Every advertiser has the goal of reaching their target audience with relevant, high-quality ads that result in more engagement, clicks, and conversions. Well, improving your Google Ads quality score will help you to do just that.
Google assigns each of your keywords a quality score, which lets you know how well your ads match up with your keywords.
But your Google Ads Quality Score does much more than that: it also has great influence over your paid search campaigns’ cost and performance.
Given the importance of your Google Ads Quality Score, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about the metric, including how to increase your score — which will lead to better Google Ads positioning and lower costs.
What Is Your Google Ads Quality Score?
To put it simply, the quality score is how Google rates the quality and relevance of your keywords and pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
It’s a factor the search engine uses to determine your rank in the ad auction process.
Quality Score X Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Maximum Bid = Ad Rank (position)
A number of factors have an impact on your Google Ads Quality Score, including:
- Click-through rate (CTR)
- How relevant keywords are to ad groups
- How relevant ad content is
- Google Ads account performance history
- Landing page relevance and quality
While only Google knows exactly how much influence each component has on their Quality Score algorithm, we do know that the CTR is the most important factor.
In Google’s world, the more people who view your ad click it, the more relevant and useful they believe it is to all users.
Why Work to Raise Your Google Ads Quality Score?
Your Google Ads Quality Score is directly tied to your PPC success, because improving your score will lead to Google rewarding you with a higher ad ranking, meaning you’ll get more and better placements.
And as an added benefit, your cost per click (CPC) will quickly decrease, and that translates to more impressions (and hopefully more ads clicks) at a lower cost.
In addition, higher Google Ads Quality Scores mean lower costs per conversion.
Ultimately, that has more value than click costs because it relates to how much you pay when people take an action in response to your ad — whether you’re trying to get Google users to purchase a product or download an app.
Keep in mind that not every click leads to a conversion, and the cost-per-conversion is generally higher than the costs of clicks.
So, by optimizing your Google Ads Quality Score, you’ll be well on your way to a higher ROI on your ad spend, which is always a good thing.
Types of Google Ads Quality Score
This metric represents the Quality Score that Google gives your keywords based on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being really bad and 10 being perfect).
Your keyword score is calculated based on the performance of search queries that exactly match your keyword.
So, your score will be the same for any given, no matter what the match type.
NOTE: Your score will track historical keyword performance on Google.com until your keywords reach a certain threshold of impressions (in the thousands). It won’t be until after your account reaches that point that your keyword quality score will start reflecting your actual performance.
Once you’ve passed the impression threshold, you’ll be able to see all of the following data:
- Quality Score – How relevant keywords, ads, and landing pages are to people who view them
- Historic Quality Score – Your last quality score based on past performance
- Ad Relevance – How closely related keywords are to your ad content
- Historic Ad Relevance – Your last ad relevance rating based on past performance
- Expected CTR – The chance your ad will be clicked by users based on past performance
- Historic Expected CTR – Your last expected click-thru-rate in the reporting time frame
- Landing page experience – How useful your landing page is to Google users who view it
- Historic landing page experience – Your last landing page exp. score based on past performance
If your campaign has keywords that have gotten significant impressions, view your CTR rate as an indicator of ad performance.
If both keyword and ad CTR is low (say, under 1.5%) it shows that users don’t find your ad relevant to their search queries. Work to make these ads more aligned with the ad group theme.
To give your account a CTR jump start, use Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) ads in your Search Network campaigns.
These DKI ads will show you a user’s exact search query in the ad (if it’s not over ad character limits). DKI ads are more likely to be clicked because they appear to be more relevant to a user’s search query.
But if you take this route, tread carefully so you don’t sabotage your ROI.
Look for ads that aren’t converting well despite having high CTRs. Poor-performing ads can be paused without negatively impacting your Quality Score, but if you edit an existing ad, you’ll wipe out its history.
Ways to Increase Impressions and Raise Your Google Ads Quality Score for Keywords
- Don’t make keywords too tightly focused.
If your keywords are too specific, no one will search for them. So, use Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs or another good search tool to look up new, relevant keywords relevant to include in your ad groups.
- Add broader keywords and use less restrictive match types.
Using exact keyword phrases and matches will lower impression growth and extended the amount of time it takes to lift your Google Ads Quality Score. To avoid that pitfall, start with keywords and ad groups or keywords with the highest click-through rate (CTR).
- Dig into your impression share data.
Impression share indicates the percentage of times your ads were shown based on the total available impressions that they were eligible to appear. If your impression share is low, you can improve performance by increasing your daily budgets or boosting bids to rank in higher positions.
Ad Group Score
Your Ad Group Quality Score allows you to see which areas in any given campaign need attention.
For example, if you happen to have a pretty low keyword score in one ad group (let’s say a 4), but your overall average is a 7, you’ll know exactly where you need to prioritize your focus.
Improving your lowest average Quality Score ad groups first helps gives you a better return on investment.
To improve your ad group score, find ways to restructure your ad groups to improve your account structure.
To give your campaigns a shot in the arm, edit low CTR ads to boost ad group quality scores.
Although your visible history will be deleted when you move things around, the history used to calculate your score will remain untouched.
Ways to Raise Your Google Ads Quality Score for Ad Groups
- Start off by quickly auditing your ad groups to see how many ads live in each group.
Are any of the ads the expanded text type?
- If you have less than three ads in each ad group, beef up that number to five ads, then run them equally.
Increasing your number of high-quality ads can boost both clicks and conversions.
- Make sure that you have at least three extended text ads in each ad group.
It should only take a few weeks to see if your strategy pays off with better results. From that point onward, continue A/B testing by creating new ads weekly to see if you can bump up your CTR, and improve your quality score.
- Create smaller and more tightly-themed ad groups.
Focusing on more specific keywords will allow you to write better-targeted ads and direct traffic to keyword-focused landing pages, which will improve your Quality Score and, most likely, your conversion rates as well.
Note: Ad Group Quality Score doesn’t appear in your account under the “Ad Groups” tab; it is reflected as an average of the keyword scores in a specific ad group.
Landing Page Quality Score
Google ranks landing page quality based on three important factors:
- Relevance and originality of content,
- Transparency, and
The reason is, the tech giant wants advertisers to create quality websites that Google users will find both relevant and useful.
But the fact is, landing page quality should be a priority for you anyway, because quality landing pages are more likely to convert visitors into customers, giving you a better return on investment.
Far too often, low-quality landing pages lower advertisers’ Quality Scores because advertisers overlook the importance of following best practices when creating them.
Ways to Raise Your Google Ads Quality Score for Landing Pages
- Your Landing Page needs to be Ad relevant.
Whether you have a single landing page for all campaigns or a custom one for each ads, it’s vital that your landing page is completely relevant to the ads they correspond with. If they don’t it’s time to give them an overhaul so that the products, services or other offers in your ad correspond to what these prospects are looking for.
- Your Landing Page needs to be Fast loading.
In today’s digital world, page loading speed can make the difference between a sale and a bounce. Your landing page should load quickly (in under 3 seconds), or it will negatively affect not only your SEO but your Google Ads quality score as well.
- Your Landing Page needs to be Easy to navigate.
Your landing page should have a clear, easy-to-use navigation that leaves visitors with no doubt where to find more information, what move to make on your calls-to-action CTAs or how to get in touch with you.
- Your Landing Page needs to Link back.
If your landing page is separate from your website, make sure that you provide a way for visitors to learn more about your brand or company. Include outbound links to places where people to get more information about you, and always link to your social media accounts.
- Your Landing Page needs to be Indexable.
It goes without saying that if Google robots can’t successfully crawl your landing page, they won’t be able to determine how relevant it is, and your quality score will take a hit as a result.
When crafting your ad campaigns, make sure your landing pages cover all of the bases.
Display Network Score
Your Google Ads Quality Score on the Display Network is based on a number of factors, including your ads’ historical keyword and landing page performance, as well as the bidding options you choose.
If your campaign uses a CPC bidding model, your ads’ historical click-through rate and landing page quality will be factored in.
However, if you opt for a cost per mille (CPM) model, your score will be based solely on your landing page quality.
Ways to Raise Your Google Ads Quality Score for the Google Display Network (GDN)
- Test continually.
Your ads will likely perform differently on various sites. Try different ad formats (image versus responsive), layouts, images, color combinations, benefits statements, branding options, and CTAs. The more tests you run, the better you can fine-tune your campaigns and improve your CTR.
- Review your relative CTR.
A low relative click-through rate can lower your GDN Quality Score. So, evaluate this metric to gauge how well your ads are performing against others’ ads on the same websites. To improve yours, check for potential exclusions, use site and category exclusions, revamp your ads, including negative keywords, and use contextual targeting.
- Use placement reports.
These reports help you see how the ads are performing on each site. Set up criteria to define poor performance and single out the placements that are not performing well, then cut your ad spend accordingly.
Although the paid search platform says your Google Ads Quality Score is calculated the same way across devices, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to mobile advertising.
Google takes into account the distance between users and business locations when determining your mobile Quality Score by using device location and location extensions data.
Also, if your mobile score is low, it could have a significant negative impact on your mobile ad performance, which can hurt since so much traffic (especially for shopping campaigns) comes from smartphones.
Ways to Raise Your Google Ads Quality Score for Mobile
- Use mobile-friendly extensions.
To boost your CTR and ad score on mobile ads, choose ad extensions that make for better user experience.
For example, adding a click to text extension makes it easy for users to make contact with you on mobile: they just click the “Send Us a Text” CTA and quickly send a message.
- Be faster.
Google says that mobile loading speed directly affects Quality Score, so work to increase the speed of your website and landing pages. you can test your site’s mobile loading speed with Google’s free tool.
Continually improving your Google Ads Quality Score should be a big part of your efforts when building a PPC advertising strategy, since a higher quality score translates to a higher ad position and at a lower cost-per-click (CPC).
The problem is, achieving a higher Google Ads Quality score is easier said than done, as many advertisers find out through lower positions and wasted ad dollars.
But by using the above tactics, you can steadily boost your Quality Score, increasing your ads’ exposure and significantly lowering campaign cost in the process.