Why are my Adwords quality scores so low?

by JHG
14 replies
  • PPC/SEM
  • |
I started a new Adwords campaign for call-only ads and for most of my main keywords I get the status "Rarely shown due to low quality score". When I look at the quality scores I see they are all 1 or 2. I did not expect quality scores of 6 or 7 right from the start, but I also did not expect them this low.

I'm not really sure what the best approach would be to improve my quality scores, so I am looking for some advice. Here is an example of the data for one of the keywords I am targeting:

Keyword: +prestige +car +hire
Status: Rarely shown due to low quality score
Clicks: 1
Impressions: 16
CTR: 6.25%
QS: 2/10

Max CPC: €4.00
Est. top page bid: €3.17
Est. first pos bid: €4.90

First ad:

Call #### ### #### - Carsforkings.co.uk
carsforkings.co.uk/prestige-car-hire
Do You Want To Hire A Prestige Car?
Call Us Now And Drive Today!

Second ad:

Call #### ### #### - Carsforkings.co.uk
carsforkings.co.uk/prestige-car-hire
Easily Hire A Prestige Car Today!
Call Us Now For An Instant Quote.

Landing page: carsforkings.co.uk/lp/prestige-car-hire/

In this landing page, I added exact matches of the keyword in the content. Before this, I tested another version of this landing page in a separate campaign where I used the keywords more natural, such as "Hire Your Prestige Car Today" instead of "Prestige Car Hire" for the page title. But that resulted in the same problem.

Any advice is appreciated!
#adwords #low #quality #scores
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  • Profile picture of the author squeaks
    Hey JHG,

    A few bits of advice.

    Under keywords, make sure you have the columns enabled that are - expected click through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. Google will tell you exactly what you need to fix.

    But here are a few suggestions:

    When you bid broad match modifier your ads will show up on a broader range of search queries so your click through rate will be lower as your ads won't be relevant to all the search queries- which will give you lower quality scores. You could try phrase match instead and see if that helps.

    You could also try bidding into a higher position initially, just to increase your click through rate. Then you could drop your bids slightly when you have built up some history on the keywords.

    Lastly, your website doesn't have enough content on it. You need to add more relevant pages to it.

    But make sure you check out those columns and see what google needs you to improve.

    Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Hi JHG,

    The primary component of Quality Score is your relative CTR. A poor quality score is a direct result of a poor relative CTR.

    The AdWords auction is a competition among competing advertisers. You have to beat your competitors to get a good Quality Score. Stop looking at your ad performance in isolation and start comparing it to your direct competitors, your ads need to beat their ads in CTR, it's that simple.

    Simple doesn't mean easy, it might not be easy to beat your competitors if they are really good at what they do.

    For starters, do not rely strictly on broad or modified broad match keywords to trigger your ads. While broad match keywords are sure to trigger your ads for lots of search terms you have little control over message match, because you cannot predict the exact terms that will trigger your ad within each auction.

    Start collecting data on actual search terms, not keywords, and then target those specific search terms by using exact match keywords. This will allow you to create ads that have a perfect message match with the searchers' specific intent. With better message match you can expect better CTR. improved CTR will generate improved Quality Scores.

    Not only will your ad CTR improve with this approach, you can optimize each specific search term for maximum campaign performance. Better quality scores, combined with better conversion rates will dramatically lower your average CPA.

    HTH,

    Don Burk
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  • Profile picture of the author sallaid
    Usually bmm keywords (+) have low quality score.
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  • As Don said, QS is primarily your CTR compared to competitors. You have a 6.25% CTR but that's just in one click so not statistically significant. You need more data. But looking at your ads, I think that a QS of 2 is probably about right. I doubt you'll have a 6% CTR when you reach 160 impressions.

    To me, your ads do not make me want to click them. There's no incentive.

    You also mention these are call-only ads. Don't you want people to learn and see more instead of just calling? Your home page mentions some cars you have. However, I think each should have its own page and that you should bid on each, not just prestige. How about sports car? Also, your actual landing page you show is a 404 so that may be part of your problem.

    Work on your ads. Get into your prospects' heads. Why do they want to hire/rent one of these cars? To look like a million, impress women?
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    In addition to what others have said I would look at the pages themselves before worrying about CTR. It might be a blessing that you have gotten few clicks. For a prestige car rental site your web site does not inspire any confidence or credibility.

    If your pages are not converting to actual contacts /leads you are just throwing money away with every click.

    Your home page is basically a plain one page wordpress page (no links to anything else but a contact page)

    no car availability or search function (and yes you can have that with call only campaigns)

    You don't even specify where in the UK you rent.

    Most people renting are going to look at more than one service and page and therefore will just click away from you. The great power of a website is that it can convey that you are as big and stable as your competitors. That website doesn't do it. In fact it screams that you are not up to the standard of other services in that niche and without credibility - no conversions.
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  • Profile picture of the author JHG
    Thanks for all the input guys! I'll implement some of your suggestions and see if that will help
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  • Profile picture of the author thewebally
    Hello, Please analyze google suggested keywords bid amount in the Google keyword planner. In order to set the bid of keywords. It may help you to increase Adwords quality scores.

    Thank You.
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  • thewebally, bids have nothing to do with QS.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ivelina Y
    Hi JHG,
    I think that a free marketing consultation is just the right thing for you now.

    What we advise our clients is always to look at their website and fix the issues there first because there is no point in advertising in Adwords if your website is not the best thing that you can show to your customers.

    Even if the ads, keywords and bids are set in the best way and generate sufficient amount of traffic to your website be sure that clients will bounce quickly because they either don't find what they were looking for or could not find anything anything at all.

    You have just 3-5 seconds to catch users' attention. Otherwise they are gone. That applies for ads and landing pages the same way.

    If you don't have the time and money to improve your website then you could always create a Facebook fan page. But note that gaining fan base, likes, shares and leads requires expert skills.

    Hope that helps
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    Digital Marketing Expert at Mokeez
    https://www.mokeez.com
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  • Profile picture of the author JHG
    Hi Ivelina,

    I am running call-only ads, so your offer is not really relevant.
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  • JHG,

    First of all you should use exact keyword, to assure you are getting relevant traffic.

    Google will also use your click through rate (CTR) to help determine quality. So the best way is the use the keyword in your headline.

    The second factor in CTR is your description, you can list feature or benefits.

    The next factor in CTR is your URL. Try using your keyword in the URL.

    Next is your landing page, it needs to be relevant to the keyword. Use the keyword as much as possible in your landing page. Google will also look at your conversion rate, are people taking action on your landing page? They also look at how quickly your page loads, and if it is mobile friendly.

    Bottom line there is a lot of work to get a good quality score.
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  • Profile picture of the author omnitec1018
    Every Keyword and every Match Type are treated differently in the AdWords system and will have different Quality Scores. Often times you'll see that Exact Match will have better CTRs, but again, no guarantees that your Quality Scores will improve just by changing Match Type.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fifium Social
    Here are the three mains reasons why you may have a low KEYWORD Quality Score:

    Reason #1: Your CTR stinks- The main determinant in a good Quality Score is a high click-through rate. A high CTR for a particular keyword means that users are clicking on your ad when their search query matches with one of your keywords. If you have a low CTR there's a good chance that Google is going to give you a bad Quality Score, which can end up costing you money in the long run.

    Reason #2: Lack of Relevancy and Cohesion- Many advertisers get horrible keyword quality scores because their campaigns and ad groups are unorganized. Make sure that you keep your ad groups to about 15-25 (you can do less!) related keywords advertising for one specific item. For example, if you sell pens, don't have an ad group with both "blue pens" and "red pens." Split these out!

    Reason #3: Short Tail = Quality Score Fail- If you use all short-tail keywords like "red pens" it's pretty likely that your overall CTR is low (less than 2%). Adding long-tail keywords like "red metal office pens" is a great way to boost both CTR and conversions.

    Here's a trick that I use for finding good long tail keywords: Monitor your search query report. Using WordStream's QueryStream feature (or Google's Search Query Report) you can sort your search queries by conversion. By doing this you will find exactly
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Originally Posted by Fifium Social View Post

      Here are the three mains reasons why you may have a low KEYWORD Quality Score:

      Reason #1: Your CTR stinks- The main determinant in a good Quality Score is a high click-through rate. A high CTR for a particular keyword means that users are clicking on your ad when their search query matches with one of your keywords. If you have a low CTR there's a good chance that Google is going to give you a bad Quality Score, which can end up costing you money in the long run.

      Reason #2: Lack of Relevancy and Cohesion- Many advertisers get horrible keyword quality scores because their campaigns and ad groups are unorganized. Make sure that you keep your ad groups to about 15-25 (you can do less!) related keywords advertising for one specific item. For example, if you sell pens, don't have an ad group with both "blue pens" and "red pens." Split these out!

      Reason #3: Short Tail = Quality Score Fail- If you use all short-tail keywords like "red pens" it's pretty likely that your overall CTR is low (less than 2%). Adding long-tail keywords like "red metal office pens" is a great way to boost both CTR and conversions.

      Here's a trick that I use for finding good long tail keywords: Monitor your search query report. Using WordStream's QueryStream feature (or Google's Search Query Report) you can sort your search queries by conversion. By doing this you will find exactly
      Hi Fifium Social,

      Basically good advice for the most part.

      I was with you up until "Reason #3"

      It wasn't clear in that response if you truly understand how Quality Score works, it isn't based on one keyword's CTR compared to the CTR of other keywords. It is how your CTR compares to other advertiser's CTR for the same exact keyword.

      Choosing a low volume "long tail keyword" does nothing to improve the quality score of your main keywords, sometimes called "head terms" or "short-head keywords". Your head terms are the most important keywords in your campaign and it would be wise to focus on optimizing the performance of your most important terms.

      Using a long tail keyword strategy can be good as well, but not for the reasons you seem to be suggesting.

      A "long tail keyword" is a low volume search term that, on it's own, brings relatively little traffic to your campaign. It's is only by including many, many, low volume long tail keywords that they will become a significant contributor of traffic to your campaign.

      The main ideal behind a long tail keyword strategy is that if you research and find enough long tail keywords, collectively the "long tail" of terms can equal as much or more of the volume you get from your main terms. And all of this has nothing to do with Quality Scores.

      Quality Scores are based on the relative CTR of an individual term, as compared to the CTR of your competitors in the same keyword auction. It is isolated to the same term, and to the same ad position.

      The only way to significantly improve your Quality Score for an important keyword is to win a relatively superior CTR that beats your competitors' CTR. This is achieved by delivering a more compelling and relevant message in your ad creatives that attract superior CTR.

      Relevancy is achieved by crafting a message that matches the searcher's intent in a highly specific fashion.

      I agree with you, account structure is important because you need good account structure and organization to insure that you ad creative's message can be crafted to perfectly match the intent. If your ad is triggered by various search terms that have differences in intent, there is no way to craft an ad that perfectly matches each and every one those differing intents. Tightly themed ad groups are required to achieve a good QS.

      The heavy use of exact match keywords, and sparing use of phrase and broad match keywords can be helpful in achieving message match. Perfect message match with a clear, specific, value-centric message can earn you a competitive CTR that leads to improved Quality Scores.

      HTH,

      Don Burk
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