Quality score is a critically important and tricky part for all the Google Ads advertisers. Google recently released new guidelines. I had a tough time looking at the new guidelines and auditing my google ad campaigns. As we all know Ads contributes maximum to Google’s revenue. Google is smart, so they definitely are not going to share everything at one go. So I would like to share my journey of understanding these new guidelines and auditing & fixing on my ad campaigns. Hope it will add great value to you as well.
What is Google Ad’s quality score and why does it matter?
It ensures that your PPC ad campaigns are cost-effective. It is the matrix that estimates the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages to lower the cost per conversion and gain better ad positions.
It is one of the crucial part of your PPC campaign. Quality score is a grading system used by Google to determine if your ad is eligible to be shown in the search results, at what position it will be shown and how much you’ll pay for each click.
How Google calculate Quality score
It depends upon multiple factors that Google takes into consideration, including:
- Keyword relevance score – Relevance between the keyword to user’s search query and landing page.
- Ad Relevance – Is your ad copy relevant to the intended user’s search query.
- Landing page experience – How relevant and easy to understand your landing page is to the user.
- Expected CTR – The likelihood of your ad being clicked.
- Quality Score (historic) – The last known quality score of the ad for the selected date range
- Ad Relevance (historic) – Based on historical data, the last known ad copy relevance to the user’s search query.
- Landing page Experience (historic) – Based on past data, the last known landing page experience score.
- Expected CTR (historic) – Based on historical data, click-through-rate.
How to check quality score in google ads?
With the following steps you can check by looking within the Keywords tab.
Enable Quality score columns on Google Ads platform
- Click the Campaigns tab at the top.
- Select the Keywords tab.
- Click the Columns drop-down menu in the toolbar above the statistics table.
- Select Modify columns.
- Select Quality Score.
- To see the current quality score and its component statuses, choose any of the following to add to your statistics table:
- Qual. Score
- Landing Page Exper.
- Ad Relevance
- Exp. CTR
- To see past quality score and component stats, segment by day and choose any of the following to add to your statistics table:
- Qual. Score (hist.)
- Landing Page Exper. (hist.)
- Ad Relevance (hist.)
- Exp. CTR
- Click Apply
How to improve quality score?
Improve your Ad Relevance:
1) Create focused and tightly themed Ad Groups: It’s a good practice to create an individual ad group for each product or service you want to advertise. A good guideline is to have between 5-20 focused keywords, per ad group.
Ex: If the campaign is about insurance, Ad Group is car insurance, then keywords in this Ad group should be related to car insurance only.
2) Try to use your main keyword in your Ad copy headlines, description and in Display URL
3) Ad copy must match the landing page’s content.
4) Use negative keywords to hide your ads on those search queries.
Improve Landing page experience
Basically, you have 10 second to attract and engage your visitor on your landing page, the more than spend time and more likely to convert into leads.
- Landing page headline: Your landing page headline is critically important, it is the first thing that the user engages with after landing on your page. It helps the visitors in knowing what your landing page is all about. It should explain what is it about and what benefits they get in simple less than 6 words headlines and less than 20 words in a short summary.
- Focus on a Single Goal: Create pacific landing pages for different campaigns & AdGroups
- Focus every element of your landing page on the benefit to the user, including the call to action.
- Have minimum form fields
- Remove all Footer Links if possible
- Optimize for mobile
- Page load speed
- Improve page load speed
Improve Expected CTR (Click through rate)
- Avoid using short-tail keywords: If you use less than 2 word keywords then it’s obvious to have CTR less than 2%. Try using long tail keywords to increase your CTR and conversion rate. If you need more accurate long term keywords than look into your search term report, looks for those search queries are getting your conversions. Add them in your keyword list.
Ex: if you use keyword like PDF to eBook, definitely it will attract different variations of the impressions but get less CTR, so try using PDF to eBook conversion. It’s more clear, targeted keyword.
- Focus more on your benefits and solutions your product will add to user’s life than on sales pitch in ad copies.
- Make Full Use of All Types of Ad Extensions: Using various extensions increases the size of your ads and makes them appear more relevant,
- Use Title Capitalization in Your Adverts: Make your adverts stand out by using title case. It is proven to increase CTR. Which advert stands out most from the selection below?
- Be more specific in your ad copies
- Keep experimenting your ads with different call to action and benefits
- Avoid Using Broad Match Keywords
- Use Keywords in Ad Texts
- Try dynamic keyword insertion in at least in one ad each ad group
Few more things to take a note about –
As google mentioned in the recently released white paper on quality score, It’s important and helpful as a diagnostic tool and not a key performance indicator.
- Don’t pause, remove or delete the keywords just because the quality score is low. Google use it for a qualification process, it shouldn’t be using it for your qualification process, you take it as a warning indicator and improve your quality score.
- Google revealed that, each quality score you see in front of your keywords is not an exact representation of those in real-time quality score. Google takes other factors like users’ exact query, geographic signals, time, day, also in consideration every time, when every time real time auction happens. It provides a unique quality score number to your ads and keywords just make it more unique. Ex: if you see a quality score 6 in your account than in real time bidding google may give 6.209911000 number to it.
- Make sure that your website is mobile friendly, because user experience matters a lot.
- Negative keywords play an important role in your account but it does not consider in quality score.
Types of Quality Score
If the search query matches exactly with your keyword than the quality score given to your keyword is 1 (being perfect) and if it doesn’t match than Google gives score close to 10 (being really bad).
Please note – Until a keyword receives a significant number of impressions in your account, quality score is calculated on the basic of historical performance. This is referred to as the impression threshold.
Quality score depends majorly on historical keywords performance and click-through rate (CTR) of the ads in the account.
If your historical ad account has a large number of low quality score keywords and low click-through rate (CTR), it will drag down your account’s total quality score, and make it more difficult for the additional keywords to perform well.
Your ad will have different quality score for both desktop and mobile. The mobile speed quality score can be found on the “Landing pages” page. Google grades pages on a 10-point scale. Google evaluates a number of factors and not just the loading time for the mobile speed scores. It includes the relationship between page speed and potential conversion rate.
Google calculates the mobile quality score for all the devices (computers, tablets & smartphones) in the same way taking into consideration device location and location extension data.
For display network is calculated differently by google than the search network.
For this also google considers historical ad data and ad and keyword relevance to the eligible placement sites are important, as is the quality of your landing page.
Further, the Display Network quality score also depends on the bidding option chosen.
For example – If you have selected cost per impression(CPM) bidding option for your campaign, than quality score will depend on your landing page’s quality, but if you select cost per click (CPC) bidding option, then historical CTR of the ad and the landing page quality are considered.
As you can see, the quality score is all about relevance. Improving quality score can structure your Google Ads campaigns, allowing you to target the exact search audience
However, there is no single way or any shortcut to improve your quality score formula. Looking for any help, let’s connect and let me audit yout google ads account, analyze and work upon increasing your return on ad spend (more conversions) and decreased the cost per click.