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By Darren DeYoung
The folks at Google are all about providing a good customer experience. Understanding the customer journey is learning about the customer, and their experience throughout the buying process. From the moment they first begin to consider a purchase, all the way through when a purchase is made, the process of making a purchase can be quite complex, and undoubtedly, Google plays an important role in many purchase decisions.
76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours and 28% of those searches result in a purchase - ThinkwithGoogle
Because of this, it is to no one’s surprise that Google expects, and demands, a high-quality customer experience. And this expectation isn’t one that Google just expects of themselves, it is also an expectation that extends to those who choose to advertise with Google.
It used to be that people would evaluate their purchase experiences with other companies in the same industry. “I’ll compare this flooring company to all other flooring companies before making a decision on what to buy.” This is still the case to some extent, but, customers are taking the best experience from one industry and expecting it in other industries. “I went to Nordstrom and returned a pair of jeans without a receipt, why can’t I return this microwave to Best Buy without a receipt?” Businesses are competing against not only the best customer experience provided by their nearest competitors but also against the best experience provided to the customer, period.
This transition to a new customer experience standard is partly to blame on Google. For example, “near me” searches were increasing at an alarming rate a few years ago, but the location qualifier (e.g. “near me” phrasing, zip codes, neighborhoods, etc.) are being dropped when searching because people know that the results will be relevant to their location.
Other companies from various industries are doing their part as well in redefining the customer experience standard. From short shipping times to home delivery, to ordering products via a text message, the customer experience is ever changing and those companies failing to keep up and adapt will be left behind.
So how does a great customer experience translate to Cost-Per-Click (CPC) skyrocketing? Because Google places a high value on customer experience, they incorporate that into Google Ads via a Quality Score rating. This is Google’s way of grading the quality of the ad, the relevance of keywords, and the ad itself. Consequently, this also determines the CPC and impacts the ad rank.
Ad text relevance is one component of an ads Quality Score and important for determining CPC. When consumers sit down at a computer or use a mobile device to perform a search, they are likely trying to solve a problem. Therefore, it is imperative to provide a good user experience which in this case is defined as, “finding the result they want on the very first search.”
After making sure your ads meet the professional editorial standards, and that they are specific, relevant, attractive, and empowering you can impact your Quality Score for the better. If the impact is significant, your ads, by virtue of simple editing, may cause your CPC to skyrocket. An ad, or set of ads, with marginal quality scores can be improved and make for a better user experience. This improvement can enhance the quality score to a position that causes your ads to outrank those of your nearest competitor(s). And as your ads improve in Ad Rank, the CPC will likely increase due to more prominent positioning. Although this may seem unfortunate, an ad moving from the second page to the top of the first page has its benefits, but it also may have the consequences of a higher CPC.
Showcasing your products, services, or offers in a concise format and providing the user information needed to make a decision is what they are seeking. All relevant information needs to be communicated within the ad and its various extensions. An effective Call-To-Action (CTA) where you ask, or command, the user to do something is also necessary. Help them understand what the next steps are to empower them to take action. Integrating a few keywords into your ad text will increase your ad’s relevance and direct them to a landing page that follows through on everything the ad text promises.
It will take time to see the effectiveness of each ad and how it performs. Experiment and use different messages to determine which ad is most effective. Google Ads can rotate ads automatically and show the best performing ads more often. What the advertiser thinks resonates with the user, may not resonate at all. Discover what works, improve your ad copy, and hold on because an improved quality score may cause your CPC to skyrocket.