If you deal with Google advertising actively and create, manage, and optimize campaigns, you have probably come across the concept of Google Quality Score by now. If you haven’t, read on to learn important information about it and its impact on advertising. Quality Score is a critical parameter for your campaigns and their success in optimization.
Why is Google Quality Score important, how to improve it, and which parameters affect it? Find the answers to these questions in the blog and learn essential information to improve the quality of your ads and campaigns.
What is Google Quality Score, and why is it important?
Google Quality Score is a diagnostic tool that lets you determine how your ad compares to other advertisers. Google Quality Score is measured by numbers 1 to 10 and is available at the keyword level. A higher Quality Score means that the ad and landing page are more relevant and valuable to someone searching for your keyword than other advertisers. So, it’s a tool to identify how the ads shown for specific keywords affect the user experience.
Google Quality Score is essential because it helps us identify ads with a lower-than-average user experience. It also provides additional insights into which factor is lower quality and whether we should focus on improving ad relevance, click-through rate, or landing page experience.
Google Quality Score also affects the price per click. A higher rating will help you reach a wider audience for less money. By increasing your Quality Score, your ads can be shown more often, improve your position, and reduce your cost per click. So, the Quality Score is essential if you care about better performance at a lower price.
How is it calculated?
The Google Quality Score is calculated based on three critical parameters:
- Expected click-through rate (CTR)
- Ad relevance
- Landing page experience.
According to research, expected click-through rate and landing page experience contribute more to Quality Score than ad relevance, which doesn’t mean we should ignore relevancy. After these factors are evaluated and calculated according to the formula, the result of the total Quality Score is obtained on a scale from 1 to 10.
Each of the mentioned parameters is evaluated with the status Below Average, Average, or Above Average. This estimate is based on comparing other advertisers whose ads were shown for the same keyword in the last 90 days.
Google Quality Score statuses
- Below Average: If the Quality Score is rated Below Average (usually below 5), it indicates insufficient relevance of the ad, keywords, or poor user experience on the landing page. Try to avoid this status because it can result in higher click prices and worse ad positions.
- Average: If the Quality Score is rated as Average (usually around 5), your ads are satisfactory, and nothing is alarming, but there is room for improvement.
- Above Average: If the Quality Score is marked as Above Average (usually above 5), it indicates the high relevance of the ad, keywords, and landing pages. This status is definitely something to strive for, as above-average ads tend to achieve better results, including lower cost-per-clicks and better positions on search results pages.
Types of Google Quality Score
Everyone knows the Quality Score is available for individual keywords in your Google Ads account. That is called the Visible Quality Score at the keyword level. What many need to recognize is that there are more types.
There are two different Quality Scores on your Google Ads account. The first is the Visible Quality Score. This is what we can actually see in our account and is a guide to what to optimize to increase our Quality Score. The second is the Auction Quality Score. This number is determined every time a search might show one of your keywords. As these numbers quickly become overwhelming since you could have millions of them, these numbers are not displayed in your account.
When we talk about Google Quality Score, we generally talk about the Visible Quality Score, as this metric you can see and improve. Improving your Visible Quality Score will improve Auction Quality Scores.
How to improve Google Quality Score
#1 Review the Quality Score components
Examine the three quality assessment factors for specific insights on where to make improvements. These components help you see if you should update your ad text, keyword selection, or landing page content. For each component, you will see a Below Average, Average, or Above Average status to give you an idea of which areas need improvement. The key is to give users what they are looking for.
#2 Make your ads more relevant to your keywords
Ad relevance shows how relevant your ads are to the keywords they’re targeting.
If your ad’s relevance is Below Average or Average, try these best practices:
- Adjust the wording of the ad text more to the user’s search terms.
- Look for ad groups with many different keywords that cannot be easily covered in the same ad. Split those ad groups into multiple groups that better match user searches to make them as relevant as possible.
- Try grouping keywords by topic to increase relevance. These topics can be based on products, services, or other categories.
#3 Improve click-through rate (CTR)
The expected click-through rate indicates how likely users are to click on your ad.
If your expected CTR is Below Average or Average, try these best practices:
- Edit your ad text to make your offer and content more attractive to users.
- Highlight a unique benefit of your product or service, such as free/fast shipping.
- Experiment with different calls to action that link closely to your landing page.
- Create compelling calls to action with words like buy, sell, order, browse, find, sign up, try.
- Make the ad text precise and relevant to your offer.
Sometimes, a more specific ad will get a lower click-through rate but a higher conversion rate.
#4 Update and optimize landing pages
Attracting users to your website is a crucial step. It’s essential to give your visitors a great experience on your website.
If your landing page experience has a Below Average or Average status, try these best practices:
- Give users what they’re looking for. If someone searches for “leather leggings” and clicks on your ad for them, the landing page they land on must display those products.
- Keep messaging consistent from the ad to the landing page. Make sure the page is following an ad offer or call to action.
- Use conversion rate as an indicator of a good landing experience. It does not affect the status of the landing page, but it can be an excellent way to measure and optimize.
- Make your site mobile-friendly. Users appreciate easy navigation on mobile sites. You can use a mobile-friendliness test to see how your landing page performs on mobile devices.
- Improve loading speed—the speed at which your page loads can distinguish between someone leaving your site or making a purchase. Check your website speed at https://pagespeed.web.dev/.
Keywords play a vital role in the Google Quality Score because they are one of the key factors evaluated to determine the relevance and quality of an ad. Keyword relevance refers to how closely related your keywords are to user queries and how well they match what users are searching for.
Keywords, in addition to influencing ad relevance and CTR, have a significant impact on campaign costs. High keyword quality scores often mean you end up paying less for better ad position and exposure.
Also, in addition to variable factors like location, your keyword’s Quality Score is determined by:
- The click-through rate (CTR) of the keyword and its matching ad
- The relevance of a keyword to its ad group
- Landing page quality
- Relevance of your ad text
- Historical account performance.
Considering that they play a vital role, it is essential to carefully and thoroughly research keywords and select and optimize them to achieve the best possible quality of ads and campaign performance.
Ad relevance refers to how relevant your ad is to the keywords you are targeting. The ad should clearly communicate the offer or information users seek. If the ad is irrelevant enough and does not provide information that the user is interested in and searching for, users may not click on it, which can lower CTR and Quality Score. So, the stronger the link between the keyword and the ad text, the higher the relevance.
If your ad has a Below Average rating, it means that your ad or keyword may need to be more specific or that your ad group covers too many topics. It often happens when ads are copied from one ad group to another without editing and adjusting the keywords in the ad copy for the new ad group.
Here are some tips to improve the relevance of your ad:
- Create specific ad groups
- Choose your keywords carefully
- Include your keywords in your ads
- Write simple but convincing ads with all the necessary information and benefits
- Let the ad lead to a relevant landing page
- Test multiple ads with different keywords, bids, and ad text to see what performs best.
When Google measures your landing page experience, it measures how relevant and valuable your website’s landing page will be to people who click on your ad. But what makes a good landing page experience? According to Google, your page should be “clear and useful” and related to your keywords and what customers seek. When your page loads quickly on all devices and contains content that users find helpful, you can have an Above-average landing page experience. An Above Average landing page experience is essential if you want a better chance of turning clicks into conversions.
For Quality Score, the messages from the ad must be on the landing page. For example, if the keywords and ads promote a specific brand of sneakers when a user clicks on the ad, it should take them to the landing page for that particular sneaker, not the front page or the page where all the sneakers are. That ensures that your landing page content is relevant and helpful to searches and will help improve your Quality Score.
Also, page loading speed and optimization for mobile devices are very important. Google offers a tool that will show the speed of a page on mobile and its adaptability to mobile devices. Try it out and find out if your site is optimized or has room for improvement!
Expected CTR is a keyword-related factor that measures how likely someone is to click on your ad when searching for an associated keyword. This metric does not consider ad position, extensions, or other formats that could make your ad less or more viewable.
What does it take into account? Past keyword performance based on ad position. How successful has the keyword been in the past based on where the ad is showing? Google wants to know how likely your keyword will result in a click. In determining the Quality Score, the expected CTR is based on the idea that the user’s search term will match your keyword exactly. In real-time, Google uses a more accurate expected CTR based on search terms, but also device type, and other auction factors.
If you have an Average or Above Average expected CTR, it means that your expected click-through rate for this keyword is as good or better than all other keywords on Google Ads. A high CTR is definitely a good indicator that tells us that users regularly click on our ads and find them attractive and/or relevant. On the other hand, if your expected click-through rate is Below Average, it means the opposite. Your click-through rate for this keyword is expected to be lower than all keywords in Google Ads. If this is the case, check and optimize your keywords and consider adjusting your ad text to match your keyword better.
Why is your CTR Below Average?
A low CTR or Below-average expected CTR can occur for various reasons. One of them is that the ad text is not closely related to the keyword. Sometimes, even though the keyword and ad text are closely related, the keywords can be driven by irrelevant searches, so monitoring the search terms reports is very important. Adding negative keywords and adjusting keyword match types can improve CTR, ultimately increasing or improving your overall Quality Score.
Myths about Google Quality Score
After learning the most essential information about the Quality Score and explaining its most important factors and how they affect it, it’s time to go through a few myths or misconceptions about Google Quality Score.
#Ad extensions affect the Google Quality Score
Google Ads extensions, now called assets, are additional resources applied to your search ad positions in real-time as they appear on the results pages. They provide further information to users or viewers of your ads and help craft your ads for the best possible audience experience.
Ad extensions do not directly affect Quality Scores. They are part of the newer Ad Rank equation but have no impact on Quality Scores.
The opinion that extensions affect and improve Quality Scores may have arisen because extensions increase the space of your ad. The more space your ad has, the higher the chances users will click on it. Therefore, it increases your click-through rates and, ultimately, your Quality Score. However, ad extensions alone will not have a direct effect.
#High Google Quality Score=more conversions
That is not correct. Google explained that the Quality Score is a valuable diagnostic tool, not a key performance indicator. As we mentioned in the blog, the tool measures the overall performance of keywords, ads, page experience, and CTR. Conversion rate is not considered as it is based on consumer experience and rating. Because of this, you could have the highest converting keyword with a low-quality Score.
Improving your Quality Score can lower your cost per click. If you reduce your cost per click, you can lower your cost per conversion. Great, right?
#Dynamic Keyword Insertion improves Google Quality Score
Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) is one of Google’s advanced search ad features. It automatically updates your ad text with the keywords in your ad group that caused your ads to show. Dynamic Keyword Insertion can be very helpful in ads and campaigns, but it will not automatically improve the Quality Score of your ad as some people think.
#Pausing lowers the Google Quality Score
Some believe that pausing campaigns, ad groups, or accounts affects the Quality Score, but this is not the case. Some campaigns (search and display) may lose momentum when paused, but the Quality Score and related data remain the same, i.e., untouched.