Posted by on February 19, 2017

Optimizing AdWords Campaigns

    User experience is one of the most important things you need to pay attention to when it comes to all things related to business and it holds true when optimizing AdWords campaigns. If you’re not making it easy for your users to perform the actions you want them to perform then you will have a hard time seeing positive results. Many advertisers on AdWords know where their audiences are spending their time and have developed standard messaging across campaigns for these audiences to perform some action on their website but don’t seem to get the search engine visibility they were hoping for. The concept of “straight line of relevancy” is what helps fix that problem. If you are using AdWords then you already have access to information that the “straight line of relevancy” concept supports.

AdWords Quality Score & "Straight Line of Relevancy"

    When it comes to optimizing in AdWords, quality score is always a main focus. Quality score is what “straight line of relevancy” works off of to ensure you are getting all the search impression share you can achieve. Here is how you build it out:


  1. Develop your ad group theme with all common keywords and phrases. These should not stray away from each other. If you are targeting “family lawyer” and “family attorney” keywords then you would have separate ad groups for each of those phrases to keep things specific for the next step.
  2. The text ad tied to the specific ad group theme should have the theme name in the headline or at least in the body copy. This connects a proper text ad to a search query and will catch the eye of the user since the copy is exactly what they searched for.
  3. The landing page created for this themed ad group will match the text ads to provide an easy transition from search engine results page to content desired. Everything will perform best and receive more of a quality score boost if the keywords themed and text ads created have the same keywords and phrases throughout the entire landing page. It is the final piece and backbone that the AdWords system scans for to ensure you are providing an adequate user experience.

    Following these ideas behind “straight line of relevancy” will give you higher quality scores which in turn AdWords will reward you with lower costs-per-click. Here is the quality score ranking you can see in your AdWords account that this concept is created around:

optimizing adwords campaigns

The Concept Explained

    This concept is easy in theory yet many do not follow it while optimizing AdWords campaigns. Targeting keywords together that are synonymous but do not look the same should not be grouped side by side. Here is an example, a website that posts jobs is wanting more traffic and targets “job boards” and “hiring boards”. They know these are similar phrases that people understand have the same meaning but they would want to make these into two separate ad groups. This is all about making sure you can have messaging tailored to all different searches.


    Creating a specific text ad for each theme of keywords will get better clickthrough rates and more search exposure. Working off the last example, you will not want to have one common headline for “job boards” and “hiring boards”. The user is scanning the search engine results for the keywords they just typed in so you are going to want to provide a satisfactory user experience and give them the keywords they search for in your ad copy. People have stated that you can use dynamic keyword insertion in your ads but when using that you can limited control on what keywords show up in the headlines and you have a difficult time finding out what keywords are winning for you that show up in those headlines.


    The final step is the backbone of all the AdWords efforts, the landing page. Getting those keywords you targeted matched to your text ads then speaking on the keyword phrases as the topic of the page will complete the concept to improve your efforts. This is the hardest to get set up specific to all of your split out ad groups you create with the “straight line of relevancy” but they are plenty of tools out there to help you along such as Unbounce, Optimizely, or Marketo to get a tool for everything. This part is important because you give that final proper user experience Google and other search engines are asking for that provides less friction to your conversion goals and providing more ROI for your AdWords efforts.


A better look

This is how the example above would be set up when optimizing AdWords campaigns:

“Hiring board” keyword target => “Hiring board” text ad headline => “Hiring board” landing page

“Job board” keyword target => “Job board” text ad headline => “Job board” landing page


The Impact

    Following these guidelines will help you achieve better metrics in your AdWords account. Companies I’ve worked with have had a 40% increase to quality scores and over 25% increase to Search Impression Share for a new account restructure when implementing the “straight line of relevancy”. In other accounts conversions have grown by 100% or more. That boost to your Search Impression Share, which also drops your Search Impression Share Lost due to Rank, casts a wider net on a major internet traffic highway that gives you more chances to increase search engine visibility. These are all key metrics that show the health of an AdWords account and really just make sense.


The conclusion

    Whenever in doubt when optimizing AdWords campaigns, make your ad groups more focused. Keep your match types separate from each other and keep those common themes together. Always keep the user at the center of your strategy and understand how they are searching on the Google search engine. They want to find things that are highly relevant to their search query so it’s your job to give them what they want. As you begin to develop a more focused strategy providing an exceptional user experience you will have a lot more control over optimizing AdWords campaigns and be able to turn things on and off easily that work and don’t work. In the end it is about setting yourself up for success and making it easier to optimize and grow your AdWords campaigns while pleasing the Google search algorithms that want better user experiences.


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