If you’re dedicated to increasing your AdWords Quality Scores, it is important to actually know what has an effect on them. This may seem fairly obvious, like not stopping in front of me at the store and blocking the aisle with your cart, but both happen way more frequently than you’d think. Part of the problem is that there are a number of things that seem like they would be determining factors in your Quality Score but aren’t, and they include:
While you probably care very, very deeply about your conversion rate, Google doesn’t give a whit about your conversion rate, whether you make money or if your dog really likes you or is just pretending for food. Your conversion rate is only something that you use to track the success of your campaigns and help ensure you’re on the right track for profit. Google tracks it as a feature, not because they care.
Bounces occur when someone arrives at your website and then leaves without going anywhere else within your site. While you’d think that a high bounce rate would indicate to Google that people are not finding what they’re looking for when clicking on your ads, there’s (currently) no hard proof that it’s taken into account. It’s been the discussion among experts that “click back rate” (or bounce back rate), meaning people who click on an ad and immediately click back to search results might play a role, but there’s no proof about it yet and it’s not something you should worry about.
High bounce rates are still bad for you because you’re paying for people to arrive on your site and leave like there are fire ants pouring from it, but they won’t do anything to your Quality Score.
Very high bidding may help you improve your ad position and your chances of getting an impression, (if you bid too low your ad won’t be seen no matter what) but doing so doesn’t have an impact on your Quality Score. While the cause and effect seem related, the reality is that you’re just paying more money for a chance at an ad position. Again, Google may be very happy that you’re willing to pay through the nose for a chance to advertise, but they still won’t bump up your Quality Scores if you do.
Landing Page Details
Yes, your landing pages do factor into your Quality Scores, but not the way most people think. And surely not as much as most advertisers believe, even after the recent changes Google made. Landing pages are mostly judged on a pass/fail basis; either they meet Google’s standards or they don’t. Per Google, your landing page is judged on: How relevant, transparent, and easy-to-navigate your page is. This means that changing the color of your call to action button, the background color or the type of image you use for the header will not do anything to improve or detract from your Quality Score. If your website is related to your keyword(s), offers contact information and isn’t riddled with broken links and bad information, you’ve done all you can.
SEO related optimization
There are a number of similarities to SEO and PPC, which is why people get muddled on the two. As mentioned with the landing pages, site specifics aren’t really something that Google is looking for. Yes, you need content that relates fairly strongly to your keywords, but keyword repetition, backlinks, HTML coding and the like don’t factor into Quality Scores. If you want to save some time and kill two birds with one stone (making you a birderer) you can incorporate SEO tactics into your landing page, but it won’t move the needle on your Quality Scores.
To read more about this topic and understand what actually does impact your quality scores (hint: CTR), read our blog: Quality Score Factors
(Animated image source: fourgifs.com)