3) Strive for Paid Search Campaign Continuity to Improve Quality Score and Ad Rank
Achieving great paid search results is difficult because of the intense competition and Google’s lofty expectations, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done — especially if you can wrap your head around one critical element of all successful paid search campaigns…
Google AdWords is all about delivering a good user experience for users who click on your ads, so they want to see that your keywords align with your ad copy, that your ad copy aligns with your landing page, and that the asset, product, or service that you’re offering on your landing page relates all the way back to your keyword and what is promised in your ad copy.
The way Google quantifies this is through your “Quality Score” — a 1-10 scale that measures the relevance of your keywords, as well as your average cost-per-click (CPC) for each keyword. This score also indicates your Ad Rank, which determines where your ads are positioned on a SERP.
Here are several of the most important factors affecting your Quality Score:
- Keyword relevancy within your ad group
- Ad copy relevance
- Click-through rate (CTR)
- Landing page quality and adherence to best practice
- Overall user experience from start to finish
- Historical performance of the account
To improve your Quality Score, decrease your CPC, and attain better positioning on each SERP for a given keyword, follow these best practices.
Create Granular Ad Groups
Your ad groups should be as targeted as possible to each ad you create, which means only using keywords that are relevant to each ad and subsequent landing page. The goal is to ensure that your users are able to find your ad easily, so using only the most relevant keywords will result in a better search experience for your potential customers. Advertisers should never use more than 20 keywords in an ad group, and the most successful campaigns will use less than 10.
Conduct Thorough Keyword Research
Keywords that produce quality relevant traffic are the lifeblood of any successful Google Ads campaign, so you need to take time to conduct thoughtful and thorough keyword research before launching your campaigns. Don’t assume you already know what your users are searching; instead, use Google Ads’ keyword planner tool to get a better understanding of which terms are generating the most traffic at the most optimal CPC. Other great research platforms include the Google Search Console, Moz Keyword Explorer, and Ahrefs Keywords Explorer. (And don’t forget about negative keywords — these terms will prevent unwanted, irrelevant traffic and conserve budget.)
Don’t Slouch with Your Ad Copy
This is where you need at least one talented copywriter on your staff. Your ad copy is every bit as important as your keywords because the way you position your offer will determine whether a user will click-through to your landing page. When writing your ad, focus on a single offering with a single call-to-action, and be sure to include relevant keywords within the copy whenever possible. Most importantly, your ad copy should reflect the language and offering of your landing page. If your users click on your ad expecting one thing and receiving another, they will bounce without converting, which is a major waste of your advertising budget.
Optimize Your Landing Page for Best Results
By the time a user arrives at your landing page, you both have done a lot of work, which means it would be a terrible shame to fumble the ball this close to the endzone. Your keywords and ad copy won’t mean a thing if you aren’t able to close the deal. In fact, you’re actually only wasting time and money if you’re not putting good work into your landing pages, because every click eats away at your budget — especially if your potential customers aren’t converting. Therefore, you should follow landing page best practices across the board to ensure a great user experience that consistently results in conversion (and thus, a great ROI). Here’s how:
- Use ad group and ad copy keywords in your headlines
- Focus on a single CTA
- Keep your forms brief and your language clear, brief, and direct
- Use simple, intuitive design
- Do not include any navigation other than a link back to your website’s homepage (all messaging should point toward the CTA)
- Place all vital information above the fold
- A/B test different headlines and CTAs
- Inspire trust with testimonials
Remember, the sole focus of your landing page should be to persuade your users to take a specified action, so focus on that action and make it easy for your users to accomplish what you want them to do.