Google Ads Quality Score

08 Oct 2019 | Sukhesh Vadavil

Google is constantly improving its user experience. If you’ve ever tried to rank your website higher on Google’s SERP, you’ll know that content, quality of content and other factors such as page loading speeds matter the most. All of these are things that enhance user experience. Sites that use click-bait techniques and those that are filled with poor content gets ranked much lower, way below the other sites.

Similarly, when you make an ad live on Google Ads, Google needs to make sure the right people view your ads. Google also makes sure those people get what they need when they visit your landing page by clicking on your ad. Your landing pages need to be user-friendly, and relevant. Quality Score is one such factor that ensures a better user experience for those who view your ads.

So what exactly is Quality Score?
Whenever you search for something on Google, you may have seen ads on the search results page. The order in which these ads appear on the SERPs is dependant on their ad rank, which depends on the maximum bid value and your Quality Score.

Quality Score multiplied by your highest bid gives you your ad rank.

Each search engine has its own version of a Quality Score, its not just a Google thing!

Quality Score is Google’s way of rating the quality of your ads and the relevance of the keywords that are associated with your ads. Google checks the performance and quality of your keywords, and even checks factors such as the user-friendliness of your landing pages.

It is a score that goes from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest. Quality Score determines your cost per click (CPC). Higher Quality Scores give you lower costs and better ad rankings. This is crucial when your ad enters the ad auction. If someone has a better quality score than you, they might rank higher than you AND they would also be paying a lot less!

Factors affecting Quality Score
There are a number of factors that affect your Quality Score. Let us take a look at some of the most important ones.

How relevant keywords are to your ad group
Conduct thorough research before choosing keywords. Better keyword research will improve the quality of your ads and ensure that they are visible to the right kind of people. Group your keywords that can be paired with individual ad groups for better efficiency.

Landing page
The quality of your landing page plays a huge role in the user experience of someone who sees your ad. It is the first thing someone would see after clicking on your ad.

  • Relevant, useful and original content:
    Google takes landing page relevance into consideration when calculating Quality Score. It must contain quality content that is relevant to your ad.
  • Trustworthiness:
    Landing pages belonging to websites that do not have any history of bad behaviour (clickbait, scams, etc), get a better Quality Score.
  • Ease of navigation:
    Nothing gets more clicks than people being told what exactly they are getting. Make sure your landing pages are easy to navigate, have relevant information with a proper call to action button that is straight to the point.
  • Time spent on site:
    Google also considers the amount of time someone spent on your landing page into consideration when calculating Quality Score.

Your historical CTR
Improving click-through rate can help increase the Quality Score of your ads. The relationship between CTR and Quality Score, however, is more of a logarithmic curve than a straight line. This means that as CTR increases it has less impact on the overall Quality Score. This basically means that taking effort to increase your CTR, if it is low, will greatly help increase your Quality Score. But after reaching an acceptable CTR, its effect on Quality Score will be much less profound. Changes to CTR won’t have an immediate effect on Quality Score. These things take time so be patient.

Negative keywords don’t really affect Quality Score despite popular beliefs. Google only takes CTR for exact match keywords while calculating Quality Score.

Ad extensions all the way!
Google now takes the presence of Ad extensions into consideration when calculating your Quality Score. Ad extensions basically give you the option to expand your ad with more information. These are a great add on to your ads as they take up more space in the search engine results page, which help increase CTR, which in turn helps increase Quality Score.

Google takes extra care to ensure that your ads are up to the mark, to improve its overall user experience. Now that you know what all you need to maintain a high Quality Score, all you need to do is apply this knowledge to your PPC campaigns to see great results!

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