Tom Schmitz // Sep 8 2008
Editors Note: Today Portent Interactive welcomes guest blogger Joseph Kerschbaum, Senior Search Marketing Consultant with Hanapin Marketing and one of the funtastic writers of the PPC Hero blog. For Portent Interactive, sharing effective methods and best practices is a passion. Joe shares that passion, so we are thrilled to have him share a little of his knowledge and experience with you. – Tom
If you are managing a pay-per-click account, by now you’ve realized that we are living in a Quality Score world. And if you haven’t come to this realization yet, you should very soon (like right now would be good). In this brave new world the quality and relevancy of your keywords and advertisements are paramount to your PPC success. Optimizing your PPC account is a great way to enhance your relevancy, but be careful, because you could damage your Quality Score even when you’re trying to improve it.
To improve your Quality Score in both Google and Yahoo, you need to enhance your click-through rate. To enhance your click-through rate your keywords and ad texts need to be as highly relevant to a user’s search query as possible. This is where campaign optimization comes into play. Optimizing your PPC campaign is comprised of breaking down your keywords into smaller, tightly themed groups. This way you serve the most relevant ads to specific keywords. Breaking down your keywords into tightly themed groups can help your account take two steps forward, but you may take one step backwards if you’re not careful.
In regards to moving keywords and segmenting them into smaller groups, here is how to make sure you put your best foot forward. For example, when you break down an ad group with 100 keywords into 4 separate ad groups (each with 25 keywords), your natural inclination is to write all-new targeted ad texts for each ad group in order to increase your relevancy and your click-through rate (therefore enhancing your Quality Score) – and you are thinking correctly, this is a good strategy. When it comes to Quality Score, be aware that your keywords and ad texts are tied together in a symbiotic relationship. If you sever this bond, you actually harm your Quality Score.
So, how do you optimize your account and break down your keywords without serving your keyword/ad text relationship? Simple, when you move your keywords into their new ad groups, just make a copy of the already existing ad text and move it into your new ad group. If you don’t do this the Quality Score for every keyword you move will be “reset” which means you’re back to zero and you have to re-build your score from the group, up.
After you copy your existing ad text, you can write new ad texts and begin split testing to see which version works best. This way, you have maintained your keyword/ad text bond and you are now improving your Quality Score by inserting new ads in order to increase your click-through rate.
In summary, to improve your Quality Score you need to improve your relevancy by breaking down your keywords into tightly-themed ad groups. But be sure not to re-set your Quality Score (the very thing you’re trying to improve!) by copying your existing ad texts into each of your newly created ad groups.