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New Metrics Influencing Quality Score in Google Pay Per-Click Campaigns

This link was sent to me recently by an SEO contact of mine.

The big three influencing factors in the Google quality score calculation have always been Landing Page Quality, Keyword Relevance (to an adgroups ad’s, and matching the keyword / ads to the search term), and Keyword / Display URL / Account CTR. It has long been supposed that CTR was by far the most dominant factor, but Google has recently announced that they are to be placing increased weight on Landing Page Quality, and Keyword Relevance.

Is this good news?

In the sense that it will penalise lazy advertising campaigns that rely on vast keyword lists, generic ad copy, and a limited number of general purpose landing pages then yes. The costs of such campaigns will go up, and they will be forced out of sight further down the search results page. It will also penalise resellers who mimic a parent company’s site, and affiliates using bridge or mirror pages. So advertisers directing their ads to relevant, original content will gain an advantage due to this change.

Who will benefit the most?

If your adgroups are tightly focused on a single product or service, which your ad copy clearly describes and directs potential customers to an appropriate landing page whose content a potential customer will find useful, then you will benefit from this change.

Although if you’re doing all that already, then your high CTR ought to be providing you with a competitive advantage anyway. So if your account is doing well, then it will do better.

How do I make sure that I benefit from this?

Divide up that keyword list into more specialised groups. Use actual search terms as positive and negative keywords in your adgroups. Address the needs of your target audience with your ad copy and customise your ads for them. Make sure that you’re using the best possible landing page for all your ads. Simple huh? In short, make sure your Adwords campaign is customer focused.

How do I know if my campaign is customer focused?

Have you tried asking them? If most of them bounce off your landing pages without ticking the “Did you get what you wanted from your visit?” yes/no box, then it probably isn’t. But if you’re bidding on the search terms that your target audience is actually using, your ad copy clearly describes and your landing pages actually deliver what it is that they’re searching for, then your customers are likely to be happy and some of them at least will tell you so. Quick and simple customer satisfaction surveys are a great addition to the CTR, Conversion Rate and ROI data that you ought to be analysing, because they’re an easy way to find out how you can improve your customer service.

So improving the performance of your campaign requires a level of interaction with your target audience that’s way beyond vast keyword lists, generic ad copy, and general purpose landing pages. In the international arena, that level of interaction cannot be adequately achieved without effectively using the native language of your audience, for keywords, ad copy and landing page content. Remember that your campaign is supposed to make it easier for potential customers to acquire what they want from your site. If it doesn’t, then it will never perform well. Addressing your audience in a second language, even in those locations where the majority of the populace is multilingual isn’t making their lives any easier. Customer service has to be convenient as well as effective, for it to achieve customer satisfaction.

When you’re considering the relevancy of your campaign, think about your customers. Higher quality scores will naturally follow.

David Garwell is a Senior PPC Account Manager at OBAN Multilingual