Nokia trials Quality Score tracking tool following search strategy overhaul

Nokia is trialling a new Quality Score tracking tool from start-up Tenscores as part of its overall plans to streamline its global paid search activity.

The handset maker is working with Aegis’ performance arm iProspect on the trials, which mark the latest step in its overall search strategy overhaul, kicked off at the turn of the year.

This saw it move away from focusing on capturing requests that spilled over from TV campaigns, towards a purely ROI-based, performance-driven approach, according to Nokia’s global search marketing lead Issam Tidjani.

He told The Drum there has been a “massive” shift in how Nokia manages its search strategy globally this year, which triggered the need for the creation of his role, marking the first ever global search marketing manager for the brand.

“Now we are focused on search as a purely performance-driven channel, which we are using to drive incremental conversions and revenue for the company. This has completely changed our operations with the result that we examine our activity at a much more granular level,” Tidjani said.

Quality Score is a metric used in paid search that represents the relevancy of an ad in relation to the search query, and is used by search engines to rank pages. It also helps determine the cost-per-click (CPC), with sites that earn a high quality score paying less for a click.

TenScores, created by Christian Thunder and Chretien Mwizerwa, is a web-based app that can link to a marketer’s AdWords account letting them monitor their individual Quality Scores and historical performance.

Both Nokia and iProspect have hailed the tool as a potential “game changer”, giving marketers the ability to track and analyse Quality Score trends across global campaigns in a way not previously possible.

“Many struggle to gain this level of quality score analysis because Google’s current set-up doesn’t provide anything like this, so it has previously been a very painful and time-consuming process to try and assess it.

“TenScores provides recommendations on how you can optimise and further improve quality score in a really useful way. From an internal point of view it means we can better co-ordinate with our website team to implement some of those recommendations which may require some coding changes on the site to improve quality score. It really shows us what the real priorities are and what we should focus on first, all of which will help shape our road map,” he continued.

Nokia and iProspect are currently trialling the tool for paid-search campaigns across 50 different countries. Although it is too early for any definitive results Tidjani believes there is potential for the tool to alter the future of how quality score is used.

“It may be a game changer in that you can better optimise quality score and do it really quickly – which many struggle to do in the industry today.

"You spend a lot of time reviewing your ad copy, or implementing strategy to increase click-through rates (CTRs) but nobody currently looks too in-depth at quality score because it’s too hard to do. But TenScores may simplify this as it lets you streamline and optimise quality score analysis, which is something that is missing in the industry today,” Tidjani added.

iProspect’s head of performance products and global clients, EMEA, Adrian Cutler said the tool could “revolutionise” how agencies work in paid search.

“Quality Score has always been the recognition of how search practitioners are optimising the accounts but even Google only shows the current Quality Score not the trend. By using TenScores to capture the trend, we can see which of the optimisations have had the biggest impact,” said Cutler.

Both Nokia and iProspect have also seen major resource savings since using the tool, which can also be used as a training tool for graduates and junior team members, according to Cutler.

“The industry is growing faster than we can get qualified practitioners for so it becomes even more crucial to streamline training to get new graduates fully effective as fast as possible in paid search,” he said.

iProspect is testing the tool with several other global clients across multiple markets including the UK, US and Denmark and has seen quality score improvements jump more than 50 per cent in some cases, while CTRs have risen 28 per cent and it has seen an average 18.5 per cent improvement on CPCs.

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