So, I know this post is probably out of date considering Yahoo released it a week or so ago but the information is excellent and Yahoo! is starting to ad the type of usability to their advertising platform that many of us have been demanding since the release of Panama! Enjoy!
When all five sections of the bar are colored in blue, your quality index score is high. When three sections are filled in, your score is OK. When only one is filled in…well, you get the idea.
But what is this quality index thing, why does it matter, and how can you make it better?
It’s All Relative (and Relevant)
In a nutshell, an ad’s quality index is a relative measure of how relevant it is to users. In determining your quality index, our system takes into account your ad’s click-through rate compared to its average position in search results, as well as to that of other ads displayed at the same time, other keywords in your ad group, and other relevance factors.
Why Should I Care?
You should care because ads with a higher quality index can receive higher ranking in Sponsored Search results. Our system calculates an ad’s ranking based on your bid, your ad’s quality and other relevance factors. A high-quality ad may be ranked higher than a poor-quality ad, even if the poor-quality ad’s bid is higher.
Please note the graphic above is provided for illustrative purposes only
OK, so how do I Improve My Quality Index?
Your ad’s quality index reflects its ability to meet the needs and desires of users—that is, how well it helps them find what they want, quickly and accurately. If your ads don’t meet the needs of users, users are less likely to click them. Fewer clicks means fewer customers and conversions.
When this happens, nobody wins: not you, not us and not the user. High-quality ads, by contrast, can help create winners out of all of us. The quality index was set up to encourage advertisers to better meet the needs of users—who are, after all, the reason we are both here.
Here are a number of tactics you can use to improve the quality of your ads, and thus, your quality index:
Use relevant keywords—Make sure the keywords in your ad group are highly relevant to the ads in the same ad group.
Include your keyword in your creative—Using the keyword itself in titles and descriptions of your ad. You can use the Insert Keyword feature to help you do this automatically.
Take advantage of excluded keywords—Use this feature to block certain searches that you think may not be relevant. This can help keep your budget focused on more likely prospects. For example, if you sell portable radios but not ham radio equipment, you can block searches that include the word “ham.”
Use ad testing—You may have noticed that when you create an ad in an Ad Group, you are prompted to create another one. You should do this in all of your ad groups, because when you create more than one ad, our system will test the ads automatically. Ads that perform better then begin to appear more frequently in search results, and you can edit or delete ads that perform poorly. Try different copy, different offers or different display URLs to help determine what works best.
Gather intelligence—Almost all’s fair in love and advertising, so you shouldn’t feel shy about spying on your competitors. And by spying, we mean searching for their products or services so you can look at their ads—not breaking into their offices, tapping their phones or any of that illicit Watergate stuff, OK? Take a look at your competitors’ ads to determine if your offers are as strong as theirs.
Offer specials—Consider including special offers in your ad copy. Take a look at a calendar: It’s chock-full of holidays that you should consider taking advantage of. Limited-time offers, free shipping, two-for-ones, free gifts, contests and so forth can be very effective. Remember, it’s not just about your ad, it’s also about the value that users think you can deliver.