When you put aside Quality Score’s function as a landing page and user experience thermometer, you can think of quality score as a tool to help you benchmark your click-through rate (CTR) against your competitors’ CTR. There are 101 ways to get distracted with Quality Score and Share of Voice, but instead of diving into everything, I’ll focus on a simple bid recipe.
One way to use the Quality Score metric is to help prioritize where to bid more. On the other hand, share of voice (a.k.a., impression share) gives you a great of idea of not just where you’re losing impressions, but it’ll also tell you why so you can begin to fix the problems.
Let’s see how you can combine Quality Score and share of voice to give you the most bang for your buck.
Quick points of information:
- Bing Ads Share of Voice (SOV) report is similar to Google AdWords’ Impression Share.
- Bing Ads Share of Voice data is provided on the keyword + match type level data (and located in ‘Reports’ tab.
- The logic applied in this article can be applied to Google AdWords using their Impression Share and Quality Score data – but adjustments will need to be made account for ad group level data.
How Can Quality Score Help You Prioritize Bids?
I often find keywords with great Quality Scores (8, 9, 10) get ignored – as search marketers, we focus tend to focus on the poor scores. It’s in our nature. For you parents out there, which gets more attention, a report card with all As and one F or straight Bs? I think that F is going to get more attention!
If you have a Quality Score of 8, 9 or 10 you’re getting an A from the engine because you’ve nailed your landing page, user experience and keyword relevance. The keyword relevance slice of your score is telling, and in Bing Ads specifically it means your CTR is much higher than to the marketplace average (your competitors). So if you have a great Quality Score, an increase in your bid will give you more bang for your buck.
High quality scores tell us which keywords are outperforming the market from a CTR perspective. When your CTR is better than all of your competitors, you will pay a lower CPC for any given position. So a high Quality Score of 8, 9, or 10 can help uncover keywords where you have an “advantage” bidding vs. your competitors.
What Does Share of Voice (a.k.a. Impression Share) Really Tell You?
Officially, “Share of Voice represents the percentage of times your ads were actually shown in relation to the total number of chances your ads could have been shown, based on your keyword and campaign settings.”
Translation: The report will give you a great of idea of not just where you’re losing impressions, but also tell you whyso you can begin to fix the problems.
I’ve included a breakdown of the Share of Voice performance statistics below, let’s focus on Rank though you’ll see the others mentioned. I like to think of Share of Voice as a map of how a paid search keyword travels through a search engine to be delivered as an ad.
For instance, after your keywords pass through processes like editorial approval and targeting, Bing ads will then check your budget to determine if an ad is eligible. If you have budget they’ll make sure you have a relevant result, your bid is competitive, and then only the top ads are shown on the page.
Share of Voice for Bidding
The Share of Voice performance statistics connect to actions you can control. In the report, it’ll tell you how many times your ad didn’t show because your bid was below the minimum bid (lost to bid) or where your need to improve CTR (keyword relevance).
As a refresher, here’s a quick action guide to help you organize your optimizations. CTR improvements are particularly helpful for long term performance, but bidding strategies such as rank & bid can be quick wins.
“Lost to Rank”: Putting Together Quality Score and Share of Voice
We’re focusing on Impressions Lost to Rank because it’s one of the last processes behind the scenes to determine if an ad shows on the search page. If you lose impressions to rank, it’s typically because your position is too low on the page.
Your Rank is determined by comparing the composite score of advertisers bidding on a certain keyword. Combine your bid x CTR for your score and compare you against all of your competitors’ bid x CTR scores. Then sort from highest to lowest and the top ads serve.
Using Share of Voice Impressions Lost to Rank to calculate the missed opportunity, overlay keywords with high quality scores. This will give us keywords with opportunity due to rank, but have a very high CTR, therefore a bid change could have impact. Then filter by keywords that are profitable (CPL, ROAS, RPC, Contribution Margin, etc…) and bid based on your CPC head room. Your goal is to capture those missed impressions you’re not showing for.
This is where your basic bidding strategy and data aggregation skills come into play. Going old school, you can determine your “true” max CPC by multiplying your CPA goal by your conversion rates, then adjusting for the average CPC to max CPC ratio. I’ve seen similar strategies combined with fixing minimum bids employed on accounts with millions of keywords to drive 50 percent+ in incremental clicks per month for 7 figure click increases.
There are always a number of considerations for bidding strategies especially when you move to the long tail: diminishing incremental returns, level of data aggregation and basics like match type to name a few. But using the Share of Voice report can be an effective long tail keyword bidding tool, especially if your keywords sit in position 4-6 because they’re commonly filtered out due to Rank or Low bids.
Remember to season to your tastes and to avoid focusing on Quality Score by itself. This doesn’t solve your poor Quality Score issues, it is a useful application for optimization. Bon appétit!
The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!