AdWords experts talk a lot about Quality Score and how important it is for getting better results, but we realized that not everyone understands how AdWords Quality Score system works and why it matters for your AdWords campaigns.
This post provides a detailed explanation about how Google’s Quality Score rating system works along with some tips on how you can improve your scores.
A Brief Introduction
This view shows you:
Whether or not ads are being shown for that keyword (Yes or No).
The Quality Score Google has assigned to the keyword based on the ad and landing page being shown with it (on a scale of 1 to 10).
A rating for the expected click through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience (below average, average, or above average).
What Score Should You Be Aiming for?
Obviously you want your score to be as high as possible, but no account will ever have a perfect scores of 10 across the board.
With this in mind, how can you know whether or not your Quality Scores are acceptable or whether or not they are below average? The chart below from TenScores provides a good rule of thumb to keep in mind.
As this chart points out, scores from 8 to 10 are excellent. If you have a lot of keywords in this range, you should pat yourself on the back.
A score of 7 is good, but you may want to look into how you can improve these scores to get a higher rating.
4-6 means your ads, landing pages, and offer alignment is weak. You may still convert some of this traffic, but there’s lot of room to improve your alignment and relevancy in order for these keywords to perform better.
1-3 means your keywords are not a good match for your ads or your landing page. If this is the case, you should consider culling these keywords or else find a way to create a better alignment between the keyword, the ads, and the landing page.
How Do You Improve Your Quality Score?
Let’s think for a moment about which factors affect your quality score. As we’ve discussed the main factors include:
The CTR for the ad
The CTR for the display URL
Landing page quality (especially its relevance to the keyword being searched)
The ad relevance in relation to the keyword phrase searched
The historic performance of the ad in different geographic regions
Ad performance by device
Most experts recommend paying attention to points #1 and #2 since they are the easiest to improve. It’s also widely believed that the ad CTR has the biggest impact on whether or not Google decides to show your ads (which makes sense since they make money every time someone clicks your ad).
At the very least, you want to make sure some words in your ad copy are highlighted and match the phrase that was searched.
You also want to make sure your ads stand out, which means if you’re competitors are using the keyword in their headline, you should write a different headline that stands out and then find a way to use the keyword somewhere else within the ad.
For point #2 (landing page relevance), we recommend looking into using a tool like Unbounce to quickly and easily create specific landing pages for different ad groups and keywords. You can do this from scratch, but it’s easier to create multiple pages with a landing page builder like Unbounce (you can see their value proposition below).
In addition to these tips, you should look into keyword performance by device to see if there’s anything you can do to improve your mobile, tablet, or desktop experience since you’ll be docked points for a mobile or tablet experience that isn’t up to par.
A Four-Week Action Plan
Here’s a quick plan with specific tips you can follow to help make this guide actionable and not just inspirational:
Week 1: Review your keyword Quality Scores and remove any terms that have a rank of 3 or below.
Week 2: Study your ad copy variations and find ways to (1) add keywords to your ads and (2) write ad copy and headlines that stand out, take advantage of emotional triggers, and generate clicks.
Week 3: Inventory your landing pages and figure out how many new landing pages you need to create to better match your ad copy and the keywords being searched. Then, take a look at Unbounce to learn how they (or a similar service) will help you to quickly and easily create multiple landing pages for different ad groups and campaigns.
Week 4: Review your ad copy tests, run new tests, and create more landing pages to further improve your ad CTR and landing page relevance.
During this four week period, be sure to monitor the following metrics to make sure you’re on track:
Quality Scores for your keywords.
CTR for ads and keywords.
Conversions, conversion rates, and lead generation.
If you follow these steps and monitor these metrics, you definitely should begin to see an improvement in your campaign’s performance.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you to better understand what Quality Scores are and why they matter for your PPC campaigns. If you have any questions, be sure to ask them in the comment section provided below.
Joe Putnam (@josephputnam) is the Director of Marketing at iSpionage, the only competitive intelligence tool that captures the entire PPC conversion funnel—from keywords to ad copy to landing pages. TRY ISPIONAGE FOR FREE by going to www.ispionage.com.