Wondering what Google Adwords look for when grading your ads and landing pages? Well, there are a couple of factors that play a part in the quality scores that are handed out. If you’re wondering how you can get a better score or how you can stay on top, you’ll need to get familiar with the factors that play a role in how you’ll be graded the next time around.
First off, you should understand why you should care so much about the quality scores given out by Google. When you place your ads on their search engine, they use the scoring system (and max bid) to rank your ad, which can decrease or increase your position on the search results page. This means that you need to get your ad together, so that you can get the best quality score possible to stay high on these lists. Also, don’t think for one second that your ad can’t beat competitors who bid higher than you — this isn’t true. Keywords are still king here, so if you can get the right keywords, this too could boost your quality score.
Google Click Through Rates
One of the top key factors in quality scores for Google Adwords is click through rates, or CTR. Google not only looks through your recent CTR, but your all time history as well. Your CTR rate on Google is what counts — no other search network or content network is relevant here. Makes sense since Google.com is the only search interface they are able to measure and control completely. Now, the position of your ad can either make or break you. If you have a #1 ranking ad in the search results and you have a lower click through rate than an ad that is ranked #4, you could get penalized for it. Then ads that have a lower rank, like #5 and below, won’t face any penalties for low CTR because it is only common sense that they will have fewer CTR since they are lower on the list.
The predictions for CTR is determined by keywords. For instance if you pick a generic keyword like TV, which could be used for a variety of searches like TV installation, TV guide, etc, you would have a lower rate. So in this case, the CTR would be around 2 percent, which in some cases could be a good percentage, but not in the case of generic keywords. Your aim is to go for keywords that have an 8 percent CTR or higher. Now, although the all time CTR history counts, it’s not as important as your most recent history.
Copy for Ads
The keywords you choose should be reflected in your ad copy in a relevant way. Of course, all of the keywords can’t be placed in one ad, and that’s okay. Google is familiar with stemming, themes and latent semantic indexing. Just make sure that the ads you write are using the keywords in the user’s intent to ensure that you get more CTR. If your ad doesn’t have the closest matching keyword, ensure that it has the overall theme of the keyword. Just placing a keyword in ad copy doesn’t mean much without context.
Your Landing Page
This is where all of the users go when they click on your ad. When it comes to your landing page, you should ensure that it offers a good user experience, while still catering to the needs of your business. This is especially important since Google is more worried about their searchers having good search experiences. Just as with your ad copy, your landing page should have keywords and/or keyword themes. When users land on this page, do they get a unique experience? And are they getting the answers they are seeking?
For instance, if you placed an advertisement about a 10 year fixed mortgage loan, when the user gets to your landing page, they shouldn’t reach just a form to fill out. You should thoroughly explain the 10 year mortgage loan and the difference between that and a 10 year adjustable mortgage loan, along with any other relevant information they need to know.
Your account will also receive a quality score. What happens here is, all of the keywords, impressions and clicks you have received, will all be rolled up into one quality score. Try to avoid under-performing keywords because this could have a negative effect on your quality score.
How to Improve Your Quality Score
Now, that you know some of the factors that play a role in the quality score of your ads, you may be wondering how you can boost it. Here are a few things you can do:
- Break up your keywords into small targeted ad groups
- Develop content that is relevant for each group
- Create various ads for each group (then test them all and see which performs the best. The weaker links get deleted)
- Try using exact matches for your keywords vs. broad match
- Place as many keywords as possible into the copy (without overloading it and making it unreadable)
- Make several landing pages to see which of them offer the best conversion rates
- Add pages that are essential, such as an “About Us”, “Contact Us” and “Terms and Conditions” page
- Make sure the landing pages you have are very related to the keywords you are using, to ensure that Google believes your site is relevant.
In order to help boost your quality score for Google Adwords, it takes lots of testing and eliminations. It is important that you know what to keep and what to trash to ensure that your ads and landing page are high in performance and best of all, high in the Google rankings.
Many people have strayed away from the usage of Pay-Per-Click ad campaigns because they have gotten pretty expensive. A lot of the competitive keywords cost lots of money and unless you are a big brand, getting a return on what’s been paid for the high-priced keywords is less likely. If marketers were to create a more strategic and leveraged plan, they could actually get a good thing going with the use of PPC engines. So should we completely drop the idea of using PPC engines? I think not.
How PPC Ads Can Benefit Your Marketing Campaign
Pay-Per-Click ads first became popularized because it was a new avenue that allowed Internet marketers to pick and choose where they wanted their ads to be seen. Since a lot of people didn’t effectively leverage their campaigns, they didn’t bring enough revenue to make a sizable profit. Using PPC ads can benefit you in a multitude of ways. Choosing the right strategy and tools for your campaign is the only thing keeping you away from success. Here are some of the benefits of using Pay-Per-Click ads:
- Building mailing list. PPC ads are great ways to help build mailing lists for your company. A lot of entrepreneurs that are involved in affiliate marketing use PPC engines because they bring in a lot more potential customers and affiliates. Rapidly building a very large mailing list can easily be done with the use of Pay-Per-Click ads, which can allow affiliate marketers earn more commission via back-end sales. The key is to (a) build a high conversion rate squeeze page, (b) provide free bonuses with high value, (c) accumulate a large list of relevant keywords and (d) set up a strong back-end selling method.
- Selling affiliate products. Whether you’re tying to sell your own products or those of an affiliate marketer, you can use PPC engines. They have been proven to be very effective and easy to use. A lot of affiliate marketing entrepreneurs are still using this method to their benefit. The key is to build the keywords around the product name or author and accumulate keywords within the niche of your product, which will allow you to create an effective PPC campaign.
- Focusing on lead generation and ready-to-buy customers. PPC isn’t only good for generating a list of interested people, but it can also help you to change interested folks into ready-to-buy customers. A lot of marketers don’t have a focus on the ready-to-buy customers, which causes them to fail miserably in their ad campaign. To succeed, you will have to (a) focus your attention on converting your visitors to these ready-to-buy customers, (b) build an attractive conversion rate web page for generations of leads and (c) clearly set up the goals for your ads and lead generation page.
- Viral marketing. If there is a great way of spreading the word about your products, it’s through viral marketing. Although there are a lot of methods you can use for viral marketing, some marketers use PPC as a tool for spreading special reports (which are perfect for increasing reputation and business for the long haul). The key to success here is to (a) organize high special reports of high value, (b) give out fresh info and (c) motivate others to help you spread around the reports.
- Using PPC for your landing page. After you have effectively created great PPC ads, you will need to have an equally effective landing page to captivate the visitors that click on the ad links. Whether you’re looking to get people to sign up for a newsletter or buy a product, a landing page will help to push them to action. You’ll be able to customize each advertisement to measure their effectiveness (based on click-through rates). Pick between posting a landing page that is either offering reviews, comparisons or viral marketing. Some believe that review landing pages are the most effective. You should provide negative and positive comments for the affiliate products on the page. Simply research and review the products, give negative and positive reviews, build a conversion rate review page that is attractive and accumulate a large list of keywords for the review page.
Using PPC Engines
The reason why so many people can’t resist using PPC engines is because it delivers quicker results than through organic search results. With Pay-Per-Click ads, you are able to easily adjust bids, keywords and ads, along with the landing pages connected to them. You receive instant feedback from the ads you have put up, making it easier to track your campaign. You’re top goal is to ensure that you’re attracting the right audience (you can even turn on and off ads for the different countries you are advertising in) and getting the results you want. By making the right approach to PPC marketing, it could be a very cost effective strategy. Just remember to start slowly and build experience before making any large commitments.
The most popular PPC engines out there include Google Adwords, Microsoft Adcenter and Yahoo! Search Marketing. All have great features and rates, but it’s up to you to choose the right keywords for your campaign. Keywords cost differently based on their popularity. The more popular it is, the more it will cost. Try to find the halfway point between affordability and relevance when picking out keywords for your PPC campaign. Using the PPC engines will offer some guidance in helping you choose keywords (by providing search volumes). Before you begin your campaign, make sure to create a budget and try your hardest to stick to it. It may be tempting to up your daily limits to help drive in more traffic, but if you aren’t able to cover the costs, don’t risk it!
Choosing the right PPC engine all depends on what you’re looking for. Although Google Adwords is the most popular, it can be more expensive than others (Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft Adcenter. Of course, the others won’t offer you the coverage, management and reporting facilities Google can. If you want, you can mix things up with a variety of engines to see which do your campaign the most good. Start with one and slowly begin working with
Have you ever clicked on a landing page that captivated your attention from beginning to end? It’s like an Internet infomercial — long, yet you can’t pull away. The purpose of a landing page is to catch the attention of potential customers and pull them to action; this could be buying your service/product or signing up for a subscription. Whatever your reason for creating a landing page, there are techniques that should be used to boost your conversion rates of visitors to actual customers. The key is to make everyone that reads the landing page act on the offer you are presenting to them. (more…)
Landing page optimization is vital for any PPC (Pay-Per-Click) or SEO (Search Engine Optimization) campaign speaking your someone that wants to get the fullest out of your investment. I hear people all the time saying their landing pages are converting great, but guess what have have they actually tested their landing pages to see if they actually we’re converting well. I think a lot of people fail at this and I’ll admit there is some things that we have over looked that has dramatically increased our conversion levels on our sites, but most generally if you test, test, and test things will start to convert better.
I’m going to discuss some strategies that we use on our own sites and client sites.
- Multi-Variate Testing: Multi-variate testing involves the process of adjusting elements, colors, text, pictures, and etc. You can use PHP variables to apply multi-variate testing strategies maybe you want to insert your exact keyword that was searched for through Google on your landing page, or move a product buy button and image to the left side of the screen. Things like this can improve your conversions big time.
- A / B Testing: When you A / B test your landing pages you are testing a complete different version of a page unlike multi-variate testing where your just testing by moving certain elements around. This is an excellent strategy to use combined with multi-variate testing. Create 2 landing pages then A / B test them keep in mind not to change your pages right off the bat. Collect a bunch of data before you go throwing replacing your low converting landing page.
- Colors: This would fall back under the category of Multi-Variate testing, but let’s go a bit more into depth about this. Try testing your landing page colors around your forms, products, or whatever your trying to drive attention to. For example say you have a zip code box for insurance. Well create some type of color around that zip code box that will draw your users attention therefore you might get them to fill it out. The best thing to generally do in this case is to create a light background that is somewhat plain then around the item or form your trying to get the visitor to fill out create light / dark colors around it. What ever you can do to draw their attention into filling that box out or buying the product.
- Titles: Adjust your titles freely try to create compelling titles that will draw the user’s attention. This helps with SEO too. For example if your offering something for free why not put it into your title.
- Wording: I can’t say how important this is, believe it or not the smallest changes to content writing around your products can have a huge effect on your conversions. You should focus on writing something creative that is geared right around your product or form. The idea is to capture their mind and get them to move into a positive direction with your services.
- Images: Now don’t get too carried away with images. If your going to use images on your landing pages use them for your product’s. Have you ever went to a shopping site, but they didn’t have a picture of the product you was wanting to buy, so you just left the site? I’m sure we all have I know when I’m searching I’m always checking gout the product picture. Also make sure the product is visible and not a little bitty icon.
- Direct Hit: Always drive your PPC traffic to your landing page . It’s a huge mistake driving your PPC traffic to the home page. I still don’t understand why people do this today it results in nothing, but low conversions, but there again a lot of people are not too famaliar with how their PPC campaign should be laid out.
Landing page optimization takes time and sooner or later you’ll find that landing page that converts unbelievably well. When you do find that landing page that converts very high you can do one or two things; that is keep the landing page, or continue testing your landing pages. Personally if it was me I would continue testing the landing pages. It just depends on you and what you want out of your campaign.