Why You Shouldn’t Obsess about Quality Score


What’s your Quality Score—a metric Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, and Bing use that influences your ad rank and SEM cost-per-click—right now? For those already in the know about this, do you spend a lot of time trying to fine-tune every detail so you can maximize it?

There’s something to be said for optimizing your Quality Score, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t perfect it. Let us explain why:

  1. Technically, It’s Not a Score Out of 10

Quality Score really tries to predict your click-through rate, measuring criteria such as ad copy, landing page experience, optimization, and your current click-through rate.

While you can thus learn how well you score overall regarding these factors, that won’t guarantee your true ad performance.

  1. Google Itself Sometimes Doesn’t Understand Quality Score

On one disastrous occasion many years ago, every keyword saw its quality score fall to 3 or less.

Google reported:

“The issue appears that the Quality Scores of the keywords in the actual auction are not being affected, but the way they are being reported in the interface is incorrect.”

What this means is that the actual Quality Score and the reported score are two different things, explaining why keywords with a good click-through rate can have poor quality scores.

  1. You Don’t Control Quality Score

If one thing from this post is now crystal clear, it’s that you have no control over your Quality Score. You won’t always know why you have the score you do, and neither does Google.

When you earn a high Quality Score, you might get a lower cost-per-click—but even that isn’t always precise.

  1. Profitability Counts More

At the end of the day, this is what any search marketing campaign is about, isn’t it? So, if you see good margins from keywords with average Quality Scores, why worry?

You can adjust and test a little to see if you can reduce your costs. Yet, so long as you’re profitable, that’s what counts.

  1. There are Many Other Factors to Worry about with PPC

Quality Score is just one of many things you should concern yourself with. For example, you must also keep in mind location targeting, device modifiers, cost per conversion, conversion rate, and net margins. With more important metrics related to your profitability at play, Quality Score shouldn’t represent your sole or primary focus.

Wrapping Up

It takes many hours to optimize your Quality Score: hours you could instead spend fine-tuning other aspects of your PPC campaign. Remember that and act accordingly!

The Secret to Creating Successful PPC Campaigns…

We’ve previously discussed Quality Score, how it affects your PPC costs and ad placement, and what you can do to get it as high as possible. Now, we’re thrilled to share a super-special insider secret that few other internet marketing companies readily employ: skilled copywriting.

All companies enlist the help of dedicated folks to write ad copy, but few work with premier professionals who know how to create impactful ads that generate more clicks.

Allow us to show you what we mean:

1. Writing an Attractive Title. Everyone knows you need to include your keyword(s) in boldface type to aid visibility. You also mention your company name if you have a recognizable brand, but it’s most important to have an emotional title over anything else.

What’s the best way to go about this? You can enlist the help of the Advanced Marketing Institute’s headline analyzer, which opens your eyes to the emotional value of your headline. A score in the 0-30% range implies you’re likely a new writer and won’t get too much of a response to your ad’s title. Moving up the scale, a score from 30-40% is average for a professional copywriter, while the best copywriters score 50-70%.

Check out some title ideas for this very blog post and their respective scores:

  • The Secret to Creating Successful PPC Campaigns…: 42.86%
  • How to Create Successful PPC Campaigns…:  33.33%
  • 9 Tips for Creating Successful PPC Campaigns…:  14.29%
  • Creating Successful PPC Campaigns…:  25.00%

An additional tip for writing effective headlines is to speak directly to a common customer problem. If you own a plumbing company, for example, you can say something like: “Need emergency plumbing repair?”

2. Including a USP and CTA in the description. A USP (unique selling proposition) sets you apart from other businesses out there that offer the same service(s) or product(s).

Returning to our plumbing company example, you might say something like: “We guarantee all repairs for 3 years and fix any issues for free” (knowing the industry average in this respect is 1-2 years).

A CTA (call-to-action) follows at the end. This tactic boosts responses, as people are more inclined to take action when you explicitly tell them to do so. That plumbing company could then say, “Call 555-555-5555 to receive your FREE estimate.”

So, now, if we put the entire description together, it looks something like this: “Repairs guaranteed for 3 years. Call 555-555-5555 to receive your FREE estimate.”

Rather than just squeezing the keyword in there, it’s easy to see how this approach can lead to additional click-throughs as you maximize your quality score: making it a key component of your digital marketing strategy!




The Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your PPC Campaign: Quality Score

Out of the diverse slate of search marketing tactics available out there, why should you use PPC? A few key reasons include:

  1. Immediate traffic. With SEO, you may need to wait 6-12 months.
  2. Great conversion data. You can view your click-through rates for immediate confirmation that you have the right keywords (knowing it’s wise to test different keywords to learn which convert the best and then use the same for your organic SEO campaign).
  3. Ability to set/control your budget. You can set a controlled budget each month and raise or lower as you see fit—just make sure you put the decimal point in the right place!

We’re not saying PPC is always the best tactic to use but are instead merely presenting it as another option that may or may not best fit your business. There are a few discrete aspects to getting the most out of your PPC strategy:

  1. The “technical stuff” (earning a favorable Quality Score)
  2. Copywriting (using words that persuade people to take action)

This article will touch on the technical aspects, specifically.

What is Quality Score?

From a cost perspective, you’re initially concerned with boosting your Quality Score. As with Google’s algorithm, though, you don’t actually know what this is and are unable to check/track it anywhere. The higher your quality score, the less your ads cost and the higher they’ll display on the page. Google has confirmed that several factors affect your Quality Score:

  1. Click-Through Rate: This refers to the historical number of clicks a keyword and matched ad receive. For Google Ads, this also specifically relates to the click-through rate of your ad.
  2. Ad Copy Relevance: Your ad must mention the keyword and perhaps a variation or two.  The more relevant it is to the search, the more likely people are to click (so this factor makes sense).
  3. Landing Page Quality: How can you know if you have a top-quality landing page? Content should be original and boast keywords relevant to your ad copy while also reflecting a nice, clean aesthetic and simple navigation (and the faster it loads, the better).
  4. Conversion Data from Your Site:  Search marketers believe Google also uses on-site conversion data from Google Analytics to determine Quality Score. This theory makes sense, as that factor does provide insight into the methods valuable visitors use to find your website.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it: technical considerations to keep in mind when aiming to boost your Quality Score. Together with copywriting, these pack a powerful punch to get the most out of your PPC strategy.

Top 5 Benefits of PPC Advertising

ulateYou know you’ve seen them…those “Sponsored” ads and pictures that pop up and flood the page whenever you use Google to search for a product. Referred to as PPC (pay-per-click) ads, these are in fact Google’s top source of revenue—so you can rest assured they’re here to stay.

Although this is yet another marketing tool at your disposal, PPC ads may or may not be right for you. Check out these benefits of PPC advertising so you can decide whether or not they make sense for your business.

You Can Get Business Now

It can take anywhere from weeks, to months, to a year (likely 6-12 months) before revenue from your inbound marketing efforts begins hitting your bank account. With PPC—on the other hand—you only need to perform some research and execute administrative tasks to get started. It is in fact possible to launch these campaigns within days after signing a contract, though exact timing depends on how quickly your vendor can get you up and running.

You Don’t Need a Massive Budget to Start, But…

Yes, it’s true: you can dive into PPC advertising with a few hundred bucks and see immediate leads. However, Google’s Quality Score dictates you tread carefully: weighing factors such as the quality of your landing page and how relevant your ads and keywords are to the person viewing your ad. The higher the score, the less you pay per click. The lower your score, the more you pay.

With this in mind, it’s important to establish a thoughtful ad and landing page so you can nab those leads. Remember to slow down and avoid mistakes, however, or you could cost yourself money.

You Can Compete with the Big Dogs…

…For at least some keywords anyway. The cost per click ranges from a few cents to dozens of dollars for terms such as “auto insurance quote.” Lower-cost keywords, nevertheless, mean you can compete with industry leaders early and often: even if it’s just you working alone from your basement or apartment.

Increase Your Local Visibility

If you’re a local business, you can pre-qualify traffic based on location. This helps ensure you’ll immediately drive the right people to your site. When people search using local terms, they’ll also see your ads and therefore generate heightened awareness of your brand in your local area.

Keep Control of Your Budget

Although PPC costs can accumulate quickly, daily limits ensure you won’t exceed your budget. In doing so, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of local advertising without worrying about unexpected costs.

So, Is PPC Right for You?

New to online marketing? PPC can help you enjoy a big boost right from the get-go. And if you already engage in online marketing practices, it provides a great strategy to diversify your marketing efforts.

Keep these benefits in mind when assessing if PPC is right for your business either now or in the future.