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Five simple ways to slash the cost of your Google AdWords campaign

I’m sorry, I tricked you – I only have one way for you to slash the cost of your Google AdWords advertising. It’s called Quality Score.

What’s Quality Score?

Quality Score is a rating that Google attributes to the quality of your AdWords ads. This rating, between one and ten, is based on three main factors. And there are five simple things you can do to increase it – so I wasn’t being totally untruthful after all. In fact, just doing a few of these things helped one of my clients get more clicks, and reduce the cost of his AdWords ads by a staggering 90%.

How does Quality Score affect my ads?

Lower quality ads will cost you more, and be less effective at generating traffic for your website. Simple as that.

What you need to remember is that Google is a consumer service. And like any consumer service, if it does a good job, people will continue to use it. If it does a bad job, people will flock in their droves to Bing or Yahoo. So Google wants to provide a good user experience, by displaying the most relevant, appropriate results for every search. And that applies to paid ad results as well as natural search results.

Google applies Quality Score to ads so it can reward the most relevant ads with lower costs and higher positions. Conversely, ads with lower Quality Score are penalised, with higher costs and lower ad positions. Quality Score means that the advertiser in position 1 on the search results page may well be paying less for his ad than the advertisers in positions 2, 3 or 4 etc.

How is Quality Score calculated?

There are three main factors that make up an ad’s Quality Score:

1. Ad relevance (Clickthrough Rate or ‘CTR’)
How relevant are your adverts to the keywords in your campaign? A low clickthrough rate is a clear indicator of low ad relevance, and will usually result in a low Quality Score.

2. Landing page relevance
Your landing page is the page on your website that you direct traffic to from your ad. If your landing page doesn’t contain any (or many) of the keywords your ads display for, then you’ll get lumped with a low Quality Score.

3. Landing page load time
How long does your landing page take to load? Website users hate waiting around. In fact, most are gone if a page hasn’t loaded in 3 seconds. Google will slap you with a lower Quality Score if your landing page takes too long to load.

The other important thing to note about Quality Score is that it can ‘contaminate’ your whole Google AdWords account. The effects won’t just be localised to the ad group it affects. Your whole AdWords account may suffer higher costs and lower positions as a result of a few badly chosen keywords, poorly written ads, or irrelevant landing pages.

How can I increase my Quality Score?

Thankfully, it isn’t hard to increase your Quality Scores.

Correct AdWords account structure1. Structure your account correctly

Split your account up into targeted ‘Campaigns’ and even more targeted ‘Ad Groups’, with very small and very targeted groups of keywords. This way, you’ll be able to ensure that your ads and landing pages are more relevant to the keywords they are associated with.

2. Delete or ‘negative’ irrelevant keywords

Rather helpfully, Google gives every keyword in your campaign its own Quality Score. So you can immediately see if any particular keywords are doing you harm. You can remove these keywords completely, or you can assign them as ‘negative keywords’, which means you’ll prevent your ads from displaying when anyone types in these phrases.

3. Make your ads more relevant and compelling

Higher clickthrough rates (CTRs) are the goal, so your ads need to be very relevant to what your user is searching for, and compelling enough to make them want to click. Use benefit-laden text and insert keywords from your ad group in the ad text itself, like the example below:

4. Use targeted landing pages

Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of using your homepage as the landing page for every ad. You need to send people directly to the specific content they’re looking for. Use lower level category, product or service pages as landing pages, and make sure they contain the same keywords as your ad groups.

5. Reduce landing page load time

Use one of the free page load time checkers like www.iwebtool.com/speed_test to see how long you landing pages take to load. If they take much longer than 3 seconds on a broadband modem, you need to speak to your web developer and get this down to a more reasonable time.

Need help getting your Quality Scores up? Call us today on 0211 583 199 or Contact Us now for a free quote.

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