Google AdWords, Quality Scores.

How to find, understand & improve your Keyword Quality Scores.
There has been a lot of news stories and debate about Google's recent changes to Keyword Quality Scores by Google AdWords.

1010 Quality Score Report
PPC Promotion Ltd have also noted an increasing number of search terms that were asking questions about their keyword's quality scores and how to improve them.
This page covers:
  1. How to discover the quality scores for your keywords.

  2. How are these quality scores calculated?

  3. Improving your Keyword Quality Scores.

How to Find your Keyword Quality Scores.

The quick and simple way to find your Keyword Quality Scores using the 
new Adwords Interface is to hover your mouse over the 'Speech Bubble Icon' next to the Keyword in the Status column. Hovering over the 'Speech Bubble', left, generated the live status and QualityScore panel in yellow, above, right.

NOTE The latest reporting improvement with more detail for your expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page evaluations.
Announced 24th April 2102.

OK, so how was this keyword status 
'speech bubble found?

  • Click on the Campaigns Tab.
  • Scroll down to the next set of green tabs.
    There will be a graph between them.)
  • Click on the Keywords to see every 
        Keyword in All Campaign.
  • This view, on the left, has columns for 
        Campaigns and Ad Groups.

 To reproduce the picture, above, with the 'speech bubble' next to the keyword you will need to use the side panel to drill down to the Ad Group.

How to View ALL of your Keyword Quality Scores

When you have added many Keywords you can change your Keyword Table view to add a column with your Quality Scores.

  • On the right hand side of your Keywords table, at the same level as the 
        green tabs you will find a Grey 'Filter and views' Button, see picture, right.
  • Click on this button then select 'Customise columns' from the drop-down list.
  • Check the Qual.Score box, see below.
  • You can also modify the order of the columns.
        In the example below the Quality Score column has been moved left closer
        to the keyword column.


What contributes to your Google AdWords Quality Scores?

The best approach is to start with the Google Help pages.

What is 'Quality Score' and how is it calculated?

This page contains two lists of factors for the Search Market and for the Content Market.
The search network list is below is extracted from Google's help page, see link above.

"While we continue to refine our Quality Score formulas for Google and the search network, 
the core components remain more or less the same:

  •  Two elements of the 'quality of your landing page' 
     that must be brought out.
    1. The quality of a number of pages around 
          your landing page.
          Google have noted that visitors who convert, 
          buy or sign-up, browse around 2 or more
          pages before they commit.
          So Google started to downgrade 
          single landing page sites.

    2. Your Landing Page load times.
          I will not wait as long for a paid link. 
          Would you?
    The historical click-through rate (CTR) of the keyword 
        and the matched ad on Google; 
        note that CTR on the Google Network only ever impacts 
        Quality Score on the Google Network - not on Google
  • Your account history, which is measured by the CTR 
        of all the ads and keywords in your account
  • The historical CTR of the display URLs in the ad group
  • The quality of your landing page
  • The relevance of the keyword to the ads in its ad group
  • The relevance of the keyword and the matched ad 
        to the search query
  • Your account's performance in the geographical region 
        where the ad will be shown
  • Other relevance factors"

How can you improve your Keyword Quality Scores?
There are many factors that are used to calculate your quality scores.
Sometimes original content rich sites are out-preformed by simple sites with a half a dozen pro-forma pages. How can that be?
 This section introduces two simple techniques from our toolbox.

 Creating a relevent Chain.

We use the following approach to build relevance chains.
  1. Look at your keyword term.
  2. What would someone typing that term be looking for?
  3. Is your Ad relevant to the searcher's goal?
  4. Are the main words from the term used in your Ad?
  5. If not, should these be split into a different Ad Group?
  6. Does the Ad land on a page about your Keyword term?
  7. If a distracting message was used in your Ad was
        this addressed in the landing page.
  8. Can you easily find supporting evidence for 
        all claims within a click.


Building Trust - The No. 1 Lesson

To read about some of the trust problems that have led to this lesson continue with the Building Trust discussion on the right.

Here we will just highlight the most effective change that we have made to many websites this summer:

+ Add a Privacy Page.

We checked out the AdWords account for a serial Affiliate 
Marketing expert. He was bemused by the split in profits between
his top 8 sites and the next half dozen.

There was nothing that he was doing that was different or wrong.
The difference was found on his target sites.

His profitable Affiliate Sites all had Privacy pages; 
the non-profit sites did not!

 Improving your Conversion Rates

 Yes this might seem to be a bit of a jump beyond improving Quality Scores. Yet how do Google judge the best landing pages and websites. By observing visitor behaviour on many websites.

 Measuring your conversion rates and improving these by looking at your site from the visitors viewpoint will also improve your
Keyword Quality Scores.

  • Look for the objections that people might have.
        Then try to answer them.
  • Ask customers, observe new people visiting 
        your site for the first time.
  • Get them to go all the way through the process.
        We have bought stuff from our clients wherever 
        possible and have learned every time.

Building Trust

The major issue for online businesses these days is trust.
Rob has blogged about the BBC report that domains were used by Chinese based scam merchants to sell fake goods.
He ranted about "Selling .UK by the pound" but also touched on Quality Scores too.

Google's Quality Scores are also looking for the signals that help visitors to trust a website.

Will I be spammed? 
Will I unleash a torrent of heavy sales calls? 
These are the objections that the scammers have put into 
your visitor's mind.

You must answer these questions. 
Explain what you do with the data that you collect and create a Privacy Policy. Add terms, a real location, a local geographic phone number, delivery and returns policies where applicable.

These are the boring pages that have helped simple sites to get 
10/10 Quality Scores. These do not have to be boring as this older post explains.