Quality Score on Google Ads: The Ultimate Guide

Google AdsEveryone wants to create high-quality ads that are directly relevant to their target audience because that means they’ll receive a lot of clicks and conversions. Of course, that’s the goal!

In fact, creating these high-quality ads, however, isn’t always as easy as it sounds, but it can be difficult to gauge the performance of your overall advertising campaign.

Google’s quality score can help guide you there. Each keyword will receive a quality score, telling you whether your ads match your keywords. Quality Scores will do more than just provide a quick assessment of your ad campaigns, however, they will actively affect performance in key areas like ad ranking or cost.

The importance of the quality score, therefore, cannot be overstated, and in this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about the Google Ads quality score, including how to increase it.

 

What is the Google Ads Quality Score and why is it important?

The Google Ads quality score is a metric calculated for each of your targeted keywords. It tells you how strong Google thinks its advertising campaign is and how relevant it is to your audience. Look for signs of relevance, trust, and quality.

Your quality score can be used to assess the status of your campaigns, measuring their performance with any keyword. Low-quality indexes indicate that you need to rework your campaigns somewhere, whether it’s updating the landing page, ad text, or keywords. High-quality scores mean you’re on the right track.

Even more important, however, is how the quality score will directly impact your campaigns. A high-quality index will increase your ad’s ranking, which means you can get more and better channels.

This will also immediately lower your cost-per-click (CPC), so that you will receive more impressions, with luck, more clicks as a result, and those clicks will cost less.

How Google’s Quality Score is calculated

The Google Ads quality score is an important metric to understand and track, but to do that, you need to know how it is calculated.

Here are the factors that Google takes into account when calculating its quality score:

Clickthrough rate (CTR). High CTRs indicate relevance. For new campaigns, Google can use estimated CTR.

The relevance of your ad to the search term and keyword. If you’ve targeted a lot of keywords and someone is looking for “Mixer”, but your advertising campaign is talking about “Blenders” and you’re only targeting people looking for kitchen equipment, your quality score can be affected here.

Your URL’s CTR history. If you have a history of strong advertising campaigns, this can help you.

The quality and relevance of your landing page. Don’t forget your landing pages – Google takes them into account when calculating your quality score.

Average performance for each device. If you’re not performing well on mobile, although you’re doing well on your computer, your quality score may be affected.

By viewing your quality score closely, you can see what factors are offering to your quality rate, including ad relevance, expected CTR, ad importance history, landing page quality, and more. This will help you determine which problems need to be corrected to improve your score.

6 techniques to improve your quality score

As long as your campaigns are focused in general, it is often relatively easy to improve your quality score with some changes to your campaign, once you evaluate what is making your score the most successful.

If you need to improve your quality score (and who would say no to that, even if it’s already going well?), You can try the 6 techniques below to give you a boost.

1.     Create more restricted keyword groups

If your groups of keywords are everywhere for a single ad campaign, there is a high chance that the relevance of your ad and search term is not optimal.

This is true even with relatively small specialized companies. Let’s look at a business example:

I offer ghostwriting, content marketing, and PPC writing services to my clients. If I target all of these keywords in an ad campaign, even if they are related to writing and have an advertising campaign offering general writing services, my CTR and conversion rates will fall.

Someone looking specifically for a PPC copywriter – which is me – will not realize that I have something to offer if I am just focusing on “complete writing services”. The ad text is not specialized enough, and it will cost me my quality score.

Here’s another good example. I look for a “life coach” and only half of the ads are for life coaches – the other half is for certification. If I am someone looking for a life coach, I will almost certainly not be someone looking for a certification. Search intent and ads do not match.

Create hyper-targeted Google Ads campaigns with smaller and more restricted ad groups. Choose keywords that work well with specific, specialized ad text, if possible.

Use negative keywords to eliminate the likelihood that you will appear in irrelevant searches (think about “life coach certification”). This will help you significantly increase your ad’s CTR and relevance to your keywords and search terms.

2.     Check the home page

Landing pages are a great source of low-quality scores because many advertisers forget that Google evaluates them carefully when evaluating their advertising campaign (Facebook also does, for what it’s worth, and may even reject your advertising campaigns if the landing page doesn’t match the ad).

When creating your ad campaign, make sure your landing pages check the following boxes for each campaign they’re receiving traffic from:

Easy navigation. Is it easy for site visitors to know where to go for more information, which CTAs to fill out, or which forms to fill out? Everything must be direct.

Directly related to the ad that directed visitors there. It doesn’t matter if you have a landing page for six ads – that landing page needs to match each individual ad campaign. Otherwise, you’ll need to change your ads or create more landing pages. Make sure the offers, products, and services mentioned in your ad are listed on the landing page to which you’re sending potential customers.

This will not only make Google happy, but it will also make customers happy and increase your conversions.

Traceable. I found that many companies neglect the technical side of their landing pages, treating them as if they were just a pit stop on the way to the real deal on the main site. This is a mistake because if Google is unable to crawl your landing page, it will not be able to detect relevance, which can affect your quality score.

Fast loading speed. Loading speed is important. I will say this again and again until people believe me. If your landing page takes too long to load, it will affect your organic SEO and the quality score of your campaigns. Make these changes to speed up the loading of your site.

Links to your other business pages. Some landing pages will be part of your site, while others will appear to stand out from it. In such cases, you can’t just send people to a single landing page without any way to learn more about your business.

Include links and information about your primary business, even if the landing page does not share the same navigation bars as the rest of your site.

3.     Watch out for broad match types

Broad-matched keywords can be a death trap for ad campaigns unless you’re making heavy use of negative keywords. Essentially, the broad-matched keyword type allows you to try to appear for as many relevant keyword searches as possible.

While this can significantly increase your reach and impressions, it comes at a cost.

Say you’re advertising your home painting services. You choose the keyword “painter”. Although you appear in searches for “wall painter” and “interior painter” and “garage painter”,

You can also easily end up in searches for “painting class” or “classic painter” or “cabinet painting”. As you end up on more irrelevant searches, your CTR decreases along with the relevance of your ad, and your quality score may below.

Consider using a phrase or exact match keywords, and use many of these negative keywords to keep track.

 

4.     Keep your phone in mind

If you have a low-quality score on mobile devices, this can significantly affect your mobile performance, and with so much online traffic going on the small screens of phones, this is not something you want to happen.

You can increase your CTR on mobile ads by choosing mobile-optimized ad extensions as well. Adding a call extension, for example, makes it especially easy for an interested customer to contact you on their cell phone: two clicks of a button and your phone will ring. Since increased CTR means a better ad score, this will help you.

One of the biggest factors that have affected strong campaigns is the loading speed of the mobile site.

Many advertisers forget to monitor this, in addition to the normal site loading speed. Earlier this year, it was confirmed that the speed of mobile loading would have a direct impact on the quality score, so adjusting this landing page is a quick fix that can generate a huge improvement in results.

To stay on the safe side, check the loading speed of your website on mobile with Google here. It only takes a minute to scan and is free.

5.     Test your ad extensions

While it’s a myth that ad extensions are directly linked to quality score, there’s a correlation.

After all, ad extensions provide users with more information about your brand or website, while taking up more space in a way that naturally catches the user’s attention.

Therefore, extensions generally increase the clickthrough rate. This increase in CTR is what raises your quality score, not the fact that you’re simply using extensions.

6.     Use dynamic keyword insertion

Dynamic keyword insertion allows you to create advertising campaigns that exchange certain phrases in titles or descriptions for the keyword that the user searched for, as long as it is on your targeted keyword list.

Instead of saying “selling home decor”, for example, the dynamic insertion of keywords could replace “home decor” with “pillows”, “wall clocks” and “paintings”.

When users see the ad, they’ll see a campaign that is advertising exactly what they’re looking for, but you can manage one campaign instead of 16 individual ones.

Needless to say, dynamic keyword insertion greatly increases the relevance of your advertising campaigns to the user, which will also increase CTR.

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