What is the Quality Score?
The Google Quality Score is a rating of the quality of the keywords and ads in your campaigns. The quality is measured by their relevancy for the particular product or service you are selling. So optimizing your ad text and keyword relevancy will lead to a higher quality score.
What’s a Good Quality Score?
The score’s rating goes from 1 - 10. If your ad shows a quality score of 1, it seems to have very little relevancy and therefore won’t be shown most of the time. A quality score of 10 means that your ad has a very high relevancy and will be regularly shown. If you bid on your brand name, you will likely have a high quality score. If you’re selling Tshirts, but are bidding on the keyword “jeans”, you will probably receive a low quality score.
In the beginning all new keywords enter with a quality score of 6. This is the standardized number all new keywords receive. It’s therefore important to continuously keep an eye on changes.
What determines the Quality Score?
But relevancy is not the only contributing factor to the quality score. You should be paying careful attention to all of the following metrics and indicators:
- The expected Click Through Rate: What is the historical CTR of the keyword
- Expected CTR of your Display URL: How many clicks did you receive with the particular display URL
- Historical AdWords Performance: How all the ads and keywords of your account generally performed in the past
- Quality and Relevance of Your Keywords in relation to the ad
- Quality and Relevance of Your Keywords in relation to the search query
- Quality and Relevance of Your Landing Page: How relevant and easy to use the landing page is
- Geographic performance: How well your overall account has performed in the targeted region
Why you should you care?
A high quality score has several benefits and should always be a major optimization metric to focus on. Why you ask? Well a higher quality score highly correlates with a lower CPA. And who doesn’t want a lower CPA? You can basically achieve higher ad ranks together with lower costs, just by continuously improving your quality score. Google loves high quality scores, because they ensure high relevance and therefore a great user experience. In return they will charge you less money, by rewarding you with a lower cost per click and even give you a higher position on the SERP.
This will also give you a big advantage over other advertisers who might have a bigger advertising budget, but lower quality scores. By having a great quality score and subsequently a higher ad rank, your ads will get more exposure than your competitors. Continuously improving your quality scores is your sure way to beat them, all the while improving the return on ad spend for your client.
Having a high quality score is not only going to benefit you for that one keyword, adgroup or campaign but overall for your account’s entire quality score. This is what is meant by historical Adwords performance. If you have good quality scores in general, this will influence the quality scores of new keywords and ads. Google is basically trusting you more, by having a great general performance. In contrast if you have lower quality scores, this will negatively influence your overall quality score. It may take u to 4 months to reverse the effects of having a bad historical performance in your account. So be patient, but start optimizing now, to reap the benefits later and in the long term.
How can you optimize it?
Say goodbye to non-performers!
Say goodbye to non-performers!
Get rid of the keywords that have no performance! If there are keywords with low impressions, no conversions, a low quality score and low traffic, then it’s best to do a thorough cleaning of your account. Otherwise these keywords will be dragging the overall performance of your account down.
Reduce broad match keywords
If you have a lot of broad match keywords, make sure to add the search queries that resulted in conversions or clicks as exact match. This way you can improve the CTR and eventually reduce the number of broad match keywords. With a better CTR you can make way for a higher quality score.
Always bid on your brand
Branded keywords an almost guaranteed way to achieve high CTRs. Users who search for you name are usually already in the lower conversion funnel and the probability of them clicking on your ad is fairly high. So make sure you profit from that, by increasing your CTR and also your quality score. Your account will thank you for it!
Since you are reading this article, I figure that this is a point you are already very much aware of. Don’t let your optimization efforts come to a halt. For Having a great and performing Adwords account it’s essential to always keep an eye on the dynamics of the account, track the performance and take measures where they are needed. Just leaving your account on it’s own is a sure way to a lower performance. Invest regular time for the analytical and optimization part. That doesn’t mean you should be changing things daily, this wouldn’t be a good idea, since changes wouldn’t be able to take effect, but a weekly hour of check ups and improvements is a good measure.
Fine tune your ad copy!
This one should be obvious. You want to make sure that the keywords appear several times in the ads of the ad group. Try to aim for the ad title, at least one description line as well as the display URL.
Split test the display URL
The display URL of the ad group also carries weight. Just as the ad copy this is a great opportunity for split tests. Try to find the display URL that is generating the most clicks and use it for all the ads of the ad group. Also don’t just use the name. Specify the URL by adding subdomains and repeating the keyword. This can significantly improve the performance.
Craft a great landing page
Your landing page should be relevant to your keyword and ad copy. Make sure to use the same keywords, language, implement an easy navigation, calls to action and other conversion driving optimization points. If you want to dive deeper into landing page optimization, check out our article << Crafting the Ultimate PPC Landing Page>>.
Look at the keyword vs. search query relation
Make sure to keep an eye on the actual search queries that trigger your keywords. Are there discrepancies? Are you missing out on certain keywords? Are you getting a lot of unqualified traffic because of search queries that are not beneficial to you? Use the search terms report to monitor this. Maybe you will find that you need to exclude certain keywords as negatives. Whatever your conclusion is, the search terms provide a great source of information for your optimization efforts.
Improving the quality score is a very rewarding and long term improvement strategy. It gives you the opportunity to fine tune your keywords, ads, landing page, so basically your offer with the actual interest of the customer. The time you invest in these efforts is time well spent as well as time that will pay off