The pay-per-click advertising landscape is constantly changing and is becoming more important for businesses to understand than ever. Google alone adds hundreds of new features each year, not to mention the dozens of other emerging and existing PPC platforms. So how do you know which campaigns to prioritize, what new features to try, and where to cut back for the most success?
In this webinar, Larry Kim, founder and CTO of WordStream, shares the top 10 PPC advertising hacks you need to optimize your PPC strategy today. Voted the “Most Influential PPC Expert” two years running and known in the industry for having unusual views on AdWords and quality score, he shares some of these views with you to help you grow your business.
1. Quality Score
The biggest hack of paid search has to do with quality score, which is a grade for your keywords. Google is giving you a score for your keywords count on a scale from 1-10 (10 being amazing and 1 being terrible). Quality score matters a great deal in AdWords, as it impacts everything in your account, including the ranking of your ads. It’s important because oftentimes there’s more than one advertiser who wants to be in the top spot of Google for a particular keyword. If there are multiple advertisers bidding on a certain keyword, Google weighs not only the maximum you’re willing to pay, but also the quality of your ads to determine the ranking of the competing ads.
In this example, Advertiser I is spending the least amount, but can still win the top spot with a 10/10 quality score.
Quality score also impacts the cost-per-click. If you consider that the average quality score on Google is 5/10, a 10/10 score will result in a 50% discount on the CPC, whereas a 1/10 quality score will result in a 400% increase in CPC. The reason for this is because Google wants to provide an incentive for advertisers to create compelling and great ads because they only get paid if people click on the ads. Conversely, they want to penalize advertisers who create irrelevant ads.
If you aren’t convinced on the importance of quality score, then impression share might do the trick. Impression share is the market share of the keywords in your account. Just because you specify that you want your ads to show up for certain keywords, it doesn’t mean Google will actually show them. It turns out the better the quality of the ads, the more likely your ads will show up.
This has to do with the impression share of ads in your account as your quality score increases, the impression share gained increases pretty linearly. Every increase or decrease in quality score, you can expect to see a 9% increase or decrease in your impression share. Most people would prefer for their ads to show than not to show otherwise, so why are we bothering to do this in the first place if you aren’t running ads at all?
Another key component of quality score is that it has a huge impact on the cost-per-conversion. The CPC plays a massive role in determining your cost-per-conversion. As we look at hundreds of millions of dollars in spend, the higher your quality score, the lower your cost per conversion. For every increase or decrease in quality score on average, we see that the cost per action increases or decreases by 16% per point.