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Improve PPC Efficiency – Get Started, Get Relevant

Today our article aims to explain the importance of keyword Quality Score (QS) and guidelines to improve it. Every account is different and each one will have a different set of influencing factors. It would be impossible to mention them all here, instead this article will provide a macro level view of increasing QS through conversion point optimisation. Driving leads and sales are the main goals of a PPC account. In a PPC account setting, having hard leads and sales as the conversion points is a good start to achieving an efficient account.

Macro level steps to account efficiency

  1. Establish the conversion points for the account – calls, GA transaction goals and form fills are solid conversion points to optimise towards.
  2. Regularly identify the keywords that are driving the majority of conversions and spend.
  3. Optimise, starting with the conversion and spend driving keywords and repeat (often).


The importance of the QS cannot be underestimated as at a base level it is one of the most influencing factors to account cost. An efficient account will be highly optimised and drive the majority of conversions and spend through keywords with high quality scores. As search volumes are dynamic and in constant flux, PPC accounts must similarly be in constant flux through optimisation.

Your overall goal here is to ensure conversion driving keywords have the highest possible QS and account for the majority of spend. At a macro level, optimising an account with this goal in mind will improve the efficiency of your spend.

Initial Suggested Optimisations

(assuming conversion points have been established)

Identify the keywords – In the first instance, use the last 12 months’ worth of data where possible. If the account is not that old, use as much data as possible. Identify the top 5 converting and top 5 spending keywords, these 10 keywords will form the initial list of keywords to start trying to improve the QS of.

Improve CTR – Improvements can be made by creating exact match versions of these keywords if they do not already exist and include them into the account. An advanced version of this optimisation would be to create a separate campaign for only exact match keywords, the structure being one keyword per ad group to allow highly relevant ads that contain the keyword.


Ad Relevance – Create highly relevant ads that contain the keyword where possible. At a base level, include the keyword in the headline and in the display URL where possible. Always A/B test ad copy for at least 30 days before removing the poorest performing copy and creating a new variation to test the best performing against.

Relevancy Is King – To give a keyword the best chance of improving its QS, a highly relevant account structure is required. Careful consideration should be taken to ensure the ad is relevant to the chosen keyword, the ad group and the campaign as a whole.

Ad > Keyword > Ad Group > Campaign

Advanced Optimisations

Ad Extensions

There are a plethora of studies and articles written about how ad extensions improve CTR. Keyword CTR is an influencing factor in QS. At the very least, ensure campaign level sitelinks are applied to campaigns containing the highest converting keyword.

80/20 Rule – Known as the Pareto Principle

In PPC, this principle aims to gain 80% of the account conversions from 20% of the keywords. This is a bigger long term optimisation that will require account restructure. Only very high spending accounts would gain a significant advantage from optimising to this principle.

By Rajiv Panchal

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