What is Quality Score?
Quality Score is Google’s metric that assesses the quality of a keyword as it relates to its relevance to the ad text and landing page. The higher your score, on a scale of 1-10, the more Google will reward you.
Higher quality scores can:
- Increase the likelihood of extensions being shown, which can expand ad space on the search network and encourage ad-clicks. More importantly, if your account is below a 5% CTR, a boost in ad-clicks can raise it.
- Lower the cost-per-click of keywords and improve ad rank. Ad rank = (quality score) x (cost-per-click bid). Having a higher quality score means that you can achieve a better position for less cost-per-click (CPC).
Let’s say we have 2 keywords with the same CPC of $1.00. One keyword has a quality score of 1, and the other has a quality score of 10.
1st Keyword: Ad rank = (1) x ($1.00) = 1
2nd Keyword: Ad rank = (10) x ($1.00) = 10
Since the 2nd keyword has an ad rank that is higher than the 1st keyword, it would hold a higher position on the Google Search Network
More importantly, a higher quality score can also result in a lower CPC: Even if the 2nd keyword’s CPC was $0.50, the ad rank would equate to 5 and still beat out the 1st keyword for a better position.
Low quality scores can:
- Impact traffic and click-through-rate. Google can actually prevent your ad from showing at all!
- Force you to delete or pause keywords (If a keyword has a quality score of 1 or 2, Google’s Policy will require you to take this action.)
How is quality score assessed?
3 components will determine your quality score:
- Expected* Click-Through-Rate: The probability that your ad will be clicked on.
- Ad Relevance: How relevant your ad is to what a user is searching for.
- Landing Page Experience: How navigable & user-friendly the landing page is.
Each of these assessments will be give a status of below average, average or above average. The cumulative score of these components will determine the quality score. You can customize your columns in adwords to view how you’re doing on these three components.
*When you first create keywords, the click-through-rate is based off of an expected CTR, which is predicted by Google. More importantly, the CTR will be based off of the historical data of that keyword once it collects more data.
What if I have a below average…
Landing Page: Revise your landing pages to be relevant to the keywords users search to find you.
CTR: Change your ad text copy to something that will catch your audience’s eye and make them want to click on your ad.
Ad Relevance: Create very specific ad groups for a small group of keywords and create unique ad text for each of them. Let’s say you are a nonprofit focused on saving the environment. Instead of grouping keywords like ‘save the ocean’, ‘how to recycle’ and ‘plant trees’ under the same ad group with a generic ad text like ‘save the environment’, it might be better to put each of these keywords in their own ad group and customize the ad text to include these keywords.
Do some keyword research if you find that a good chunk of your keywords have a low quality score. Keyword research allows you to find high-traffic search terms and has the potential to drive new visitors to your organization’s website.
To summarize, the overall goal of a quality score is to improve the relevancy of ads to what users are searching for. If you keep this in mind, you’ll be well on your way to avoiding future suspensions and directing traffic to your website!
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