Google Ads underwent many changes in 2018; a new interface, a new name, new ad types, new campaign types, and new automations just to name a few. Here at Rocket Clicks, we studied these changes as we worked to find new ways to optimize our accounts, embracing some and resisting others. Through it all, one trend was clear: automation.
How were we going to use this to our advantage?
The answer was to lean in, leverage the big data and machine learning Google has, and improve our quality scores. Google has a lot of data and the ability to make real-time adjustments for every auction. By tailoring your ad and bid for every auction, your quality scores will improve.
Quality scores have enormous influence over the cost and effectiveness of your paid search campaigns—Larry Kim explains it best here.
You’ve done the basics and already have excellent quality scores, but they can be even better.
Below are my top three quality score hacks using automation and the newest Google Ads features to quickly improve your quality scores (plus, two of my all-time favorite techniques to improve quality scores).
1. Optimized Ad Rotation
This might be the easiest hack on the list. Just flip a switch and watch your quality score improve while your CPCs decrease.
An optimized ad rotation allows Google to look at thousands of different signals and choose the best ad for that specific auction, putting forth the ad Google thinks the searcher is most likely to click on, inherently raising your expected click-through rate and ad relevance.
This helps improve our quality score and ad rank, ultimately entering and winning more auctions. An optimized ad rotation is a Google Ads best practice and by choosing this setting we are giving our ads the best chance to perform within Google’s algorithm.
We began experimenting with optimized ad rotations back in January as the push for 3+ ads per ad group was upon us and our old ways of A/B testing our ads while rotating them indefinitely was beginning to look obsolete.
After several experiments, we were able to determine that an optimized ad rotation setting will improve your quality scores, increasing your impression share, decreasing CPCs and ultimately increasing your conversions at a lower CPA.
Go ahead and graduate your account to the new era of Google Ads and make the switch to an optimized ad rotation, ensuring you have at least three ads per ad group.
2. Smart Bidding
Much like hack #1, smart bidding allows us to tap into the thousands of users signals and data points Google has that we cannot see.
Depending upon which smart bidding strategy you choose, the effect on your quality score will vary greatly, but in theory, by tapping into all the additional audience signals your ad relevance and expected CTR (relative to position) should improve.
Not using Smart Bidding yet? You should test it.
Read More: Why You Should Adopt Smart Bidding Today
3. Responsive Search Ads with Dynamic Keyword Insertion
This one is almost unfair and might be the quickest way to see your keyword’s quality scores increase by 2 to 3 points overnight. Responsive Search Ads are the biggest ads we’ve ever seen and can give you the benefit of improved ad relevance and higher expected CTR.
Google’s new Responsive Search Ads can show up to three 30-character headlines, a display URL with two 15-character path fields, and up to two 90-character description fields.
Compared to Expanded Text Ads, that’s an extra headline, an extra description, and 10 additional characters in each description. That makes these Responsive Search Ads the largest ads to ever reach the SERP—with up to 300 characters of total text, bigger ads result in higher CTR and improved quality scores.
In addition to occupying more real estate on the SERP, Responsive Search Ads again let you to tap into all the user signals Google has that we cannot see. Letting Google take your assets and craft the best (at least in Google’s eyes) ad for each auction.
Throw dynamic keyword insertion into one of your headline assets and you will find yourself getting more 10/10 ad relevance scores than ever before.
Bonus Hacks — Oldies but Goodies
Now two bonus hacks that aren’t new, but often underutilized.
Bonus Hack #1 – Traffic Sculpting (Cross Ad Group Negatives)
Make sure your traffic is going to the intended ad group.
By adding cross-ad group negatives, you can improve your ad relevance and expected click-through rate. Use a tool like Optymzr or one of the many scripts available to make this quick and easy optimization.
Bonus Hack #2 – Use Ad Extensions (As Many as Possible)
If you count automated extensions, there are now 12 distinct types of ad extensions (and more in beta) available in Google Ads.
Choose which ones are relevant to your business and add them to your campaigns. Take up more space on the SERP to increase your CTR (and expected CTR) and improve your quality score.