If you want to refresh your memory on the concept of the quality score, check out my Ultimate Guide to Google’s Quality Score blog post.

In this post I’ll share with you an optimization routine I use on my established Google and Bing Ads accounts to improve their performance even further.

By optimizing the ad relevance of our most important keywords we can achieve a higher quality score and in turn save on CPCs.

I have used this technique on my clients and it has given me the desired results in most cases. Still, only very few people know how quality scores exactly work and even though I have been asking these people many questions during my time at Google unfortunately I never became one of them and therefore cannot guarantee results.

But if you’re looking for a method to optimize your Search Ads campaign, this is worth a try.

Step 1: Make sure your keyword tab displays all the useful metrics.

On your keyword tab, add columns for quality score and for ad relevance. I also recommend adding expected CTR and Landing Page experience, because they are good to get an understanding of, but they are not needed for this exercise.

Step 2: Sort your keywords by cost.

You can sort your keywords by cost by clicking on the header of the cost column in the interface. You should look at a time frame of at least 7 days, but ideally the last 30 days to have a relevant amount of data.

Step 3: Identify your poorly optimized keywords.

Go through the keywords starting from the top and look at the ad relevance column. When it says “below average” make a note of the keywords and click on its adgroup and then on the ads and extensions to see the ads that are currently being shown for this keyword.

Step 4: Check the ad copy for each keyword you’ve identified.

Check whether the keyword appears in the headline and at least one more time in the ad. If yes, then there is not much potential for optimization there. If not, then…

Step 5: Create a new version of the ad.

Make sure the new version features the keywords in the first headline and at least once more in the description and also in the URL path.

Then return to step 3 and go down the list as far as your time allows or as long as you have significant data for the keywords.

Help – I have two important keywords in one adgroup that are too different

Different keywords within one adgroup can cause optimization problems if:

  1. The keywords are semantically different and
  2. Changing the ad text to reflect one keyword would mean that the ad would no longer be relevant for the other keyword.

When this happens you should split up that adgroup. Copy the adgroup and delete all keywords except the one you are optimizing for and close variants of it. Then pause in the original adgroup. You then adapt the each of the ads to feature the main keyword of this new adgroup. Keep the keyword with the better performance in the original adgroup.

Example Problem:

Your keywords within one ad group are –
digital marketing trainer london
digital marketing trainer
ppc trainer
ppc trainer london

And your ad text contains “digital marketing trainer” in the headline and the description.

And you have low ad relevance on “ppc trainer”.

Example Solution:

  1. Copy the adgroup
  2. Delete digital marketing trainer and digital marketing trainer london in the new adgroup
  3. Pause ppc trainer in the original one.
  4. Write new ad copy in the ppc trainer ad group prominently featuring the new keyword.

Important Note –

All your data will start from scratch in the new adgroup. Keep the keyword that has the higher spend and the better performance in the original adgroup, so you lose as little as possible.

I hope you found this helpful – please do let me know how it goes when you implement this.

You can get more tips and inspiration for your campaigns in my free Facebook Group for Search Engine Marketers. Looking forward to seeing you there!