landing page and your product offers before they fill out anything. Being that you will most likely be asking for contact information make sure your information is easy to find. Asking for info with no explanation or reciprocating with similar details is what people consider creepy. Not trustworthy.
Optimizing Your Landing Pages
Like most things on the ever changing internet, optimization is definitely an uphill walk. While it can be leisurely at times, adjustments and improvements can alway be made. Ensure the landing page is easy to use for mobile, so a visitor on their mobile device can easily navigate the page. Device independent we could call it, because 68% of users browse on a mobile device. And Google loves mobile-first landing pages. A lot!
Of course, always, everyone’s favorite, make it fast. Google will certainly increase your quality score if landing page load time is ever decreasing and fast. I recommend runing a web page test.
An easy way to create faster load time is to lighten the amount and size of images on the landing page. Furthermore, this also decreases distraction, keeping eyes and quality score up. You can chat to your web designer about this or, if you’re a WordPress user, the Jetpack plugin does this for you.
The Landing Page Experience
Once you have figured out which of your landing pages work best, adjust your pages to also be top performing or move your visitors to your landing pages that have the best conversions and communication. Google will notice, but don’t stress too hard over it.
Quality Score is a helpful diagnostic tool, not a key performance indicator
An average quality score is 5 so achieving a score of 6 or higher is one to be celebrated. It will also save you money. Your score will have an affect on current Ad Rank as well as later campaigns. It is worth investing in to improve your results now to get better results later. Review your own landing pages and visitor experiences. It can make or break your AdWords experience!