Google AdWords Quality Score is the overall grade of the efficiency and success of your ad. It can range from one to ten, one being the lowest grade and ten being the highest. Having a high Quality Score means that your ad has proved to be relevant and useful for the “clickers”. However, having a low Quality Score means that your key elements (such as keywords and landing page) are proved to be irrelevant to someone looking at your ad.
Just like it is in your personal interest to have a high Quality Score ad, it is in Google’s interest as well. Google rewards high Quality Score ads by reducing the cost of the ad and putting it in a better and more visible position (higher on the page). But how do you get higher Quality Score? Well, for that we will have to examine the factors that influence your Quality Score grade. In other words, we will have to see how Google calculates the Quality Score.
Every time someone does a search that triggers your ad, Google calculates a Quality Score by means of which Google takes several things into consideration. Here we will examine three factors that can influence Quality Score – Expected CTR, Landing Page experience and ad relevance.
Expected CTR (click-through rate) is a prediction of how likely it is for your ad to get clicked when shown for the specific keyword. There are three possible statuses you can get for your Expected CTR – average, above average and below average. To measure this Google takes into account how well that very keyword has performed in the past by comparing it to all other keywords across AdWords. Google only looks at exact matches when determining your Expected CTR. As mentioned above, Expected CTR is a prediction, so it differs from the actual CTR shown in the “CTR” column of your account.
Landing Page experience refers to the experience a viewer gets when he goes to the landing page (the page your ad sent the viewer to when he clicked on it). Just like the Expected CTR, Google AdWords doesn’t rate Landing Page experience with numbers but rather with these statuses – Average, Below Average and Above Average. But how do they determine the Landing Page experience? To determine Landing Page experience, Google AdWords go through several criteria.
First of all, your landing page (or destination URL) must be original. By offering useful and unique features or content will do the trick. Secondly, your destination URL must be directly relevant to your ad text and keywords. For example, if you are offering a discount or any kind of special offer, make sure it appears on landing page as well. Moreover, your landing page must be user friendly. It must provide all the possible information the user needs. Make it easy for them to find your contact information or any other information considering your business they might need. And finally, don’t be afraid to use strong call to action. Phrases such as Buy now or Sign up or whatever you want the user to do on your landing page, will help and inform the user of what he should do next.
The third factor that influences the Quality Score is Ad Relevance. This factor describes how well your keyword matches the message in your ads. In other words, how relevant your keyword is to what a customer searches for and how relevant your keyword is to your ad. For example, if the user searches for the very keyword and your ad shows up will your ad is directly connected with their search?
Just like two factors mentioned above, can be graded with three possible statuses – average, below average and above average. Having an average or above average status means that you have managed and chose your keywords correctly and carefully. However, having a below average status means that your keywords are not specific enough or that your ad group is too general. Including the keywords in your ad text and creating more specific keywords will help you resolve your issue.
Google AdWords is the perfect match making system leaving everybody satisfied – advertisers, customers as well as Google. Relevant ads attract more customers thus earning you more clicks and appearing in a better position and bringing you more success.
The prevailing question among marketing professionals and businessmen right now is how to effectively market their products to their target consumers through the internet. Both Organic SEO and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) give companies the opportunity to advertise their brand and products online. In this article, we will discuss whether SEO, PPC, or a fusion of both will be most appropriate for your business requirements.
Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is basically the practice of improving website traffic through White-hat SEO techniques, which allow your website to figure prominently whenever search engines turn-in the search results made by internet users. Some White-hat SEO techniques include putting more meat on content and placing more quality backlinks on the website. All of these tactics are done without violating the terms of service that the search engine has set.
One of the most popular forms of marketing done on the internet today is called Pay-Per-Click (PPC). It is an advertising model wherein companies pay website owners a specific amount of money for every click that their advertisement gets from internet users who visit the website. Advertisers would craft their own set of keywords that reflect their target market and the products that they offer. Whenever internet users would key-in words similar or related to those keywords, the website and the advertisement would most likely come up in the search results. PPC can also be used to increase traffic for a website.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Both
An inherent advantage of the use of SEO is that it comes at a lesser cost, or even at no costs at all, compared with PPC. Unlike PPC, the success of SEO fully lies on the effective implementation and execution of SEO techniques and methods to improve a website’s visibility. Furthermore, another advantage of SEO is that it becomes more beneficial as time passes. Over time, a website can continue to accumulate quality backlinks. These will have positively affect website visibility significantly and the effect would remain so long as the links are there.
However, the use of SEO also has its own disadvantages. First, it takes time for your website to become visible. A day or two may improve the ranking of a website, but such a short period of time is insufficient to push its ranking to the top spots. There is no guarantee of how long it will take for a website to become really visible to internet users, but it usually takes six months to one year. Second, there is risk in SEO. The internet is a world full of different kinds of SEO practioners and some of them use black-hat and unethical SEO techniques. You never know when they will strike, but these people have the potential to destroy your brand and credibility to consumers.
As for PPC, results and progress come in pretty fast. Rankings improve quickly. It is also pretty easy to start a PPC campaign online. Moreover, the better positions your ad gets from search engine results increases the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Typically, ads are put on top, the right side, or below the search engine results. In addition to these, another advantage of PPC is that it allows you to focus your campaign on certain regions, countries and regions. Furthermore, PPC gives you the freedom to manage and edit the keywords you have previously set any time.
The most alarming disadvantage of PPC is that it comes at a great cost. Overtime, the costs will begin to pile up and your company may end up spending too much money on PPC. Furthermore, traffic is totally reliant on the money you pour into PPC. Once funding stops, traffic disappears into thin air almost instantly.
A thorough examination of the qualities and advantages and disadvantages of PPC would lead to the conclusion that a mixture of both would be best. Starting with PPC, then slowly switching to Organic SEO would help you maximize the results that you can achieve. Timing is always an important factor in advertising. When you need to send an important message to your consumers, it might be best to use PPC for a short period of time instead of relying completely on the slower Organic SEO. But, complete reliance on PPC may hurt your company’s resources. The use of both advertising methods also allows you to effectively manage and lessen the costs that you will incur without sacrificing the quality of the results.
Overall, internet marketing is an art. It requires crafty manipulation and employment of advertising frameworks such as Organic PPC and SEO to reach your target consumers and maximize the effectiveness of your advertising campaign.
This is a guest post from Doug Thomas. It is part of The 2nd annual “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
Last week, Facebook rolled a significant update live, introducing an amalgamated News Feed and a new feature: the Ticker. Taking on the role of Recent News stream, the Ticker is where Edge Rank and Graph Rank, a similar concept introduced in the f8 keynote speech later in the week. Also introduced was the Timeline, the new way to view your profile. While Timeline seems to be a purely design-based change, it is clear that it has lasting effects on the future of Facebook Display Ads.
Note the differences between the new (left) and old (right) sidebars.
- Where will the “You and Your Friend” box go? This gives Page owners and app creators a one-stop area to give users social proof for their product. Without it, especially in a prominent position in the sidebar, connections may be initially thought of as diminished. However, it’s likely that this information will go somewhere else that can’t be shown in the demo Facebook provided.
- Even more social proof has been removed in the ads by not displaying Likes in ads. This will likely drive down clickthrough rate, removing the value of “Social Clicks” in the Facebook Ads interface.
- White space hasn’t been diminished, but width of the ad space has by about one half. This might decrease attention by making it one of the smallest elements on the page.
- Most obviously, the number of ads on the main profile page have been cut in half to 2, dropping to one as you scroll down and the sidebar navigation expands. On the Activity Log page, there are three. The ads are persistent, scrolling with the page, but are limited. The removal of these ads may mark a major change in how Facebook views advertisers.
Before the new layout was announced, All Facebook argued that Facebook isn’t seeking to help advertisers in its News Feed design or algorithm. However, the opposite may be true when it comes to the two overlooked aspects of the update and announced change: the real-time Ticker and the expansion of Open Graph. While the original Open Graph was seen as a cataloging system, letting anything on the internet be given a face on Facebook, the new expansion of verbs allows users to chronicle their interactions — a theme pulled from the Timeline.
A New Mindset
Marketers already knew Facebook ads were a bit of a crapshoot — a .05% CTR is abysmal, two orders of magnitude lower than the 2% reported for Google Ads. This small redesign may have serious effects, though, and advertisers might be blindsided. The lack of social proof hinders ad reach, but it seems Facebook wants to alleviate this by showing ads to the user for a longer time, especially “quality” first-position ones. as browsing of Timelines likely would be a pursuit that takes longer than the current profile. This, however, could backfire, as targeted ads based on the visible content being interacted with on the profile at that moment may drive more qualified traffic.
It seems, then, that marketers and business owners need to change their mindset about Facebook. No longer is it a just another display ad network, performing well only when the stars align and demography lines up with expectations. Instead, marketers need to embrace the Open Graph, which allows actions to show in the Ticker, to provide natural advertising via the social network — working with the medium instead of alongside or against it.
Optimizing Your Campaign for the New Facebook
With the new mindset for advertising on Facebook, campaign strategy has to change. No longer can an advertiser scrape by on the bare minimum, dropping a display ad to a bare Facebook Fan Page or off-site page with no Open Graph interactivity. The first step is to optimize your Facebook presence by doing all the things marketers used to, but more consistently:
- Fan gating to incentivize Likes, providing an incentive to grow your fanbase and populating your business name and Facebook page to the feed.
- Deeper consideration about Facebook Page SEO, given the high traffic from search engines.
- Linking your site and any Facebook tab interactivity to the Open Graph, through meta tags and apps
While the first two are relatively widespread, using Open Graph, especially on outside sites, is still somewhat underused. The meta tags, in a sense returning to SEO circa 1996, allow you to control what is pushed to the Ticker or News Feed. However, creating interactivity on a site beyond a simple Like Button is new.
The first step is to create multiple actions for each page, based on what the business offers on its site. For a music streaming site, “Like” is a fine verb, but what about “Listened to” or “Commented on?” For an e-commerce site, to “Like” a product isn’t as clear as “Bought,” “Wants,” or “Reviewed.” Each action on a site can turn your users’ regular interaction on the site into its own mini-ad with social proof for the viewer, coming down the Ticker whenever the users’ friends are online.
The next step is to provide something for your users when they connect to your page, giving the visitor an incentive to let you advertise via their Facebook profile. For a blog, one idea would be to tailor your homepage content based on users’ likes and interests, showing the category that interests them most. Important to keep in mind, however, is that Facebook reports a 3% drop in conversion for each permission you ask for; therefore explaining what you do with the data will keep the more private folks Connecting.
Are Display Ads Dead?
Of course, the worry for the internet marketer is that the entire game has changed — up is down, left is right, PPC display ads aren’t effective. This isn’t true, and likely won’t ever be so long as Facebook doesn’t eliminate ads completely. In the new mindset, ads are a Like generator — get the visitor to a targeted fan page with gating or an off-site landing page, get the Like and offer a little cake as thanks. They will be useful when a company doesn’t have high brand recognition and is hurting for people to be their “Ticker Ads.” Furthermore, targeting people who already Like your page for events, blog giveaways, and contests will likely remain a powerful campaign strategy for Facebook Display ads.
When it comes to the new mindset, the concepts behind campaign choices build without necessarily breaking down the old maxims. The new mindset provides reciprocal benefit to the social universe using Facebook, instead of trying to solely draw revenue from the social aspects. While this seems like “Field of Dreams” advice, it’s time to rethink the display ad and think about what really will drive traffic and eyes and dollars to your site.