What is Quality Score?

Quality Score is the metric Google uses to rate the quality and relevance of your targeted keywords and the ads you’re serving. In short, it measures the quality of the user experience provided by your ads. It’s graded at keyword level on a scale of 1-10 and is made up of three main components:

Each of these components are ranked as Above Average, Average, or Below Average.

 

But why is Quality Score important?

Google’s algorithm for Quality Score contributes towards your ad rank which, along with your CPC bid, determines your actual cost per click. The higher your ad rank, the lower your CPCs – and as a result, the higher your ads will appear in the search results. Therefore, you’ll be able to get more clicks (and hopefully more conversions!) using your same budget. The below graphic sums up the relationship well.

 

 

What does each component mean?

Though the names of the components are fairly self explanatory, it’s helpful to break them down:

  • Ad relevance – how relevant your ad is to the keywords you’re targeting with its ad group.
  • Landing page experience – the quality of experience which users have on the landing page used in your ad.
  • Expected click through rate – the estimated chance that your ad will be clicked when shown, based on historical CTR data. Information on the lookback period for this data is not made available to advertisers.

 

How do we optimise each component?

Ad relevance

To ensure your keywords have maximum ad relevance, it’s important to structure your account well. If possible it’s a good idea to plan your campaigns and ad groups around your website structure e.g. a clothing retailer may choose to have different campaigns for different brands, which contain ad groups for different types of clothing. As a result the keywords within the ad groups can be quite specific and then used in the ad copy. This similarity between the two means that Google views these ads as highly relevant to the keywords.

To help with this, you could choose to follow a SKAG (single keyword ad group) structure. This structure provides a level of granularity which ensures your ads can be highly relevant & adjust your bids based on highly specific data.

Read more about how to create relevant & powerful ad copy here.

 

Landing page experience

Ensure the landing pages you use are the most relevant ones available for each ad group. This may be a product or category page, depending how your ad groups have been structured. Make sure the landing page you choose has a clear layout – don’t make the user have to search to convert! It’s a good idea to monitor your bounce rates and the time users spend on your site – if you have a high bounce rate, review your landing page choices!

At Impression we use dynamic landing pages to ensure the best experience for users who visit our site via ads. Dynamic landing pages use dynamic insertion to become specialised for each user, changing to meet their needs. For instance, if you offer a nationwide removals service then you could use dynamic landing pages to produce a highly specific landing page for users searching for “removal service in Halifax”.

 

Expected click through rate

Make sure when you build your campaigns that you’re using relevant keywords for your campaigns. If you can create highly relevant ads for products/services that the user is definitely searching for, then you’re likely to receive high CTRs. Using negative keywords to refine the impressions your ads receive will help a lot with this.

It’s also important to bid highly enough that your ads start building up impressions to give Google enough data to work with, to calculate your expected CTR. Make good use of Google’s keyword planner to estimate your CPCs, and bid based on these.

 

Keep track of your quality score

We recommend keeping an eye on your quality score using this script. This will provide you with more up to date information than Adwords will, allowing you to react to changes quickly and keep your account in top shape.

 

Think we’ve missed something? Let us know about your experiences with quality score in the comments!

 

Helen Freeman

PPC Executive

I'm an Account Executive in Impression's PPC team, where I manage paid marketing campaigns for a range of lead gen and ecommerce businesses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *