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In today’s fast-paced education marketing landscape, relying on old-school tactics just won’t cut it anymore. To make a splash and truly connect with your target audience, you need to embrace the power of paid search. But here’s the thing: simply throwing cash at a PPC campaign is so 2005. 

These days, it’s all about increasing your ad rank by boosting your quality score. So, what’s the open secret to achieving this? Well, it comes down to four key areas: 

  • Crafting compelling ad copy
  • Creating a landing page that resonates with your audience
  • Selecting the right keywords
  • Honing in on your ideal audience. 

By focusing on these elements and taking your quality score to new heights, you’ll be able to supercharge your ROI and take your education business to the next level.

In recent years, I’ve worked on educational brands with £1,000,000 PPC budgets, and I’ve worked with brands with £10,000 budgets, and the thing they all have in common is low-quality score keywords burning a hole in their budget. 

Luke Besant

How Does Google Decide Who Comes Up In Google Ads?

Ad Rank. It’s the make-or-break metric of any paid search campaign. You can have the slickest ad copy, the most engaging landing page, and a killer keyword strategy, but if your Ad Rank isn’t up to snuff, you might as well be throwing money into a black hole. 

So, what exactly is Ad Rank, and how can you optimize it? At its core, Ad Rank is a measure of the relevance and usefulness of your ad to the user multiplied by how much you’re willing to pay – your bid. Your inner cynic may be dawn to the bidding aspect, but in many cases, the highest rank does not go to those with the highest bid. 

The simplified version goes like this:

Ad Rank = Quality Score * Max CPC bid

A low-Quality Score can increase your CPC by up to 400%, effectively pricing you out of the auction based on your CPC cap. Or worse, costing you extortionate amounts per click if the CPC is left uncapped.

How Quality Score Affects Your CPC

So, don’t leave your Quality Score to chance – take charge and optimise like a pro.

Know Quality Score Factors 

Quality Score is a metric used by Google Ads to measure the relevance and quality of your PPC ads. It’s determined by a combination of factors, including ad copy, landing page experience, keyword selection, and ad relevance to the user’s search intent. 

A simple way to think about it is a high Quality Score means Google Ads understands that you have a frictionless connection between each step in the user journey. You appear to the most applicable audience, with the right keywords, with ad copy that matches the intent of the searcher, and with an evidently relevant landing page.

Let’s break that down further:

Ad Relevance – The more relevant your ad is to the user’s search query, the higher your Quality Score will be. This means creating ads that are targeted to specific keywords and search intent.

Keyword Selection – The keywords you choose should be relevant to your ad copy, your landing page, and the user’s search query. Targeting the right keywords will increase your Quality Score.

What people often neglect to think about in this process is; it’s not just keyword search volume and competitive metrics we need to be paying attention to here. We need to be thinking, does this keyword infer the type of person who would search it? if so, is this the person we’re targeting? But, of course, this physiographic diagnostic isn’t as easily quantified, so it doesn’t appear in tools. It needs to happen between the ears of the executive. 

Luke Besant

Ad Copy – Your ad copy should be well-crafted, engaging, and relevant to the user’s search query. A compelling ad copy with relevant keywords will increase your Quality Score.

For education brands, ad copy is often incorrectly matched with the intent and desires of the audience. They repeat lines from their brand ethos but forget the “why” which is so important to attracting learners. – Why are the learners looking for this course? Scope for increased pay/ professional curiosity/ fear of missing out on a new technology…

Luke Besant

Landing Page Experience – The user’s experience on your landing page is just as important as the ad itself. A seamless, relevant, and engaging landing page will positively impact your Quality Score.

This is where I see most education brands losing Quality Score. , the brands are either using landing pages that do not give enough information, they want to skip lead generation forms, or they don’t have the in-house resources or skills to make new landing pages on their site. The PPC exec is often great in-platform but has not been empowered to create effective landing pages without having to interface with a developer, making it a long-winded process. 

Luke Besant

Remember, your Quality Score is used to determine your Ad Rank, which in turn determines your ad’s position and cost-per-click. Ads with higher Quality Scores will have a higher Ad Rank, which means better ad positions and a lower cost-per-click. Optimizing your ad copy, landing page, keywords, and ad relevance can increase your Quality Score, improve your Ad Rank, and get better results from your PPC campaigns.

How to Find Your Quality Score In Google Ads

  1. Log in to your Google Ads account and select the campaign you want to check.
  2. Click on the “Keywords” tab to see your keywords list.
  3. Look for the “Quality Score” column. If you don’t see it, click on the “Columns” button and select “Modify Columns.” Then, check the box next to “Quality Score” and click “Apply.”
  4. Your Quality Score for each keyword will be displayed in the “Quality Score” column.
  5. To get a more detailed view of your Quality Score, click on the keyword you want to check. This will take you to the “Keywords Details” page.
  6. On the “Keywords Details” page, you’ll see a breakdown of your Quality Score for that keyword, including ratings for expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience.
  7. Use this information to identify areas where you can improve your Quality Score, such as optimizing ad copy, improving landing page experience, and refining keyword selection.

Should I Just Turn Off Low Quality Score Keywords?

It’s not always advisable to simply turn off low Quality Score keywords without first understanding why they are performing poorly. While it’s true that low Quality Score keywords can have a negative impact on your ad campaign, it’s important to evaluate them on a case-by-case basis to determine if they should be paused or optimized.

While working on a client’s PPC audit, I found they were spending their budget on low Quality Score keywords. Upon further inspection, I could see that these keywords were still profitable at this cost – conversions were still going through. 

The issue was that Google simply didn’t understand how their landing page was relevant. We had to make adjustments to the page to showcase its relevance to the machines. In this way, Quality Score optimisation is similar to SEO. We need to create for people first, but recognise that there is a gatekeeper in Google, and the price of admission is proof of relevancy. 

Luke Besant

First, consider whether the low Quality Score keywords are driving any valuable traffic or conversions. If so, it may be worth optimizing them by improving ad copy, refining the landing page experience, and selecting more relevant keywords. By making these adjustments, you may be able to improve their Quality Score and increase their effectiveness.

On the other hand, if the low Quality Score keywords are not driving any valuable traffic or conversions, it may be best to pause them to avoid wasting ad spend.

Ultimately, it’s important to regularly monitor your Quality Score and make informed decisions about which keywords to pause or optimize based on their performance and potential value to your campaign. By taking a strategic and data-driven approach to keyword management, you can improve the overall effectiveness of your ad campaign and achieve better results.

Need An Expert Audit?

Are you ready to take your PPC campaigns to the next level? Don’t leave your success to chance. Let Magnetic Campus help you unlock the full potential of your Google Ads account with our expert audit service. Our team of seasoned PPC professionals will evaluate your campaigns, identify areas for improvement, and provide tailored recommendations to boost your Quality Score and achieve better results.

Don’t settle for lacklustre results and wasted ad spending. Reach out to Magnetic Campus today and experience the difference our expertise can make. With our proven track record of success and commitment to delivering exceptional results, you can trust that your PPC campaigns are in good hands. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today to schedule your expert audit and start seeing real results from your Google Ads campaigns.