Quality Score helps search engines provide users with the best information — and it can save you money as an advertiser as well.
Here, you’ll find:
- How to define Quality Score
- Where to go to find your own score
- Tips for improving your score
- How your score can save you money
As a savvy marketer, you know reaching high-level rankings in search engines is pretty much table stakes when it comes to your digital marketing strategy. Of course, there’s no quick trick to making this happen — even with paid search, there’s no guarantee you’ll make it to the top.
But while it’s nearly impossible to predict what changes will be made next to these search algorithms, there’s one way to get insight into how Google views your site: Quality Score. The search engine defines Quality Score as “an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages.” The benefit? Higher quality ads can snag lower prices and better ad positions.
Each day, people conduct more than 4.9 billion searches on Google alone. With nearly 1.83 billion websites in the world vying for viewers’ attention, paid ad campaigns help set companies apart from the competition. While several factors contribute to the success of a paid ad campaign, Quality Score is one of the most important.
What is Quality Score?
As we mentioned, Google uses Quality Score to rate the quality and relevance of keywords for pay-per-click (PPC) ads. The rating is meant to give advertisers a general idea of how significant their keywords are across all avenues they’re applied in. Google then uses this data to show more effective keywords to users each time an online search takes place. Your score is determined by three factors:
- Expected clickthrough rate (CTR) – How your ads historically perform
- Ad relevance – How closely your ads align with your keywords
- Landing page experience – How relevant, useful, and user-friendly your content is
This information benefits advertisers because it helps determine what to optimize. You can see what keywords are driving search results and which words need to be re-evaluated.
The effects of Quality Score
Advertisers care about Quality Score because it’s one of the most important factors used to determine how ads are ranked and what advertisers’ cost per click (CPC) will be.
The score of PPC ads will dictate how much you need to bid on keywords to ensure an optimal position in search engine results. Basically, the better your score, the less you’ll have to pay for your ads to show up in your preferred position.
When people who see your ad click on it, Google views your ads as relevant because they are meeting the needs of potential customers. As a result, you earn higher ad rankings and a lower CPC. Therefore, by optimizing your score, you increase your return on investment (ROI).
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Determining Your Quality Score
Tracking your Quality Score allows you to assess your ad campaign performance and reconsider your budget allotment. To be able to do this, however, you must first identify your current score.
To do this, log into your Google Ads account and create a new report under the Reports tab. Your report type will be Placement/Keyword Performance. There, under Advanced Settings, you’ll select Add or Remove Columns.
Choose Keyword Quality Score Detail and then select your other report settings. Locate the Templates, Scheduling, and Email area and select Create Report. You’ll then be presented with your keywords’ Quality Score results. If you experience any difficulty, you can follow more detailed instructions in Google’s Help Center.
4 Ways to Increase Your Quality Score
Quality Score determines where and how often your ads are shown. That’s why it’s important to work on boosting your rankings by continuing to improve your ads. Once you know where you stand in Google rankings, you can take the following steps to improve your score.
Google doesn’t exactly lay out their specific formula for calculating Quality Score. However, recent findings published by Search Engine Land show that improving your CTR or the landing page has twice the impact as working on ad relevance.
Here are four main ways you can work to boost your Quality Score:
1. Target your ad groups
Increase the relevance of your ad by targeting your campaigns into clearly defined groups. Assign each group of ads its own set of related keywords to effectively target groups you want to reach. Avoid irrelevant keywords just for the sake of having them. In this case, you want quality over quantity.
2. Research keywords
Keywords are one of the most important factors in Quality Score success. Do your homework to determine how those words (and combinations) are performing and whether they’ll be effective for your campaign. Keyword research can reveal what keywords are being used, their importance to viewers, and how likely they are to drive traffic to your website.
3. Publish high-quality content
When writing ad copy, streamline the content so it focuses on one product or service. Not only will this help target a more specific audience, but it will likely yield better results. Readers want to digest easy-to-comprehend information. Ads with too many areas of focus or calls to action (CTAs) can be ineffective, resulting in someone bouncing or continuing to scroll without clicking.
4. Regularly optimize your landing pages
Your landing page is often a potential customer’s first impression of your business. Right away, it sends a message about your company. Quick loading time, relevant keywords, and clear, easy-to-read information can increase user engagement and earn you a higher Quality Score rating.
Quality Score is an integral part of Google’s process when it comes to determining which ads to promote — and how to rank them. Tracking this info not only increases your chance at a higher ROI, but it can save you money in advertising costs.
Quality Score is a useful guideline to shed light on what’s working for you and can impact the way you develop your paid advertising campaigns to make them as effective and possible, resulting in a stronger strategy overall. And who wouldn’t want that?
This article has been updated and was originally published in April 2020.