It’s important that businesses keep their eye on the prize when it comes to different ad campaigns, and quality score has always been somewhat of a debate. It’s tough to know whether this is an important metric to care about when it comes to optimization. It’s an easy way to see if you’re on the right track, but is that number really accurate or significant?
In other words, it’s tough to know whether or not Quality Score is one of those things that Google uses but doesn’t admit to using, or if it is one of those things marketers like to use but it doesn’t really have any meaning. Consider how it works and the debate below.
A Little Bit of Background on Quality Score and the Debate
According to a recent Search Engine Land article, Google published a whitepaper to try and set the record straight. Google described Quality Score as being a “warning light in a car’s engine” as opposed to being a “detailed metric that should be the focus of account management.” In other words, it’s something to consider but not something that should take your focus away from quality and other metrics.
The reason that there is so much controversy over the metric is because in many cases, agencies working to improve your PPC will put so much of the focus on improving quality score and click through rate (CTR) that sales will actually drop. Being able to show new clients that you can improve their quality score and CTR through some great numbers is an excellent way for an agency to begin earning new clients and growing their business, but this should not be the goal of optimization. Whether you’re a marketing agency or a small business working with an agency, the goal is to improve sales, first and foremost.
How Quality Score Works and What Is Needed to Top It
It’s first important to realize that Quality score is relevant, and having a great quality score is still important. If the agency you’re working with is putting some time into improving this number it can be a very good thing, you just need to make sure that your sales are not suffering because of it. You want to get traffic that’s really worth it, not just traffic that was cheap.
For those who are unfamiliar, Quality Score essentially refers to how Google will determine how relevant your landing pages, keywords, and ads are based on the query someone types into a search engine. The higher your quality score, the better position your ad can have on a Google SERP and for less money (supposedly).
The next question of course is easy: How do you optimize for sales and how do you measure this optimization? The term is simply profit, and then you want to look at profit by click and profit by impression.
How to Work on Improving Your Profit
When it comes to improving your profit, there are quite a few things you’re going to need (and it isn’t always easy). Earning a real profit takes time and patience, but there are a few things you and/or your agency can do to help lead your business in this direction:
- The Basics. Have a great product and really know your audience. You need to make sure not only that people know why they should buy from you, but also know why they should buy from you. Have something unique about your business to really help draw in that profit.
- Persuasion. Theresa Balocco, CEO of Conversion Max, mentioned on Unbounce 6 weapons of influence found in a Robert Cialdini book, which included reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity (meaning you should offer customers discounts for a limited time only). By luring customers in with these different persuasion techniques, you can begin to earn a higher profit.
- Landing Page. Your landing page needs to be good because this is where people are going to begin to decide whether or not to convert and become a sale. The Quality Score might get people there, but it’s the landing page that’s really going to bring up your profit numbers. Be sure to have a great call to action, the benefits of your product/service, a good design, and indicators that customers can trust you and why they can trust you. You can learn more about improving your landing page here.
Having a good Quality Score should help your overall sales in theory, but again, it doesn’t always work this way. Your agency will tell you that a high Quality Score and optimizing for this score will earn you a higher position on a Google SERP (above your competitors) for less money, which should help you earn more sales, and they will be telling the truth. However, it’s important for you, the company owner, to understand that sometimes optimizing Quality Score can go overboard and you can end up spending more money than you’re earning back from sales.
Do you have an opinion about quality score in 2015? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.