We would all love to rely on our own masterful organic content marketing strategies to attract and retain customers, but the truth is that even though we may sometimes rank well for one or two keywords and even though we may have an occasional popular social media post, that won’t be enough for sustained success. (Feel free to show your executives the sentence above when they discuss next year’s marketing budget.)
To be successful, you must supplement your organic content marketing efforts with pay-per-click campaigns. But simply throwing money at ads isn’t enough either.
Regardless of if you bring users to your site organically or through ad spend, one basic principle remains: Great content is needed to bring — and keep — audiences coming to your site. Content that is just “good enough,” isn’t, well, good enough.
Look at it this way, if your ads are great, but your web content is poor, you’ll bring people to your site, but rarely close a sale. Likewise, if your web content is great, but your ads stink, customers are unlikely to find your web content in the first place.
There is no single solution to make sure your web content and ads work together effectively, but if you make it your goal to optimize your Google Ad Quality Score, you will have done the work needed to give your PPC campaigns a chance to be successful.
Though the principle of improving your Google Ad Quality Score is simple, it will take time, energy, effort, money and probably a few tears to do it well. We can’t put the effort in for you, but we also don’t want to see you cry.
That’s why we have pulled together a few tips to help ensure your web content and ads work together effectively to help you have an awesome Google Ad Quality Score. Once you have that, everything in your PPC campaigns becomes easier and more effective.
Look at it like an equation:
- Relevant ad copy + quality landing page content + optimized landing page = Optimized Google Ad Quality Score
And the final part of the equation is this:
- Optimized Google Ad Quality Score = Successful PPC campaigns
How to improve your Google Ad Quality Score:
Step 1: Develop relevant ad copy.
A few of the practices you should follow to develop relevant ad copy include:
- Put your top keywords in the copy of your ads. This may sound like a no-brainer, but sometimes we forget the small things when we stress out about making sure that everything is just right in our PPC campaigns.
- Consider what problem you are solving for the consumer who sees the ad. Clever writing is great — but functional writing is paramount. Make sure your ad copy answers the “What’s in it for me?” question your audience needs an answer to. Focus on the benefits for your audience.
- Highlight what makes your business stand out. Google says that if you offer free shipping or a wide variety, you should let your customers know these facts in your ad text.
- Experiment with your ad copy. Then test, test, test. Consider creating a few different versions of an ad to see what gets your audience to click. Humor? Statistics? Questions? Try them all. Then analyze, learn and adjust.
- Be professional in the ad copy you develop. This means you should have a copy editor review it for style, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, unacceptable spacing and more. Both consumers and Google will ding you for bad grammar in your PPC ads.
Step 2: Create quality content on your landing pages.
If you develop ad copy that is relevant and engaging, you’ll get people to click on your ads and come to your site. Once again, it is up to you to make sure they have a meaningful experience when they arrive.
Consider the following:
- Ensure you have multiple strong calls to action included on the landing page. Give your readers several opportunities to act or learn more.
- Consider including testimonials from real people. Just make sure the testimonials are authentic, helpful and relevant. Otherwise, they could have an adverse effect.
- Use the headline to emphasize the benefit. In most instances, the headline should play off of the ad copy on which the user just clicked. For example, if your ad copy says, “Find a large selection of blue hoodies for girls,” your best bet for a landing page should be “Blue Hoodies for Girls” rather than “Hoodies.”
- Include videos. Not only do more people prefer to watch videos than read text, but a video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80 percent.
Step 3: Optimize your landing pages.
What you include on your landing page is important, but so is how you include it. Optimizing your landing page in the following ways will allow you to optimize for your Google Ad Quality Score as well.
- Create keyword-rich URLs. When the URL is displayed in an ad, users (and Google) will scan for keywords that speak to what the ad copy is about. Keep in mind that the display URL in your ad is customizable — so you can include a keyword in the display ad even if it isn’t in your destination URL — but if you already have the keyword in your landing page URL, that’s even better.
- Make sure the landing pages to which you are pointing are related to your ad copy. Relevancy is highly important when Google determines ad quality scores. If people click on your ad content, but then are led to a landing page that doesn’t include the same keywords and topics, your chance of Google continuing to send audiences your way will significantly decrease.
- Make your landing pages easy to consume. Utilize bullet points, subheads and short paragraphs. These items will make your landing page more digestible and easier for consumers to navigate.