Priming Your Quality Score to Boost Campaign Results

Customized landing pages can have a huge impact on a PPC campaign. This week’s By The Numbers column provides a case study that quantifies the result for one insurance Web site.

Dutch based Univé Verzekeringen had implemented a PPC campaign, but it was sending all of its PPC traffic to the Web site home page. Campaign costs were higher than anticipated, and the conversion rate was not great as well.

Put the Quality Score to Work for You

Google and Yahoo! both have systems in place that calculate a quality score. This quality score includes a measurement of the match between the keyword that you bid on, and the lading page that a user gets sent to after clicking on the ad. The quality score is a major factor in determining whether or not your ad will even be shown for a particular keyword, as well at the placement of your ad, and its cost.

One great tool that you can use to improve landing page quality is Google's Site Related Keywords tool (note the default mode for this page is the Keyword Variations tool; make sure you click on the Site Related Keywords tab). Here, you can simply enter the URL for a given page on your site, noting the terms Google suggests are related.

This report gives you great options, like seeing Estimated Keyword Volume, Cost and Ad Position Estimates, and Search Volume Trends. Most importantly, the keywords suggested by the tool will be the ones where your landing page relevance is deemed to be quite high.

Tips to Improve Your Quality Score

Listed below are some tips you can implement to improve your quality score:
  1. Put your keywords into logical groupings. This allows you to more closely match up your ad copy with the keywords.
  2. Write creative that uses the keywords in the Ad Group, and that is relevant to the landing page.
  3. Keep in mind that click-through rate is also a factor; therefore, use relevant creative that encourages users to click through.
  4. Work on your ad copy, and test, test, and then test again. You should always be experimenting with different ad copy.
  5. Implement a separate landing page for each Ad Group.
  6. Get inbound links to your landing pages. Yes, inbound links matter in the PPC world, too.
  7. Implement related keywords in your keywords meta tag.
  8. Implement the related keywords in your landing page text.
  9. Test, test, and retest different version of your landing page. Ideally, do this in an A/B test mode to minimize the chance of other external factors being a concern when looking at your test results.
  10. Track conversion rates. If your campaign is larger, make use of a bid management tool to take care of the long tail terms.

The Univé Case Study

Univé sought out the help of Dutch SEO firm, Checkit. Checkit personnel recognized the problem and got to work on implementing custom landing pages for each of the Ad Groups in the campaign. Here are some of the steps they took:
  1. Landing Page titles included keywords from the ad title.
  2. Important keywords were integrated into the text of the landing page.
  3. A clear call to action was added.
  4. An attractive image was added to the page to make it more visually appealing to the user.
  5. The related navigation was improved, making it easier for the user to find what s/he was looking for.

The result of this effort was notable:

  1. The number of clicks per conversion was cut in half.
  2. The cost per sold insurance policies was lowered by 53 percent.
  3. The conversion rate went up by 261 percent.

Needless to say, Univé was quite happy with this improvement. With increased conversion rates, you can raise your bids on terms and compete more effectively in the market.

The new Quality Score world does not have to be frightening. In fact, it represents a real opportunity. Understanding where those opportunities lie and how to take advantage of them can provide great results. Excellence in execution in this new world can make a dramatic impact, providing you with a competitive advantage.