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April 23, 2022

How to Increase the Quality Score of a Low-Performing Keyword

One of the most important aspects of any PPC campaign is the quality score. This metric tells you how effective your ads are and can help you determine whether or not you should continue to bid on a certain keyword.

If your quality score is low, it means that your ads are not being shown as often as they could be, and you may end up paying more for each click. In this blog post, we will discuss some methods that you can use to increase the Google Ads Quality Score of a low-performing keyword!

adwords, seo, sem

What the heck are low performing keywords?

Before we get into it, I wanted to take a moment to explain what I'm talking about here. Google Ads decides to display - or hide - an ad based on its Google Quality Score. The Quality Score, as most things Google, is proprietary - but they do give us guidelines on how to affect Quality Score as we write and display ads. A higher Quality Score means that our ad relevance is high, and so, our ad will display more often.

Generally, when you write for Google Ads, you're developing 1-20 keywords for one of your landing pages. For example, if I'm running an add for an opossum sticker, my keywords might be "opossum sticker, opossum lover, gift for animal lover, wildlife rehabber" etc. Don't judge me - I haven't run an ad like that in a while.

To get the best results, my landing pages for opossum stickers need to be related to those key words. If they're related, I'll get a higher quality score. If I'm sending people to my general shop, I'll have a low quality score instead.

Ok, I think we're on the same page now. So: you've made an ad and your Google Ads Quality Score is kinda low for your landing page. What can you do?

Step 1. Identify the keyword that needs improvement

The Quality Score is an important metric in Google Ads, and a low score can have a big impact on your campaign performance. There are a few things you can do to increase the Google Ads Quality Score of a low-performing keyword.

First, take a look at the keyword itself. Is it relevant to your ad group and landing page? If not, make some changes to make sure they match up. Second, check your click-through rate (CTR). A low CTR can signal to Google that your ad isn't relevant to the searcher, which will lower your Quality Score. You can improve your CTR by making sure your ad relevance is high and eye-catching.

Finally, take a look at your historical performance. If you've had a high CTR and then it dropped - is your keyword seasonal or related to time in some other way? That can affect how well your ad displays through time. Make sure that your expected click through rate is going to be consistent through time.

If you've found the keyword and decided you want to keep it, let's move onto step two.

Step 2. Evaluate the quality of the landing page associated with that keyword

A low-performing keyword can be frustrating, and it can drag your Google Ads Quality Score down. But, there are steps you can take to improve a low Quality Score. Developing your skills can take time with Google Ads. Quality Score isn't as hard as it seems - once you get into it.

One of the most important factors is the quality of the landing page associated with that keyword. If your landing page is poorly designed, hard to navigate, or lacks relevant information, it will reflect negatively on your keyword. Your Google Quality Score will be low if your ad relevancy is low, so make sure that your ads are VERY optimized for your landing pages.

Take some time to evaluate your landing page and make sure it is up to par. You may also want to consider adding additional relevant keywords to your page to help boost your quality score. By taking these steps, you can help improve the performance of your low-performing keywords.

Step 3. Make changes to improve the quality of that landing page

Your landing page for ads, ideally, should be optimized for those keywords and ads. I know it's not always a perfect 1:1, but getting effective ads is all about Google's quality score, so they need to match. As you make changes, keep the following in mind:

  • Start small. Most SEO experts recommend changing no more than 10-20% of a page at a time, as it can affect where your page shows up in search when it's reindexed.
  • Use tools. Google is a giant computer, so use that to your advantage. There are plenty of affordable tools out there that can help you rank for your chosen keywords.
  • Keep an eye on your Google Ads account. Like literally, every day. Review how you're doing, if there's been any improvement, and even look at your account level Quality Score. You really want to play the game to play it well.
  • Make sure it's mobile optimized. Google does deploy a different mobile ad Quality Score, and some of that score is related to the landing page experience. If your landing page experience isn't optimized for mobile users, you will be penalized.

Step 4. Monitor the results of those changes over time

A high Google Ads Quality Score takes time and patience. Making changes to your landing page can take months when you're trying to improve Quality Score. You can't do too much at once because your SEO position, and therefore, your ad position, will drop.

That's why running ads on long-term landing pages is important. You can optimize the landing page quality while also optimizing your ad copy and eliminating low Quality Score keywords. You can use negative keywords to exclude people who might be searching for things unrelated to your website.

Quality Scores are not rocket science, even though they are a little mysterious. Your Google Ads Quality Score is going to change through time, but that doesn't mean you can't be successful. A high Quality Score, however, is really going to set you up for success.

Step 5. Repeat as necessary

The painful truth about Google Ads is that you need a lot of them to find success. You'll hone your ability to develop relevant keywords. You'll be able to predict your expected click-through rate. Your ad relevance will be high - right out of the gate.

Luckily, there are a lot of things you can do with your Google Ads account before you pull the trigger on an ad. And, you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on Google Ads. Keep your budget reasonable, and expect your Google Ads to take about three months before you are able to optimize your Quality Score and ad relevance. It just takes time.

I'm not an ads expert, but I am a small business owner.

I do click on ads, and I can tell you that the landing page quality and ad copy have a lot of impact on me as a user. So, when in doubt: go with what you know. What kind of ad copy would you click on?

How would you improve your landing page experience if you were a visitor? Ask your friends and family, too - they'll be happy to give you feedback. Tweaking and monitoring is really all you can do to guarantee yourself a high Quality Score.

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