Ad Group Management and Quality Score

Ad Group Management and Quality Score

Well-structured ad groups not only increase your Quality Score (QS), but save you money.  When you run many ad groups but none or few get high CTRs, you run the risk of ruining your QS and end up paying more in future PPC campaigns (high QS accounts pay as little as 5 cents per click, versus up to $10 per click for accounts with poor QS!)

Restructuring your ad groups may result in more visibility for your campaign, which means a higher CTR and thus a higher overall QS for your account.

Keywords still play a large role in how your ad group is structured and its effectiveness. Let’s say your chair company’s latest campaign has one ad group with a lower than average CTR (under 1.5), and another ad group with a higher than average CTR (4 – 10).  You can assume that the ad group with the low CTR needs refinement or reorganization.

If the high CTR ad group is for “Living Room Easy Chairs”, and the low CTR ad group is for “TV Room Recliners,” then you can also assume that “Living Room Easy Chairs” is the more relevant (more searched for) term.

So, what can we do to improve the CTR of the “TV Room Recliner” ad group? Using the methods discussed in my previous post, we can find higher scoring, alternative keywords on AdWords Keyword Planner. These alternative keyword phrases can be distinct from the successful “Living Room Easy Chairs” group, yet still relevant. For example, you could find other high CTR descriptors for “Recliners” your company sells, such as “Retro Recliners,” “Blue Recliners,” or “Affordable Recliners.” 

The key is creating ad groups that are relevant to each other, yet still distinct. This does two things:

1) It expands the visibility of your campaign by adding more relevant keywords to describe your product/service features

2) If your newly structured ad group is effective, you increase your CTR and thus your QS, which means better ad positioning and lower click rates for future campaigns!

Have you ever had to restructure an ad group? Share in the comments below!

Intro to Quality Score and Keywords


By definition, a Pay Per Click Ad costs you money every time someone clicks on it.  The factor that determines how much you pay per click, is Quality Score: a 1-10 ranking Google gives your AdWords Account to determine the quality of your ads.

Google is pretty damn thorough about Usability, Relevance, and Authority, so it applies Quality Scores to many elements of AdWords accounts: from keywords, to ad groups, to landing pages.

One thing that is true of all account-level Quality Scores is that history matters: the longer your account has existed and the better your ads have performed over time, the higher your QS; the higher your QS, the less you’ll pay per click for future campaigns.

Your keyword-level score is calculated by how often an exact match for your keyword shows up in search queries. Keyword-level QS matters because keywords that perform well within an Ad Group will improve your account’s QS and thus decrease the amount your company pays per click.

A quality keyword has a historically high Click Through Rate (CTR). CTR is calculated by the number of times your ad has appeared in a search, divided by the number of times it has been clicked. A CTR of 1.5 is average, but a keyword that is highly relevant to those who are searching for your ad, may yield a CTR of 4 or even 10!

Conversion rates matter when you’re bidding on keywords, because a high CTR doesn’t mean jack if your conversion rates are low. Spending on high performance keywords when customers don’t make it past the landing page is a waste of your company’s marketing budget.

A good landing page (which we’ll talk about in a few posts) and a well-written ad with relevant and well-placed keywords (placed in the H1 tag and description meta tags), will help improve your ad’s CTR, and thus your overall keyword-level QS.

If you find your keywords aren’t performing well, you may want to try adding broad matches, eliminating niche keywords, or using Google Adwords: Keyword Planner to find new alternative keyword phrases. High quality keywords mean they aren’t used in the right ad groups, which is why next week, I’ll discuss how to manage your Ad Group QS.

Have tips on improving your keyword-level QS? Share in the comments below!

Google Ad Bidding

I’m Back & Talkin’ Bout Bidding

It’s been faaaar too long since my last blog post – a year, in fact! I’m back and a certified digital media expert. Okay, not really, but I did get a certificate in Digital Marketing Management from the University of Toronto and I’m eager to share what I’ve learned.

The next few posts will focus on Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and the positioning of Pay Per Click (PPC) ads, specifically how Google’s Quality Score determines the positioning of a PPC ad.

Until next week, have a look at these poorly placed Google Ads!