On February 21, 2007 I viewed Google’s quality score for the first time. Mind you this was also the first time I realized that I had a Google AdWords ego, because at that very moment it took a major blow. I’m convinced that the boys and girls over at the Google Mother-ship were aiming for this kind of reaction because they so cleverly put the words “great” and “ok” in a beautiful shade of green and then BAM! “Poor” was in the contrasting color of red, as if to say: “Negative Ghostrider, keyword is off the grid.”
And you know what, that would be fine if I had the inclination that these poor keywords were irrelevant. But they were terms that I had put some thought intoâ€”ones that I felt really advertized my Google wit.
Now I know my tangent above may lead you to think that I organize boycotts against Google or stand outside of their headquarters in California picketing them (the only thing I would be doing in California is trying to catch a glimpse of my childhood crush, Arnold Swarchenegger). However I do not hate Google. I just feel that they slapped a big, fat, red sign on key terms that I thought were bringing in targeted traffic.
So, in light of the fact that I do not have the power to change Google’s mind on the quality of the keywords, I was forced to optimize. This, my friends, is why I am writing this to pass my newly found keyword optimization skills onto you or at least give you a few tips:
- Make sure your ads are relevant to your keywords, precisely relevant, use the exact keyterms in your ads.
- If your key terms are really general (i.e.: Hosting) try making them more specific (i.e: full service hosting). The longer-tail terms will help you get the right kind of traffic, as well as increase quality score.
- Improve your landing pages.
“What does Google really want? They want users to be happy when they come to your site. They want people to find what they were looking for. If you make visitors happy, the landscape inevitably tilts in your favor.”
Google is one of the few advertisers that understands the longterm benefits of NOT catering solely to the advertisers with the deepest pockets. By concentrating on quality and user experience they’ve created a trusted, effective, advertising network that continues to grow.
With this in mind, I can’t emphasize enough that your landing pages are sooooo very important. Google will cut you down to size if your landing pages are irrelevant to your ad group, or not helpful to your visitors. At Unique ID, we create specific landing pages for every campaign, and usually for every ad group within the campaign, that are relevant to what we are promoting. For example all of our own pay per click campaigns have landing pages that match our keyterms.
People with keyword quality score problems need to mirror this technique. Although it is unclear to what extent Google is scanning & monitoring advertisers’ landing pages, it is very clear they are. Make sure your landing pages are chock full of keywords that you used in that specific ad group or campaign the success of your campaigns rest on it.