Craig Danuloff, President of ClickEquations did a fabulous job exposing how to leverage Google Quality Score to improve pay per click success during our webinar yesterday. In case you missed the webinar you can see the replay. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to get to all the questions so Craig and I will take turns answering them on our respective blogs. Enjoy part 1 of Craig’s responses on the ClickEquations blog. Then enjoy some additional questions and answers are below:
Q: How many keywords would you suggest for starting a campaign?
A: We haven’t tested this specifically, but starting with thousands if you can avoid it is not a good idea. There are two dynamics – first you want to build up some good history with reasonable to good Quality Score, so from that perspective, going pretty slow and being highly focused and patient is best idea. On the other hand, what matters most is good relevance between all the components which will ultimately generate good QS. So if you have to build a large campaign, ideally you get some base built and then at some point you have to grow it, realize that there’s going to be a chasm to cross while you establish yourself – which may mean some high minimums and poor positions – and just fight through it. Google isn’t incentivized to put you in a downward spiral if your quality is good – recent success will trump history – so when you ‘get it right’ the QS and fate of the campaign will turn.
Q: Where do you find Impression Precentage?
A: I think you mean Impression Share, which is under the Reports Tab in Adwords as an optional field in the Campaign Report. (Or get it right in the campaign reports in ClickEquations!)
Q: What advice to you have for niche keywords that get low CTR?
A: Since keywords should only be triggered by relevant searches, the niche nature of a topic shouldn’t necessarily lower click-through-rates. The first thing to do is make sure you have picked good keywords and aren’t over-using Broad Match (see Match Type Keyword Trap for some ideas on this.) But ultimately all QS measures are relative, so if your CTRs are reasonable for your keywords, you shouldn’t be penalized.
Q: Is Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) relevant anymore?
A: DKI is effective in some cases, but it hasn’t proven to be universally effective in our tests. And as mentioned it doesn’t give Quality Score a boost. Use it if it works (meaning test test test)
Q: Instead of deleting a keyword, should you put it in a different ad-group with a lower bid?
A: Certainly moving low CTR keywords into ‘special’ AdGroups is a good idea (but like other points here don’t go overboard). The bid it should get then depends on how the CTR varies at different positions, whether you can craft a text-ad that increases its CTR, and your own profitability. I don’t think there is a QS-based answer to that.
Q: Is there a book you’d recommend to better understand Quality Score.
A: There’s one in progress on Craig’s hard drive, but you can’t get it yet.
Q: How does Google rate a company that uses different product specific URLs?
A: I assume the question is about using different domains within a single account. I’d assume the domain doesn’t matter, that the URL and page are measured on their own merits for each ad/keyword.
Q: Our Google Rep told us that moving keywords between Ad-Groups erases quality score. Were they lying?
A: Maybe they had not yet completed their full Google training. Kidding but honestly there is a lot of facts for anyone to know. But Google has publicly written (on the Adwords Blog or in help files I believe) that QS is retained by KW ID and especially KW-AD ID combos, even if moved within a single account. The same is true for target URL. Anytime one of these is used anywhere in an account its historical CTR is known.
Q: You mention geographical performance as a Quality Score Factor. Please elaborate.
A: Google looks at the performance of you KW/AD combo within the geography of the searcher to influence QS. So if your ads get good CTR in New York City, for example, you’ll get a higher Quality Score when people search from NYC, than those who search from LA. It’s your own personal red states / blue states for QS. Would be cool if they drew us a color coded map.
Q: I’m seeing visitors come several times in the same session (via my web analytics) does this negatively effect Quality Score?
A: I can’t see why it would.
Thank you Craig for taking the time for the webinar and for answering all these questions. Do you have more questions? Leave them in the comments. If your research contradicts what we have found, then please comment as well.