How I Do Quality Score

Some of the most common questions circling the affiliate realm are “how do I increase my quality score?” and “how do I increase my Adwords quality score?” Quality score is a changing game, a changing pain, and a formidable foe to tackle. The benefits of conquering it are worth it though, as you can transform and offer that’s actually losing money into one of your best offers. I think many things come into play when talking about landing page quality score (as one of the most overall important factors in quality score is CTR). I’m going to run through and describe a bunch of different tactics for making your landing page look more like a fully-blown website that Google will love. Google doesn’t want to see bridge pages any more, but actual websites. We can do our best to make our bridge pages look like websites, while still having the feel of a simple CTR landing page.

Note that all these tips aren’t things that have a gigantic impact on quality score, and some of you make think they’re completely useless. They certainly won’t hurt, so they’re all things to test with. These are in no particular order.

Domain Name

If you’re promoting a niche, buy a separate domain name for it. Don’t use a subdomain in one of your other sites (eg. www.britneyspearsfan.com/creditscore), take time to search for a nice domain. I try to keep my domains short (2 words), .com almost all the time (unless there’s a really nice keyworded .net), and user friendly. Remember these people think they’re clicking on a real website where they’ll find the solution to their search. Display URL also takes up 1/4 of your ad real estate, and can impact CTR. So make sure your keywords are in your domain in a non-awkward fashion.

When grouping keywords, I usually send the ads to different pages with those keywords in the domain. So if one of my adgroups is targeted to “dodge auto insurance quotes”, my domain would be www.AutoInsurance.com/dodge.php. This ads more relevancy to your page, and will make your page look completely relevant.

Content

Content is key…it’s what Google wants to see. They want to see a completely relevant site, and for that you need to have content. Now I know there’s always occurrences when the top landing pages for really popular keywords are just a straight up landing page, no content or fully blown site. It’s my impression that these sites are sort of grandfathered in from being in Google so long and having a HUGE long term CTR. These are the big boys that have been making big bucks for a while.

So for content, it’s really how much you want to test with. We’ll start at the actual main page content. Again this isn’t The End All Guide to Quality Score…this is how I do it and have success. I’ll group keywords very targeted, send them to a targeted page, and then write out a page with no keyword insertion. I’m always trying to look at it from the customers side, and what they see when they come to the site. If I were a typical searcher looking for a credit report, I’d go into Google and just throw a bunch of keywords in the search bar, something like “credit score report free experian score”. I’d click on an ad, and then the title of the site is “Get A Credit Score Report Free With Experian Score”. Now that’s exactly what I searched for, but I was just typing key terms in and it looks kind of weird. Some of the things that people search for are really weird, with phrasing and whatnot. So for that keyword, I’d probably send them to a page with the title of “Free Experian Credit Score and Report”. Throughout the page, I’d have the content rich (but not spammed) with “Experian credit report”, “Experian credit score”, etc. Some visitors do read the content and articles on your page. Some niches I have a decent percentage of visitors clicking affiliate links in the article text. So I always try to build the site first for the user, while still making it just as search-engine friendly.

Content I think also depends on the niche. On most niches I write the content like I mentioned. But on some niches like ringtones, just keyword spamming artist and song names in little gray text seems to get the job done. Ringtones you just want to get them in and out, no real pre-sale to be done there.

Now as far as site content. Google likes a lot of content, and they like a lot of updated content. Hmm…well…hmm…blog? I know some really huge affiliates who design their pages to have blogs with HUNDREDS of articles, always adding new unique articles. Most of my pages right now have about 20 unique articles, but even I am probably going to start upping it.

Tags Galore

Without spamming, you can use tags to your advantage in upping your quality score. I place h1 tags near the top of my pages, with keyword-rich (but not always…user…user…user) h2 and h3 tags. Although almost useless, my meta tags have the keywords in them. My images all have alt tags that include keywords and descriptions. Title tags are very important, they should be relevant but user-friendly.

Image Names

My image names aren’t “index_01.gif” and the such, I name my images in line with my content. My header image will be named “auto_insurance_quotes.gif”, as well as other images on the page. Since your content is going to be relevant but not spammy, when Google crawls the page they will see nothing but information on your keyword.

Inbound and Outbound Links

When I start up a new niche and landing page, I usually order bout 1,000-1,500 directory submissions for that URL. I also link to various “strong” resource pages (just search Google for your niche and link to the top organic listings). This way, my site has a lot of links coming in, and relevant links going out as well. You can also do things like buy text links on other relevant sites, so all your links won’t be just from directories.

Sitemap

Get a Google sitemap for your page. This makes Google’s job in indexing your page easier and better. There’s a bunch of free sitemap generators out there, just search the net and you’ll find one.

Footer Links

Footer links are very important in your landing page, because they show the search engine that your page has a certain trust to it. Links to put in your footer may include : Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy, About Us, Contact, Resources, Sitemap. I actually have a little footer “package” I just always upload to my pages. Since I’m a nice guy like that, I’ve zipped up that folder and will be giving it to you guys. Nothing special, just the links package and the code to insert into your footer and {head} tags. It’s a simple script that just makes those items pop up in a new smaller window.

Download package.

Wrap Up

The points I listed are certainly not everything you can do for quality score, but are the main points I like to focus on and test. There are some other neat PHP tricks to make your page look more targeted and updated, but perhaps I’ll save those for another day. I hope you learned at least 1 thing from this article, if you’re already an uber affiliate then maybe not. If there’s anything really obvious I missed, just drop a comment and let me know. Also I’m sorry if any of it doesn’t make sense, my brain is still jumbled and aching from this crazy past week with Facebook, etc.


24 Comments

  1. Rajuthan
    September 21, 2007

    The Download link doesnt work

  2. September 21, 2007

    My bad…it works now.

  3. September 24, 2007

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article o Quality Score | UberAffiliate – We Hate 9-5 Jobs As Much As You Do, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  4. September 24, 2007

    Fantastic article – great ideas.

    I’ve been doing most of this with good results – I’ve picked up 2-3 new tips though – loving your blog!

  5. PlatinumDragon
    September 27, 2007

    Great Article… :)

    I also downloaded your little package, unfortunately I’m totally blank with those code. :(

    Can anyone explain to me how to plug in the code into my webpage?

    Thanks in advance for the help :)

  6. October 20, 2007

    Thanks for the package. They are useful along with this article.

  7. Jared
    November 6, 2007

    download link isn’t working again :\

  8. December 15, 2007

    download link is broken.

  9. December 18, 2007

    I loved this page, thanks again sir, you’re a guru.

  10. nate
    December 25, 2007

    Dang the download link is still broken

  11. February 9, 2008

    Brilliant, informative post. I learnt a lot of stuff. Quality score’s have been one of the hardest aspects of the PPC fight i’ve had to tackle so thanks for this.

    -Dave
    LetMeAdvise.com

  12. February 10, 2008

    Very informative. I read this way backthen and I find and read it again.

    The link is broken again anyway…

    Sugi

  13. matija
    February 19, 2008

    broken link grrrr….

  14. February 22, 2008

    Can you point us to one of your landing pages? It’d be great to see an example and you telling us how well it’s working and why/how, etc. That’d be sweeeeeet! Hope it’s not asking for too much.

    -bablooji

  15. http://www.mybloglog.com/buzz/members/mybloglog8bcdeca20f6f293f6180
    March 12, 2008

    Dude,
    that link to the footer links package doesn’t work, do you still have that? Also you said you order 1000 to 1500 directory submisions, how is that good? I thought google always knows about that and slaps you down for doing it. I really thought that was a bad thing to do. Can you explain that a little more? I’d also be very interested in seeing a new post about those PHP tricks you mentioned.

    Thanks.

  16. March 13, 2008

    Hi Paul,

    the Footer links is dead.

    If you have it up, would you mind buzzing me at my email (or even better, send it to my email) for me to download the link.

    Would appreciate it very much.

    Thanks a million Paul.

  17. March 29, 2008

    The download doesn’t work anymore. Any chance that you’d be fixing it?

  18. April 8, 2008

    yes please, that would be great to get that zip! thank you!

  19. Dude
    April 12, 2008

    Either remove the reference to the zip file in the post or fix the download link. It’s not rocket science.

  20. 007
    May 2, 2008

    Paul, http://uberaffiliate.com/bottomlinks.zip the link is not working.Please fix it.
    Thanks!

  21. May 10, 2008

    The download link is not working.

  22. September 28, 2008

    Is there any information about how much weight the Contact US and Privacy Policy page links have? I keep hearing this comment, but I’ve got to believe items have little effect.

  23. The link isn’t working, but I guess you already know that by now.

  24. Can you just email them to me actually? my email is above. Thanks for your help, Uber.

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