With the holiday shopping season already in full gear online, paid search prices are going to be going up. After all, more competition equals higher prices. That means you'll need to make sure every ad you create has the best shot at landing you a conversion. To do that, you really need to understand how to write great ads.

Karen Thackston tackles the topic of writing paid search ads that pre qualify in a great post over at Marketing Words this week.

Since AdWords has recently made some changes to the way they calculate Quality Score, it's becoming a little easier for companies to use their paid search ads to pre-qualify buyers. In the past, there was a bit of danger to pre qualifying because Google used your click thru rate as part of Quality Score, which meant you would pay more for ads with less clicks.

Since they've made some adjustments to take ad relevancy into stronger consideration, that risk appears to be dropping somewhat. That means you're free to tighten up your ad copy a bit in order to pull better results from the clicks you earn.

Karen explains:

In their AdWords Blog, Google states, "Most importantly, we are replacing our static per-keyword Quality Scores with a system that will evaluate an ad's quality each time it matches a search query. This way, AdWords will use the most accurate, specific, and up-to-date performance information when determining whether an ad should be displayed. Your ads will be more likely to show when they're relevant and less likely to show when they're not. This means that Google users are apt to see better ads while you, as an advertiser, should receive leads which are more highly qualified."

Karen also points out the benefits of using relevant keywords and even negative copy in order to pull in the absolute most qualified buyers. She gives a great before and after example of a sample ad for a Mexican cruise and does an excellent job of illustrating the copy changes that can make a dramatic impact on an ad's conversion rate.

If you're doing any paid search advertising this year, make sure you take the time to read through her full post over at Marketing Words.

November 17, 2008

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.


Hi Jennifer,

Seems to me the new Quality Score update doesn't put any less emphasis on CTR so much as it does CTR as it relates to position.

In other words the CTR impact on Quality Score is adjusted for the difference in position CTR. Obviously the higher the position the higher the CTR. Now you can't bid your way to a better Quality Score. Actually I think it has been that way for awhile, but now it is official.

That means CTR is still probably the biggest single component in Quality Score.

Which does create a problem - because filtering via ad copy can really improve your cost-per-conversion, while lowering your CTR.

So for me it is still a dilemma in that improving cost-per-conversion can sometimes hurt Quality Score.

But I opt for the better cost-per-conversion everytime ;-)

-Tom Hale
AdWords Specialist
Thomas Creek Concepts

Since the holiday season is gearing up each and every affiliate marketer would be very eager to make a good business through ads. This information would help them a lot. Though Adwords has made some changes in the calculation of quality score but still, one should make clear which keywords has to be concentrated. If the keywords that is not used regularly and making an ad for it would be of loss.

For me, Adwords was a total mess since the beginning but now is even more. Now they removed the minimum bid, but my ads are still now showing if the bid is below some bid, which I don't know how is calculated. And even I am the only bidder on some keywords, I still need 30-40 cents to be listed on the first page. How is that different from the previous minimum bid? No idea...

Comments closed after 30 days to combat spam.

Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > Maximize Your Paid Search Budget with Better Ads