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Make Money: Quality Score Optimization Part 1

Adrian Singer, 05-25-2007
Mike had an excellent post today about Google's Quality Score. This Friday as part of our 'Make Money with SoftwareProjects' series, I wanted to share a tip on how you could instantly improve your quality score, thereby paying less for pay per click advertising.

Quality Score Optimization - Part 1

As part of our PPC Management services, we identified 11 variables affecting a landing-page quality score.

The first one I'd like to share with you is one of the easiest ones to implement. Shouldn't take more than a few hours to implement, yet the impact to your PPC costs is bound to be very noticable.

QSO - Keyword Relevancy

Taken into consideration by both the search-engine bot (automatic) and the human editor (manual) analyzing your page, keyword relevancy is the measurement of how relevant is the landing page to the keyword being advertised.

For example, if you have a campaign promoting a "real estate seminar" series, some of your typical keywords may be:

"real estate seminar" (direct match)
"real estate education" (related)
"real estate designation" (related)
"donald trump seminar" (competition - runs his own real estate seminar series)
"carlton sheets" (competition)

Your ad creatives could be something like -

"Looking for a Real Estate Seminar? $195 all inclusive. Learn More"
"Real Estate Seminar Success. Free whitepaper download"

Now to get a higher CTR (Click through ratio), it's obvious that you need to create different ad creatives per each group of keywords (direct match / related / competition). If someone is looking for 'donald trump real estate seminar', an ad creative in the lines of:

"Donald Trump Real Estate Seminar doesn't work. Find out why"
"Looking for Donald Trump seminar? Avoid the hype. Our seminars are better"

is going to generate a much higher click-through ratio. If you're not using different groups of ad creatives per each group of keywords, you're really missing the boat. More relevant ads translate to higher CTR. And higher CTR means paying less.

But wait - there's more.

Back in the pre-QSO days, all you had to worry about was the relevancy of keywords in relation to your ad creatives. With the introduction of the Quality Score, your landing page (destination URL) plays an important integral role in determing how much you will be required to pay for each keyword.

Similar to how I demonstrated ad creatives need to be relevant to the keywords advertised, your landing page must be relevant to the ad creative the user clicked on.

To follow our example, if the user search for "donald trump real estate seminar", found your ad of "Donald Trump Real Estate Seminar doesn't work. Find out why" and clicked on it - your landing page MUST include content relating to Donald Trump Real Estate seminar.

A common mistake we see with every single one of our new clients is that they associate the same destination URL with every single ad creative. As a result our user who searched for "donald trump real estate seminar" lands on our generic landing page that talks about "real estate seminar"s, not mentioning anything about our competitor - donald trump's seminar series.

Google's score-bot and Google's human editors are both going to notice your target landing page has nothing to do with donald trump and as a result you will immediately be required to pay a lot more for the keyword 'donald trump seminar'.

The Fix

Create multiple copies of your landing page, each matching a group of keywords. Here are the groups we use -

"direct match"
"related keywords"
"complementing products"

Then use a simple PHP script to identify the keyword the user searched for and tailor both the headline of your page as well as the first paragraph accordingly.

In the case of competitive keywords - our landing page code looks like this:


TITLE><?=$keyword?> is Great... But we're better</TITLE>

<h1><?=$keyword?></h1> Looking for <?=$keyword?>? Our Real Estate Seminars are sooooo much better. With 14 years in business and 6
00,000 successful students, our results speak for themselves. Click on the testimonials below to hear why our students feel our Rea
l Estate Seminars are so much better than <?=$keyword?>

(Landing page generic content goes here)

Our landing pages are now going to be relevant to the keyword advertised so that both the search engine bot and human editor are happy.

Note: While you could create static versions of your landing pages to match each keywords, the approach above uses a simple script to streamline this process.

Use this technique and within 1 to 3 days you'll notice a significant decrease in PPC costs, hopefully coupled by an increase in conversions thanks to more relevant landing pages.


For those of you who don't know the "rules" behind the Make Money with SoftwareProjects series, here they are:

Every Friday, SoftwareProjects will post a new "make money by doing X" post. It can be an invitation to perform a service, a tried-and-tested technique to immediately boost sales, free traffic etc. The only requirement is that whatever we post as part of our "Make Money by doing X" series - must be stuff you can immediately take to the bank, and not just vague ideas.

Hopefully this series will encourage & inspire new entrepreneurs, provide value to business owners and demonstrate the depth and breadth of SoftwareProjects services. Feel free to link to this series and blog about it.
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