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Bid on own brand terms to boost account-level QS & lower overall CPC in the process.

Though you never get to see it, your account as an overall quality score. It's like a little bonus for advertisers who follow best practice. In essence, the average quality score of your keywords combined will drive up your account quality score, which will drive up your individual keyword quality scores. Confused? Sorry about that. But it's important to know because higher quality scores = lower CPC (cost per click) = lower CPA (cost per acquisition), and that's a great thing! So a little trick I learnt to improve your account quality score is to bid on your own branded keywords, which typically see a much, much higher CTR than your average ad, therefore generating a fantastically high quality score and having a positive impact on your account. I had one client who was reluctant to bid on their brand terms. After all, when you rank highest organically for your brand anyway, what's the point in paying for a click that would have been free? Well, the positive effect on your quality score is one big reason, but it's also worth remembering that 1) your competitors are probably bidding on your brand name - and you don't want to miss out on traffic that was meant for your site, and 2) the top of the SERP (search engine results page) is prime real-estate and a great spot to shout about your site promotions, news and reviews, in a way that organic listings don't allow.

 

Ad copy relevance

Target keywords can get very long (they tend to be cheaper the longer they get!) but can be a pain to fit in within the character limits imposed. So if a searcher types in 'where can I buy jazz dance shoes?' you need to pick out the best part of that phrase that will match the query best. In this case, you'd probably want to go with 'Buy Jazz Dance Shoes' to encourage those clicks! The other method of tailoring your ad content is by using a nifty little trick called...

 

Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Sometimes its difficult to identify every variation of every possible search that a user might type and in cases like this, the DKI tool is your friend. It dynamically inserts keywords (no kidding!) into your ad that exactly match the user's search. This is great because the search phrase they typed in will appear exactly in the ad, will look like the most relevant ad to that search and win the click! It's a great way to drive up click through rate, but should be used with caution to avoid DKI fail a la eBay.

 

Money still talks

There's a bit of a vicious cycle when it comes to CTR & the maximum amount your willing to pay for a click. While your £s are not taken into account as part of your quality score, they are part of your AdRank which ultimately determines where you will appear on the SERP. And the higher up the SERP you are, the higher your CTR is likely to be (and so your quality score goes up too). So a score of 10 isn't necessarily enough to gte you up to the top of the page, if your competitor who has a score of 7 is bidding ten times more than you, they could well still beat you. So while Google et al. try and level the playing field by setting out criteria that allows quality to be measured rather than how deep your wallet is, money still talks and you must still be prepared to compete financially.

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