Google Ads Quality Score – How to Improve Quality Score

If you’ve ever researched PPC advertising, or you’ve run a Google Ads campaign in the past, you may have come across Quality Score. Quality Score is an essential consideration for those aiming to get the best out of Google Ads, but what is it, and how do you go about improving your score? Here is a useful guide to Quality Score to increase the efficacy of your Google Ads strategy.

Quality Score is a rating given to you by Google based on the quality and the relevance of your adverts, your landing pages, and the keywords and search terms you utilise. Google uses a scale of 1-10, and you can see your Quality Score via the ‘keyword analysis’ tab on your account. If you’re not aware of your score, it’s a really good idea to check the rating to see how well you’re performing and identify potential areas of improvement. The score is calculated by taking a series of factors into account. These include:

  • Your click-through-rate, or CTR
  • The relevance of the keywords you use
  • The quality and relevance of your landing pages
  • The quality and relevance of the content you include in your ads
  • Your performance on Google Ads and your account history

Click-through-rate is thought to be the most significant contributing factor to your Quality Score. If you post an advert, and it receives a lot of clicks, which lead to sales or sign-ups, this is a good indicator for Google that your ads are both relevant and effective. 

Keywords report an individual quality score for each- by showing levels of CTR, ad relevance and landing page experience.

Account level quality score is calculated by a weighted average of impressions received across the account. Chart of quality scores for all keywords with impressions

Find your QS weighted by Chart of quality scores for all keywords with impressions

 

Why is Quality Score important?

If you’re new to Google or you haven’t been using Google Ads for long, the simplest way to explain the importance of your Quality Score is using the metaphor of your credit score when you try and borrow money. If you have a good credit rating, you’ll not only be able to take out a loan, but the terms will be preferable to those offered to somebody with a lower score. If you have a high Quality Score, this will enable you to take advantage of two key benefits: a higher ranking position for your adverts and a lower cost. 

If you take steps to elevate your Quality Control score, it’s highly likely that your CTR will improve, which should also boost your revenues and ensure your marketing campaign delivers better results for a lower spend. Higher scores contribute to a lower cost per conversion rate, as well as a decreased cost per click rate. This is important because when somebody clicks on your ad, you want them to take the next step. A low cost per conversion rate indicates an efficient, cost-effective, targeted campaign.

How to improve your Quality Score

Improving your Quality Score offers a host of benefits, including a lower click charge. If you have a brilliant score of 9 or 10, for example, Google could charge you up to 50% less than somebody who has an average rating. If your score is lower than 5, you also stand to incur increased charges. The benefits of a high score are clear to see, but how do you go about reaching the top? To increase your score, here are some top tips:

  • Conduct thorough keyword research: make sure keywords are relevant to your products and services and vary terms and relevant keywords to include single words and long-tail phrases. Every single keyword you use should be linked to the product. 
  • Arrange your keywords so that they are easy to identify, and focus on a single product. Ads that promote multiple products are often diluted in terms of quality, and this can affect relevancy. 
  • Target specific ad groups. Tailor your ads to suit the ideal buyer. Make sure you know who you’re trying to target before you launch an advert. If you’ve got a whole range of products, this may mean that your overall campaign is targeting several groups, but your ads should be focused on the target market for that specific product. 
  • Ensure your landing pages are up to scratch. They should be optimised for mobile and desktop use, contain relevant keywords, titles and tags, and be slick and easy to use. You don’t want to pay for a click for the user to navigate away from your site because they’re not impressed with what they find when they land on the page. Optimising your landing pages will help you to improve your conversion rate. Your landing pages should look the part, and they should make it easy for the customer to do what they set out to do. If they want to buy a product from the ad, for example, they should be able to do this in a matter of seconds by placing the item in their basket via the landing page. Make sure instructions are clear and that your pages contain a CTA. 
  • Research negative keywords: this will enable you to ensure that people who see your ad have a genuine interest in what you’re selling by eliminating irrelevant keywords and search terms. You don’t want to be paying for clicks that aren’t leading to a sale, a sign-up, or a download.

When you use Google Ads to promote your business and increase sales, your aim is to convert as many leads as possible. If your Quality Score is high, this is a positive sign that your ads are both high-quality and relevant. If the score is low, there is likely to be a disconnect between the ad and the keywords. It’s essential to undertake keyword research, to optimise landing pages, and to ensure your ads target the right buyer to reach the dizzy heights of the Quality Score scale.

How Quality Score is calculated

Every time someone does a search that triggers your ad, we calculate a Quality Score. To calculate this Quality Score, we look at a number of different things related to your account. By improving the following factors, you can help improve your Quality Score:

  • Your keyword’s expected click-through rate (CTR): The expected CTR is based in part on the keyword’s past CTR, or how often that keyword led to clicks on your ad
  • Your Display URL’s past CTR: How often you received clicks with your Display URL
  • Your account history: The overall CTR of all the ads and keywords in your account
  • The quality of your landing page: How relevant, transparent and easy-to-navigate your page is
  • Your keyword/ad relevance: How relevant your keyword is to your ads
  • Your keyword/search relevance: How relevant your keyword is to what a customer searches for
  • Geographic performance: How successful your account has been in the regions that you’re targeting
  • Your ad’s performance on a site: How well your ad’s been doing on this and similar sites (if you’re targeting the Display Network)
  • Your targeted devices: How well your ads have been performing on different types of devices, such as desktops/laptops, mobile devices and tablets – you get different Quality Scores for different types of devices

How Can Quality Score be Improved?

Quality Score can be increased by improving expected CTR, landing page relevance, search term/keyword/ad relevance, geographic performance, device performance and use of ad extensions.

In non-jargon terms, this means that an advertiser must more accurately target their customer’s requirements.

Steps to improve Quality Score.

The fastest way to increase quality score is to ensure that the best performing areas in the account are spending the most money.  Typically this will increase most KPI metrics such as CTR, average session duration (landing page experience) and conversion rate.

Make sure best-performing keywords and campaigns have the highest bids and budget respectively. Conversely, the worst-performing areas can either be paused or have bid or budget reductions.

 Google quality score keywords from 1-10 out of 10. It is calculated across the account, but it is only reported at keyword level.

Summary

If you’re thinking of trying Google Ads, or you’re hoping to revive a campaign that has so far failed to set your order books alight, take these tips on board and focus on increasing your score. If you have high quality ads that are relevant to your brand and your products, you’ll save money at the same time as increasing sales.  

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