Since the launch of Google AdWords, advertisers have challenged the complex, and often opaque, Quality Score system. Although there are many community resources that try to explain what Quality Score is and how it’s calculated, information can be dated and conflicting.
So in this blog, we will try to explain in detail what is quality score about, and why it is so important to improve it.
What is quality score?
What is quality score? Quality score is a measurement of how relevant your keywords are to an ad group’s landing page and ad. Google uses quality score to determine which ads should be shown to users for a specific set of keywords.
Quality score is Google’s way of keeping advertisers honest. The higher quality your ads are, the better chance you have at being ranked high in Google’s SERPs and less risk of being penalized because you’re not meeting their quality expectations.
The quality score is an aggregate score based on several factors, A high-quality score (8 or 9 out of 10) could mean that your ads are more likely to appear above your competitors’ ads, whereas if your quality score was low (4 or 5), your ad would have a higher chance of being pushed down lower in the SERP or even getting banned from the SERP altogether.
Why is quality score important?
Tailored to each of your keywords and ads, your Quality Score affects how much you pay for each click on your ad. The higher the score, the lower your cost-per-click (CPC) will be.
For those who have never used Google’s AdWords platform, this may sound like a “good to know” piece of information, but one that doesn’t really make a difference. However, if you saw a 20% drop in your cost-per-click overnight, you’d be pretty happy about it!
How is quality score calculated?
Calculating Quality SCore based on four major factors:
- Ad relevance– This makes up 35% of the quality score. How relevant is your ad to the search query? Are you using keywords that are too related? For example, if someone searches for “green tea” and you show an ad for “tea” you are not being relevant.
- Expected CTR– The second step in calculating QS is to estimate your expected click-through rate from an ad group’s keywords. This number is calculated by multiplying your Quality Score by your click-through rate for a specific keyword that you’re targeting. The higher the expected click-through rate, the more likely Google is to show your ad for that keyword.
- Landing page experience– The third step in calculating QS looks at how relevant your landing page is to each keyword within an ad group. You can optimize this metric by building relevant landing pages for targeted keywords and ensure they load quickly and accurately. If a page isn’t relevant or doesn’t provide a good user experience, Google will assign a low QS score, resulting in less competition for these keywords.
- Historical performance– Overall performance that Google has seen from the account in the past.
How to find out your Quality Score in Google Ads?
Here are some steps you can take to find out your Quality Scores in Google Ads account:
1. Go to Campaign tab in Adwords
2. Click on Keywords box
3. Click on either search network or display network depending on what campaign you are running
4. Scroll down until you see “Quality Score”
5. Click on Show Details
6. You’ll see three values: Adwords Quality Score, Ad Rank and CPC bid estimates.
What influences your ad performance?
1. Ad Relevance
Your ad relevance score is based on the relevancy of your ad to the keywords that triggered it. This is measured by Google’s keyword tool and with an ad’s keyword-to-ad relevancy ratio (KA:Ad). The KA:Ad should be at least 1% but ideally closer to 2%. If your KA:Ad is too low, try changing your keyword list or campaign structure to increase the relevancy of your ads.
2. Ad Creatives
The quality score of your ad depends not only on its keyword match but also on its creative messaging. The best way to improve your score is by creating ads that are relevant, clear and compelling. You can do this by using strong, active verbs in headlines and including strong calls-to-action in body text that are directly related to the products or services you’re promoting within the ad itself.
3. Ad extensions
One of the most common ways to increase Quality Score is with ad extensions. These are extra lines of text or buttons on your ad that provide more information about what you’re advertising. In many cases, they can also help improve click-through rate (CTR), but if you’re getting impressions but not clicks, then you should reconsider whether they’re really adding value or just clutter.
Some types of ad extensions include:
Call extensions: Show phone numbers in your ads so customers can call directly from the search results without leaving Google’s site
Sitelink extensions: Show additional links below your ad text that take searchers directly to content on your website related to their search
Location extensions: Display an address and map in your ad so customers know where you are
By understanding how Quality Score is calculated, you’re better equipped to set up your account effectively and improve your overall results. With just a little effort on your part, you too can see a nice improvement in your Quality Score, which will help boost your ROAS and ensure that you keep spending money on the ads that are working for you, not against you.