When managing an AdWords campaign, one of the most common mistakes people make is piling on too many keywords. Their assumption—that more keywords equals more chances for their ad to be shown and get clicked—seems like a logical one. However, what they fail to realize is that having too many keywords is most likely dragging their Quality Score down.
These so-called “bad keywords” are easy to spot in your AdWords campaigns by checking the Status column:
The quality and relevance of your keywords and ads are the most important factors in your campaign’s ranking and performance. An individual keyword’s Quality Score is determined by its click-through rate (CTR), relevance to its Ad Group, historical performance, and other relevancy factors. Therefore, the higher the Quality Score of your keywords, the less you pay for each click on your ad.
In this light, you can think of your Google AdWords campaign as an equation with the Quality Score being the most important part:
Google’s Quality Score is intended to ensure search users that they will find the information they are looking for quickly and easily by showing only those ads which are most relevant to their search queries.
Here’s the official explanation on Quality Scores from Google:
What is the AdWords Quality Score, and how is it calculated?
The AdWords system calculates a Quality Score for each of your keywords. It looks at a variety of factors to measure how relevant your keyword is to your ad text and to a user’s search query. A keyword’s Quality Score updates frequently and is closely related to its performance. In general, a high Quality Score means that your keyword will trigger ads in a higher position and at a lower cost-per-click (CPC).
A Quality Score is calculated every time your keyword matches a search query — that is, every time your keyword has the potential to trigger an ad. Quality Score is used in several different ways, including:
- Influencing your keywords’ actual cost-per-clicks (CPCs)
- Estimating the first page bids that you see in your account
- Determining if a keyword is eligible to enter the ad auction that occurs when a user enters a search query
- Affecting how high your ad will be ranked
Google recommends that accounts are best organized in the following way:
- One campaign
- Several tightly themed ad groups
- 10-35 relevant keywords per ad group
- 2-3 relevant ads per ad group
How do you improve the Quality Scores of your keywords?
The best way to improve your keywords’ quality scores is by optimizing your account. Here are some specific things that you can do:
- Make sure that each keyword in each ad group closely relates to the ad(s) and the landing page.
- Don’t use broad or general keywords since they tend to generate many impressions but very few clicks.
- Strive to optimize keywords with a low CTR.
- Vary the match types.
- Use keywords made up of two or three words.
- Include relevant variations (plural, singular, synonyms, misspellings, etc.).
- Get rid of low search volume keywords unless they are:
- A new product
- A competitor’s term
- Event-based keywords
P.S. If you need help optimizing your AdWords campaigns for higher Google Quality Scores, we offer a full suite of PPC Campaign Management services. Give us a call at (410) 942-0488 or submit an RFP to learn how we can help.Comments(7)
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