Quality score optimization or QSO is a topic that is rarely mentioned in the scope of SEO, yet it is one of the most important aspects of a good SEO and SEM campaign. It is part of SEO because it is through SEO that the Quality Score is applied. But it most directly impacts your SEM or PPC campaign.
QSO is a set of strategies for improving your quality score. Quality score is one of the principal ranking factors that search engines use to do determine both your relative ranking and pricing for a given keyword listing.
What does this mean in layman’s terms? The highest bidder does not always win! Instead Google (and other search engines) ranks websites based on a number of quality factors. Then your maximum cost per click is factored into the equation to determine you placement for a given search.
The goal of QSO is to understand the factors that Google uses to calculate quality score so that you can run PPC ads at the highest possible position at the lowest possible cost per click.
The primary factors that search engines use for calculating your quality score are the CTR (click through rate), landing page quality, ad group, ad copy, campaign structure, and keyword bid. It is also important to realize that many of the quality score factors influence each other. For example, your ad group and campaign structure will probably influence your perceived landing page quality and the quality of your ad copy will certainly effect your CTR.
CTR or click-through-rate, is a measure of the percentage of times your ad was clicked as compared with the number of times it was shown. The higher your CTR, the higher quality search engines will assign to your ad and the lower your cost per click will be for a given placement. Two ways of quickly improving CTR is by removing keywords with low click through rates from your ad groups or writing more compelling ad copy.
In the next article I’ll cover writing ads, testing and landing page quality. Thanks for taking the time to learn your craft. Don’t forget to comment.