Tag Archives: AdWords Quality Score

6 AdWords metrics you should optimize for better ROI

Google AdWords plays an important role in the success of businesses, and companies should optimize their AdWords campaign to the greatest possible extent.

This is often easier said than done, however, because running such a campaign can be a time-consuming and expensive process.

But there is a way to achieve this despite a limited budget and resources, and it involves focusing on the right metrics instead of all of them, and making the right tweaks to optimize AdWords campaigns.

Wondering how you can figure out the “right” ones? Well, we’ve done away with all the complex analytics and numbers, and hand-picked six choice AdWords metrics that can help you achieve better return on investment (ROI) by:

  • Getting you more clicks
  • Optimizing landing pages
  • Decreasing cost per acquisition.

Take a look at the list below:

1. Quality Score

Think about the keywords you chose – are your ad and landing page relevant enough compared to them? Look at the Quality Score to figure out the answer. Use this metric to estimate ad quality.

Quality Score depends on three factors:

  • Ad relevance
  • Quality of landing page
  • Possible click-through rate (CTR)

Consider each of these factors individually for a positive outcome. For example, in the case of ad relevance, play it smart when building your AdWords campaign structure.

Improve your landing page experience as much as possible. If the status reads below average, optimize your landing page by adding a few A/B tests.

Expected CTR determines how likely your ads are to get clicked. Change your ad text if your status is below average. Use magnet words (powerful words that drive conversions, like “free” and “cheap”) as a substitute for improved CTR.

2. Reach

Analyze reach metrics to estimate the number of people who saw your ads. If they are performing more poorly than expected, place your ads carefully. And this time keep the Display Network separate from the Search Network. Why? Because when you choose Search Network with Display Select in email marketing software, they show:

  • On related partner sites
  • Results of searches done by someone

That is not something you want. Carry out proper optimization, even though it is a more protracted process. Sure, there are other campaign types that affect reach, but these are the two types that really matter.

3. Wasted spend

Check how much money you’re wasting by paying for clicks that never convert. Avoid this sort of ROI killer by limiting wasted spend via the use of negative keywords to filter out traffic that is unnecessary to your business and does not convert. Create negative keywords to prevent ads from showing search queries containing the specified keyword.

Use a tool like the Negative Keywords Tool from WordStream to find out which negative keywords will be the most impactful. For instance, we did a little analysis on “get investment advice”.

Once you’re done, introduce the negative keywords in your campaign and you’ll be good to go. In a short while, you will notice a drastic reduction in wasted spend.

4. Conversion Rate

Marketing goes beyond AdWords. For example, look closely at conversion rate improvements you can achieve by improving your landing pages.

Keep your conversions up by building quality landing pages that are:

  • Mobile compatible
  • Quick-loading
  • Relevant

Focus on speeding up your website for users. Utilize tools like Yandex Metrica to find out the reception of your visitors towards your landing pages as well as how they scroll.

5. Labels

Labels are not exactly “metrics” but they do work in a similar manner, and help group entities for quicker, simpler analysis. Keep an eye on these labels for smoother optimization and more ROI.

Labels depend upon keywords, ads, and campaigns. Specifically, limit the number of keywords used in each of your ad groups for simpler management of campaigns.

According to Google, 5 to 20 keywords should suffice, but there are marketers who use a single keyword per Ad group (SKAG). Follow this simple concept which puts one keyword in each Ad Group, and the same keyword is then used in the description as well the headline.

6. Conversion

Achieve more conversions by knowing which keywords facilitated the conversion in the first place. Also, avoid a drop in conversion rate by knowing which ones were not up to task. A conversion tracking code can help you keep track of these statistics. Avoid negative keywords as well as the ones that lack any value.

Installing a tracking code is simple. Just go to “Tools”, and select “Conversions”. Then you simply need to select “+ CONVERSION”.

Once you’re done installing it, choose the source of the conversions you wish to track.

Choose Website as the source and set a conversion value. It is possible to select a dynamic value.

Place the code between <body></body> tags.

Install this code correctly, and your Target CPA bidding method also becomes enabled. This automatically bids on your behalf.

The abovementioned metrics need to be optimized if you wish to enjoy greater success and financial returns on your business. The processes described above might be a little time-consuming, but considering how much they benefit your company, they are well worth it.

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PPC budget strategy: Tips for success on a limited budget

You don’t need a large budget for an effective PPC strategy. Here’s how to maximize the success of your PPC campaigns regardless of the size of your budget.

The budget of a PPC campaign can play an important role in its performance. However, it doesn’t guarantee successful results without a proper planning first.

It’s common to believe that the bigger the budget for your PPC campaign, the better the results. But small businesses, or those without a lot of resource to allocate to PPC, may not always have the option of increasing budget. So how can you be as successful as possible with what you have?

This article will set out how you can manage your PPC strategy in a way that maximizes the benefits of your budget, no matter what its size.

Note: This article is an updated version of John Gagnon’s excellent piece, PPC Budget Strategy 101, and incorporates several of his insights.

Set clear goals for your campaign

Forward planning is critical when getting started with PPC. Having a pre-defined outcome for your paid search campaign will help you to avoid over-spending and incurring unexpected extra costs, so the first step is to set your goals.

Decide on what you’d like to achieve with your campaigns and how you’re going to achieve it.

Estimate your budget

Once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to decide on the initial budget that you’d like to use for your campaigns. 

The first question is to decide on the number of leads that you’d like to gain through PPC. The answer should be aligned with your available resources and the goals you set in the last step.

The next step is to make sure that you’ve clearly defined what counts as a lead for your business before you start calculating the CPA (cost-per-action) to expect.

Wordstream has presented this process in a graphic that explains how your expectations for the number of leads and the conversions can help you determine your PPC budget.

For example, if your client goal is to gain 250 new ones per month and your current close rate is 15% with a cost of $25/lead, you will need a budget of $41,666 per month to generate 1,667 PPC leads.

In this case, a quick solution is to use your budget in campaigns that involve lower CPA to increase your chances of higher success.

Be strategic with the allocation of your budget

The next step is to aim for an improved CPA. A cost-efficient CPA helps you become more strategic with your PPC campaigns, and allows you to determine the most effective ads to apply your budget to.

PPC budget strategy: Tips for success on a limited budget

If you want to lower the CPA, then you need to:

  • Increase your conversion rate (CVR), and
  • Decrease your cost per click (CPC).

By focusing on the best performing ads and lowering your CPA, you can spend your budget more wisely.

As always when calculating ROI, the higher the revenue when compared with expenditure, the better the investment.

You might now be wondering what steps you can take to increase your CVR, or decrease your CPC. If so, read on for some tips on how to do exactly that.

Perform keyword research

Carrying out in-depth keyword research should help you spot the best opportunities to reach your audience. 

A keyword list has to be thorough, relevant and dynamic. You want your list to include the most popular keywords that resonate with your target audience, but also long tail keywords that offer a great opportunity for more specific targeting.

To calculate the effectiveness of your keyword bidding strategy, you can follow this formula:

Keyword searches x CTR = Estimated traffic

For example, 1,500 monthly searches x 4% click-through rate = 60 visits per month.

This way you can analyze both the search volume, but also the cost per click to decide if it brings you closer to your goals.

A good tip to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns with a limited budget is to continually review the performance of your keywords.

By analyzing your keywords during the campaign, you can determine whether or not they’re effective – and if not, you can re-allocate your budget to avoid wasting resources on keywords that don’t work.

Focus on targeting

Taking a closer look at campaign targeting can save you money while improving the relevance of your ads for your audience.

If your campaign is only interested in driving leads from one specific location, for example, you can geo-target your PPC campaign to avoid wasting spend on targeting a global audience.

Geo-targeting increases the chances of success for your campaign if you want to focus on local marketing to drive conversions.

Moreover, keyword targeting should help you pay for the ads that work better for your business. There’s no need to pay for broad match keywords or competitor keywords that only waste your budget. By adding them as negative keywords, you can focus on the most effective ones to increase the conversions.

Improve your Quality Score

Your AdWords Quality Score affects both your cost per click, but also the conversions. Google considers the Quality Score of significant importance, and your CPA depends on it.

If you are aiming for a lower cost per action, then you need to ensure that you improve your Quality Score.

The best ways to do so are to:

  • Create relevant ads for your target audience
  • Focus on the right keywords
  • Keep your ad groups organised and structured
  • Refine your landing pages to be helpful and relevant to each ad
  • Focus on ad copy to improve your CTR
  • Build your AdWords account performance to improve your reputation

The good thing about the Quality Score is that once you start building your reputation, you’ll be able to save money on keyword bids. This way, you can rank higher without necessarily spending more than your competitors.

It’s also useful to revisit your ad groups from time to time to keep the ones that work better. Focus on the most successful ad sets and stop investing your budget in the ones with low conversions.

Overview

It’s not the budget that determines the success of your campaign, but your strategy. Your PPC budget strategy is all about focusing on the best-performing ads while constantly reviewing performance to make sure you are allocating resources in the most effective ways.

If you feel limited by your budget, it’s useful to start small and expand your reach once you’ve learned which strategies work best for your business.

A good understanding of the target audience, relevant keywords and a structured PPC strategy can help you maximize the potential of your campaign even on a small budget.

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What is an AdWords Quality Score and how can you improve yours?

If you’re trying to master PPC, you need a firm understanding of your AdWords Quality Score.

Your Quality Score in AdWords plays a significant role in determining the cost, effectiveness and success of your PPC campaigns.

But what is it, and how can you improve yours?

What is a Quality Score?

Quality Score is essentially what it says on the tin: Google’s own rating of your ads, including the quality and relevance of both the keywords and ads. It is about how good your ad is at meeting the customer’s needs, and this means providing both relevance and value. SEO experts will be more than familiar with those words, and the same principles apply to PPC ads.

For information on how to find your Quality Score and its component scores, have a read of this handy Google guide. You can now also view historical quality score data so you can track how your quality score has changed, as well as other more detailed insights into your score.

Why does Quality Score matter? First and foremost, Quality Score has a significant influence over the cost of your campaigns, determining how much you pay for each click. In short, a higher quality score will mean higher ad rankings and lower costs. By lower costs we mean lower cost per click and lower cost per conversion. Now I’ve got your attention!

There are a variety of factors that go into determining a quality score and, similar to SEO, no one can be absolutely certain of which factors are more influential than others. However, through a bit of detective work and a healthy dose of savvy common sense, we can get a pretty good idea.

Keyword relevance

The first step towards improving your Quality Score is to get the initial keyword research phase correct. Always focus on the most appropriate keywords for your campaign in order to improve relevancy (we’re going to be saying this word a lot). Remember to also consider long-tail keywords, as these can bring significant traffic that is highly targeted.

Identifying the most relevant keywords is not enough; you also need to organize them into effective groups that can be used for individual campaigns. Avoid having too many broad ad groups, as these can lower your Quality Score. Instead, establish smaller, targeted ad groups, as these will contribute towards an overall more successful campaign.

Set up this phase of the campaign correctly and you’ll be in a much better position to improve your quality score. With targeted ad groups, you will more effectively be able to reach the exact audience that is most likely to be searching for what you are providing. Get this part right and the rest should flow naturally.

As part of this, be sure to exclude negative keywords that could be unnecessarily draining your budget. Failing to do so could lower your click-through rate and therefore damage your Quality Score.

Landing page experience

We could dedicate an entire blog post to optimizing your landing pages, but for the sake of this article, the key point to remember is – you guessed it – relevance. You’re going to be bored silly by this word if you make it to the end of this post, but we keep mentioning it for good reason.

The process of clicking through from the ad to the landing page should provide a cohesive experience that links the user seamlessly from their initial search query to the conversion. Your landing page is an essential part of this process and it is therefore crucial to follow best practices for optimizing landing pages, as follows:

  • Relevant, original content
  • Transparency and trustworthiness
  • Clear navigation and strong UX / UI
  • Mobile friendly
  • Quick load speed
  • Ensure no broken links

Having a good landing page is not just necessary to please Google: it will also improve your conversion rate, which is the ultimate goal.

CTR%

The general consensus is that click-through rate (CTR) is the most influential factor in determining Quality Score. Afterall, it is a valuable indication of how appealing and helpful your ads are to search engine users.

Some find it easier to focus on improving the CTR, rather than the quality score, as it is a little more transparent in terms of the contributing factors.

One of the key factors in improving CTR is the ad copy. Ensure it is enticing and to the point. Make searchers want to click on your ad over the other ads being displayed. You may need to do a bit of trialling and testing to find out what works best, but just remember one crucial point: relevance! (Bet you didn’t see that one coming…)

This encompasses both relevance to the search term and also to the landing page. For example, if your keyword is “seo agency london” and your ad makes no mention of SEO, then your score will be lower. It’s good old-fashioned common sense.

Furthermore, there is no point writing ad copy that you know will improve click-through rates, if it has no relevance to your landing page. This may give you a high click-through rate but it will leave you with virtually no conversions and these are the most important end goals in terms of campaign success and ROI.

You may want to consider pausing keywords with both a low CTR (<1.5%) and low conversions. Remember that Google will give a keyword an initial ‘expected’ CTR% when it starts; this can sometimes be misleadingly low, as other advertisers may not have experienced good CTRs.

Don’t let that put you off, though: as it could present a valuable opportunity for you to provide a better ad and landing page experience to your competitors. You can also try incorporating Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) to improve click-through rate.

Historical account performance

Just like a bad credit rating that may come back to bite you in the backside, your historical account performance can also affect your Quality Score. If you have a history of low Quality Scores, then Google is likely to penalize your current Quality Scores accordingly.

It may seem a bit unfair, especially if you have previously had bad scores but are determined to turn over a new leaf.

It also applies to newer accounts, as Google is more likely to trust ads from an old account with a long history of good performance than it is a new account with little history to go off. It’s the same as trying to get Google to trust a new website in terms of SEO: it takes time, but persevere and you’ll get there.

Think you’ll be clever and just start a new account for the same website? Afraid not, as it is against AdWords policy to start over (that’s the last time you’ll try to outsmart Google…). You’ll just have to stick it out and be patient.

Ad Rank

Ad Rank isn’t so much a factor in improving Quality Score; rather quality score helps to improve Ad Rank. However, it is worth a mention as it is important to look at the bigger picture and to avoid honing in solely on quality score. Ad Rank determines the position of your ad in the SERPs and is determined based on your bid amount, quality score and the expected performance.

Once you see your Quality Score improve, your Ad Rank should naturally follow suit. As a result, you’ll see your ads occupy those top positions, your click-through rates will improve and it will all come full circle.

My final word of advice is to not get too hung up on Quality Score. Sure, it’s important, but what’s more important is the bigger picture and getting those conversions.

Quality Score is a contributing factor to the overall success of your campaign, but it is not the be-all and end-all. Focus on quality, relevance and improving click-through rates, and you’ll be rocking your ad campaigns in no time.