How to Improve Google Ads Quality Score

I’m often asked things like the following about Quality Score in Google Ads.

  • Can you SEO our landing page so it improves the quality score in Google Ads?
  • We optimized our site, so why isn’t our quality score better?

SEO Does Not Fix Quality Scores

While optimizing a page for organic search can have the side effect of improving the quality score for specific keywords it does not necessarily mean it will be good for all keywords. Or that it will help at all.

Many people seem to get this confused, but SEO or search engine optimization and Google Ads Quality Score are different things. I guess people are actually confused with the idea of optimization.

optimization (noun)

op·​ti·​mi·​za·​tion | \ ˌäp-tə-mə-ˈzā-shən: an act, process, or methodology of making something (such as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible

To be truly masterful at Paid Search management and improving Quality Score, you need to optimize the whole system. Landing page optimization is only one part of the system. There are several factors that need to be taken into account when looking at the Paid Search campaigns.

Optimize the Whole System

  • Keywords – Choosing the best keywords and match types for the thing or topic you are promoting.
  • Keyword organization – I.e. Adgroups with similar keywords. This means you need to careful group keywords so that they are very similar in theme.
  • Ad Text – Is the ad relevant. If someone is searching for cat food, does your ad copy provide a solution or answer the question that the searcher has.
  • Page Relevance – The page is relevant to what the person searched for and it provides a good experience. The copy is clear it helps them accomplish what they are looking to do.
  • Metrics are talked about less and are often less clear
    • Click through rate – What is the ration of views of your ads and the number of people that clicked?
    • Overall account quality – Do you have a bunch of bad campaigns and ads in your account? Or do you have hi quality campaigns that perform well?
    • Historical performance – Has your account performed well in the past of do you have a history of bad campaigns/

Quality Score is About the System as a Whole

In the end, optimizing Quality Score is really about optimizing your Paid Search campaigns as a system. Not just a quick fix to your landing pages.

Does the path from keyword -> to Ad copy -> to the Landing Page all line up an create a good experience for searchers? The better you can align this, the better your Quality Score will be.

Resist Putting Your Digital Ads on Cruise Control

Everyone gets busy and one of the great things about technology is that it can automate a lot of things. Here are some great examples of automation:

  • The Nest thermostat.
  • Home automation, setting up your lights to automatically come on at night or when you are away.
  • Making your morning coffee. I need this one!

In marketing there are a lot of great automations examples as well:

  • Reporting, so you don’t have to spend hours pulling data and can concentrate on analysis.
  • Email campaigns. Campaigns that start when someone on your site fills out a form. So you don’t have to start a new campaign each time someone signs up.
  • Even automated bidding for digital campaigns is very helpful. This way your bids are automatically optimized so you don’t have to spend hours checking and rechecking them.

Today I was reminded that there are definitely things as marketers we need to remember to not set on cruise control. Automation ok, but you can’t just set it and forget it. Check out the ad from Volkswagen I saw on LinkedIn.

VW ad on cruise control - from 2017

See anything strange?

How about,

“It says you’ve arrived. Ahead of schedule.”

Um “The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta”????  And the ad simply goes to new cars. It’s May 2018!

This is a great example of automation taken too far. Clearly they have not looked at their campaign very closely since the beginning of the year. How do you think it is performing?

To have a successful digital campaigns on any platform you should monitoring them regularly for the following aspects of their performance:

  • Let’s get the first one out of the way. Regular audits of the message.
  • Does the message resonate with your audience?
  • Is it timely? In this case, an obvious no.
  • How’s the visibility? Is it still getting impression?
  • Are people engaging with  the ad?
  • Are your bids still acceptable? Has the ad seen an increase in cost per click for some reason?

Without monitoring these basic aspects you can end up with ads that don’t make sense and are largely ineffective, cost you more than they should, or even worse they could make you look silly.

Moral is automate when it makes sense, but don’t let it your ads go on cruise control!

Broad Match Keyword – Online Marketing Term of the Week

Broad Match Keyword

  1. A paid search keyword matching option in which an advertisement is displayed for all search queries that include a given keyword or phrase: in any order, with or without additional words. Keyword variants, synonyms and plurals are also included in broad match.
  2. Example: The broad match keyword: staffing marketing would trigger an ad if a user searched for any of the following.
    1. paid search keywordsmarketing for staffing agencies
    2. marketing a staffing company is hard
    3. marketing plans for the staffing industry
    4. As well as: staffing for marketing agencies



Which Marketing Channel Will Give You the Best Results? [Infographic]

This is a very interesting study performed by Conductor.  We often here people, even other marketers, touting that, “SEO is dead” or “Email is dead.” According to this study they are both alive and kicking!

The study examined four areas:

  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Paid ads (Paid Search and Paid Social Ads)
  • SEO

They also looked at metrics such as:

  • Which marketing channel gets the most visitors?
  • Which brings in the greatest amount of qualified leads?
  • Which channel gets the most customers?
  • Which sparks the best engagement?
  • Are there different effects on B2B and B2C companies?
  • Which channel has the highest ROI (Return On Investment)?

The results may not be the same for every industry or company, but you may be surprised at what was discovered.  View the results in the infographic below.

Best marketing channels in 2014Want to use the infographic for your blog? Get the original here: [Infographic] Which Marketing Channel Gets You the Most Bang for Your Click?

Full Screen Ads? Bad, Bad Idea!

We work with our clients to help them get found online. That often means using paid search or media to get their message out. These avenues work very well and are great way to track who’s seeing your ads and the ROI (return on investment).

We’ve seen many different ways that advertising platforms have tried to grab people’s attention online:

  • Text ads,
  • Banner ads,
  • Banners that slide down to take up more space,
  • Videos that auto start when you hit a page.
There are also many other variations of these out there too. But this relatively new form has to be the most obnoxious. 

What happens is when a site loads a layover slides across the screen and covers the entire screen. You can even buy a video version. If you were about to click on something as it slides out, you’ll end up clicking on the ad. I get that websites owners want to try and monetize their site, but every time I’m forced to view one of these ads I simply want to leave the site. It definitely DOES NOT make me want to buy the product in the ad. 


So far I’ve only seen ads like this from Undertone, but their may be other companies offering such ads. This was seen on

My advice to site owners as well as companies looking to market their products, don’t use this format.

For advertisers: I would guess there that these ads end up with a lot of clicks from people that really didn’t want to click on the ad. Plus it is highly likely that you will just be annoying your prospective customers more than anything else.

For site owners: You only have something like 3 seconds for someone to decide if they like your website before they leave. Do you really want that 3 seconds to be controlled by an annoying ad?  

It may be creating a “Standout Brand Experience,” but that doesn’t mean it’s a good experience…

Microsoft Advertising Takes Aim at AdWords – Adds adCenter Training Hub

Microsoft AdCenter Accredited Professional

Microsoft has taken another step to try to compete with Google Adwords. They’ve added a free training hub where paid search professionals can hone their skills and learn about the latest updates to the Microsoft Search Alliance adCenter. One cool thing about it is if you register and sign in with your Windows Live ID it tracks you progress. So, you can start training videos right where you left off. Then once you are comfortable with the material you can take the Accredited Professional exam. Unlike Google Adwords Certification there is no minimum to how much budget level you need to maintain to take the exam. You just have to be an active adCenter user and pass the exam. Plus, the exam costs just $15.

Once you pass the exam you become an Accredited Professional which lasts for a year. You must then retake the exam each year. There is no longer a company accreditation so individuals can use theirs certification to promote their company as well. Plus, you have the option to be added to Microsoft’s member directory as well as their “Find a Pro” directory.

So what are you waiting for? Get cracking on your accreditation!

adCenter Training Hub

Retailers must work to improve their natural keyword performance

Although retailers are improving their efforts to grab better placement in natural search (as apposed to PayPerClick/paid search advertising), they still have work ahead of them.

Most retailers rely on holiday sales to boost their annual sales, and by doing a better job optimizing for better natural search results, retailers can boost traffic and increase sales for the holiday season.

Don’t wait! The holidays will be here before you know it. Now it the time to get your natural search optimization campaign underway!

Retailers must work to improve their natural keyword performance | – Daily News