How To Raise Your Google Ad Quality Score & Lower Your Ad Costs

Everyone advertising online has the goal of reaching their target audience with relevant, high-quality ads that result in more engagement, clicks, and conversions.

By improving your Google Ads quality score, you can do just that. (This also applies to other platforms like Facebook but with a different algorithm).

Google assigns each of your keywords a quality score, which is a direct indicator of how relevant your ads and landing pages are to your keywords.

Quality Score

Google Ads Quality Score is alot more than just a number!

It also has an enormous influence over what you will pay for paid search campaigns’ and what share of the market you take from your competitors.

Considering the huge importance of your Google Ads Quality Score, this post will tell you absolutely everything you need to know about this all-important metric, including:

1. how to increase your quality score

2. which means your ads show at a higher ad position on the page

3. and your ads will show more often than your competition

4. plus you’ll pay less for those higher positions than a competitor who is bidding more if you have a lower ad quality score

Ad position

All of this means you get more traffic to your website for the same or lower costs.

What Exactly Is Your Google Ads Quality Score?

In a nut-shell, your keyword quality score is how Google rates the quality and relevance of your keywords, PPC (pay per click) ads and landing page relevance.

It’s one of many factors search engine use to determine where your ad should be ranked, and how often it should be ranked in the ad auction process.

The formula is: Quality Score plus your bid amount = Ad Rank (position)

There are a number of factors that have an impact on your Google Ads Quality Score, including:

  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • The relevance of your keywords to your ad groups (generally the more refined and specific your ad groups are the better)
  • How relevant ad content is to your landing page (including your calls to action matching button text)
  • The prior performance history of your Google Ads account
  • Landing page relevance and quality (this also includes matching what you promise in your ads to your landing pages)
  • Page load speed and SEO factors on your landing pages (something not many people know is a factor)
  • Site link CTR

How Google’s Quality Score algorithm calculates each of these factors , we do know exactly, but it is clear that your CTR (click through rate) is one of if not the highest priority, most important factors.

Google’s number one priority is being the best at matching search intent with content delivered. That means whatever ads or search results the user clicks on, should deliver them to the most relevant and useful content.

Your content (that the user lands on after clicking an ad) should deliver what you promised in your ad. It should satisfy them well.

If you are better at doing this than your competitors – and the user stays on your website longer, then you have proven to Google that you are doing a great job of delivering useful content to them.

Why Focus on Improving Your Google Ads Quality Score?

Your PPC success is heavily determined by your Google Ads Quality Score.

By improving your score, you’ll give Google Adwords the ability to reward you with a higher ad ranking.

This means you’ll get better placements and a greater adshare of the market.

As a wider benefit, your cost per click (CPC) can decrease almost instantly.

This means you are able to get more impressions and clicks at a significantly lower cost.

 

Higher Google Ads Quality Scores mean lower costs per conversion.

If you also make improvements to your landing pages, because you’re working on improving your quality score, there is a higher likelihood that you’ll naturally be improving your conversion rate onsite as well.

At the end of the day, if you have higher click through and higher conversion rates, you can increase your ROI by an incrementally and exponentially larger amount.

So, by optimizing your Google Ads Quality Score, and landing pages in the process, you’ll be able to achieve a higher ROI on your ad spend.

Different Types of Google Ads Quality Score

Keyword Score

This metric represents the Quality Score that Google rates your keywords on, based on a scale of 1 to 10.

10 is the perfect score you’ll be aiming for.

Adwords Quality Score

Your keyword score is calculated based on the performance of search queries that match all of your keyword.

It doesn’t matter what the match type, it is based on the keywords in the field.

NOTE: After your keyword reaches a certain number of impressions, your keyword quality score will start to reflect your actual performance. The system needs to have enough data to decipher whether your keyword score is better than someone else’s.

At the point your keyword has passed the point where it has had enough impressions, you’ll see the following data in your account:

  • Quality Score – How relevant keywords, ads, and landing pages are to people who view them
  • Historic Quality Score – Your last quality score based on previous performance
  • Ad Relevance – How closely related keywords are to your ad content
  • Historic Ad Relevance – Your last ad relevance rating based on past performance
  • Expected CTR – The probability your ad will be clicked by users based on past performance
  • Landing page experience – How useful and relevant your landing page is to Google users who land on it
  • Historic landing page experience – Your last landing page experience score based on prior performance
  • Historic Expected CTR – Your last expected click-through-rate over the reporting time frame

After your account has been running a while, and you’ve had plenty of impressions you can also include CTR rate as an indicator of ad performance.

If you have poor CTR and quality scores, your ads will rarely show, and you will need to improve the relevance of your ad, keywords and landing pages to your adgroup search intent.

If you are unsure which keywords to add to an adgroup, you can target specific landing pages and then use Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) ads in your Search Network campaigns.

This means Google will use a searcher’s exact search query in the ad (providing the keyword phrase is under ad character limits). DKI ads are more likely to be clicked because they appear to be more relevant to a user’s search query. The alternative to this and just as effective is to use curly bracket searches {KeyWord:YOURNORMALHEADLINE} in the headline. Where your searchers keyword  will be added to the headline if it fits, otherwise your original keyword YOURNORMALHEADLINE will be used.

Be careful when doing this, rather than changing an ad, create a copy and replace the headline with {KeyWord:YOURNORMALHEADLINE} to test any CTR improvement.

Poor-performing ads can be paused without negatively impacting your Quality Score, but if you edit an existing ad, you’ll wipe out its history and your ad quality assessment will start again from zero.

Ways to Increase Impression Share and Increase Your Google Ads Quality Score for Keywords

  • Don’t make keywords too specific.
    If your keywords are too tightly focused, no one will search for them. Use Ubersuggest, Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs or another good search tool to search for relevant keywords to include in your ad groups.
  • Add phrase keywords with less restrictive match types.
    Using exact keyword phrases and matches will limit the number of times your ads show and the amount of time it takes to determine your Google Ads Quality Score. Start with “phrase” keyword search types and ad groups or keywords with the highest click-through rate (CTR).
  • Check insights to look into your impression share data.
    Impression share indicates the percentage of times your ads were shown based on the total available impressions that they were eligible to appear. You can see this metric under keywords>>insights tab. If your impression share is low, you can try boosting performance by increasing your daily budgets or bids to rank in higher positions. But the best way to do this is to create lots of different ads with different benefits and call to actions as well as sitelink extensions. The CTR of these also make a big difference.

Ad Group Score

Sorting your Quality Score by adgroup allows you to see which areas in a specific campaign need attention.

 

 

For example, if you see an obviously low keyword score in one ad group (e.g. a 3 or 4), but your overall average is a 7, you’ll get a feel for where you need to focus your attention.

Work on your low quality score keywords first by moving them to different ad groups or creating a landing page for them if they are worth keeping.

Don’t be afraid to restructure your ad groups and keyword groups to improve your account structure.

By improving low CTR ads you can boost whole ad group quality scores.

Tips to Raise Your Google Ads Quality Score per Ad Group

  • Begin by auditing your ad groups to determine the number of ads in that ad group.
  • If any adgroups contain less than three ads, add more, then run them to compare side by side.
    Increasing your number of high-quality ads can boost both clicks and conversions.
  • Make sure that you have at least three extended or responsive text ads in each ad group.
    You should see a fairly quick change in CTR, continue A/B testing by creating new ads on a weekly basis to see if you can lift up your CTR, and improve your quality score. Mix and match ad content by looking at segments to see which parts of your ads got the most love.
  • Break your adgroups down in to smaller and more tightly-themed groups.
    The more targeted your adgroups are – the more they are grouped by search intent, the easier it is to create better-targeted ads to send to landing pages that satisfy that intent. In turn – if you get this right, you will see an improved Quality Score and, likely higher conversion rates as well.

Tip: You can determine average adgroup quality by looking at the average quality score of the number of keywords with quality scores in that adgroup.

The screenshot below shows the average score is 10.

If one of these scores was 8 then the formula would be 10+10+8 = 28/3 = 9.3333  pretty decent!Quality Score

Landing Page Quality Score

Google ranks landing page quality based on three important factors:

  • Relevance and originality of content matched to user intent
  • Transparency of both visible content and code
  • User friendliness (UX) ease of navigation and other links to useful content

 

Landing page experience

It should be reasonably obvious that Google wants to incentivize advertisers to create quality websites that Google users will find both relevant and useful.

Really though, landing page quality should be a high priority for any website business, because useful quality landing pages that satisfy visitors are more likely to convert visitors into customers. And that results in higher profits and ROI.

It is very easy to overlook the importance of thinking of landing pages as part of a funnel, to receive guests and give them what they want. If you satisfy them in the first ten seconds of visiting, you have built a little trust, and you can then guide them to the next step in the funnel to a lead or sale.

Tips to Raise Your Google Ads Landing Page Quality Score

1. Make your landing pages relevant and useful to the intent you have referred to in your ads.

Whether you have a single landing page for all campaigns or a custom-made one for each and every ad, it’s crucial that your landing page is totally geared to serving the intent and what you have promised in your ads. If they don’t it’s time to execute an overhaul to ensure that the products, services or other offers in your advertisement correspond to what these prospects are looking for.

2. Your Landing page needs to be quick loading.

In today’s electronic world, page load rate can make the difference between a bounce and a conversion. Your landing page should load in under 3 seconds, or it may negatively affect not just your SEO but also your Google Ads quality score.

3. Your landing needs to be easy to skim & navigate up, down and around.

Your landing page needs to have a clear, simple navigation that makes it naturally easy to locate more information. Make it easy for them to get what they came for first, and then find more of what they want.

4. Your landing page needs to deliver what people expected when they read your ad.

If your ads say “download a brochure” then make sure your download text or button reads the same. Don’t make life difficult for people to find what you have promised. Google crawl bots will also be looking for this text on your page. Bots are not human and can interpret the intent behind a phrase, but why make it harder for humans or robots to see and find – to locate what you promised. Make it easy!

If your landing web page is different from your website, ensure that you offer a means for visitors to read more about your brand name or business. Include outbound links to areas where people to obtain even more info concerning you, this can and should include links to social media accounts.

5. Your landing page needs to be indexable.

Google bots need to be able to crawl your landing pages, otherwise they will not have the ability to determine how relevant they are to user intent. And if they can’t determine that, your quality score will suffer. Like I stated in the last paragraph, make what is in your ads easy to crawl and find on your website landing page.

Keep this in mind all the time when creating ads.

Display Network Score

Display Network quality scores are based on a number of factors, including historical keyword and landing page performance, and bids.

If your campaign uses a CPC bidding model, the historical click-through rate and landing page quality will be used to determine quality score.

If however, you chose a cost per million (CPM) model, your score will be based solely on your landing page quality.

Improving Google Ads Quality Score for the Google Display Network (GDN)

  • Test constantly.
    Your ads are likely to have a varying performance on different sites. Try different ad formats and types), layouts, images, color combinations, benefits statements, branding options, and CTAs.  The more variations you test, the better you’ll get at knowing what people respond to and improve your CTR.
  • Analyze your relative CTR.
    A low relative click-through rate can lower your GDN Quality Score. So, evaluate this metric to gauge how well your ads are performing against others’ ads on the same websites. Use negative keywords and placements and placement refinements to see which ads get the most love and where they get the most clicks.
  • Make the most of placement reports.
    These reports tell you how well your ads perform on each site. Have your conversion tracking in place so you can quickly determine what placements perform best.

Improve Your Mobile ScoreGoogle ads mobile friendly score

Google ads says that mobile scores are calculated the same, but the inherent differences in how mobile ads are displayed and loading times for pages can have a significant impact on scores.

Google uses location and distance data particularly with mobile assuming the user may be wanting to visit a local store or premises to get what they need. So your load time and location information e.g. location sitelinks are even more important.

Improving Google Ads Quality Score for Mobile

  • Improve load time.
    We know that page load time directly affects Quality Score, so test your site’s mobile loading speed with Google’s free tool and make improvements.
  • Write mobile friendly ads.
    Make responsive ads tailored to mobile devices.
  • Create mobile-friendly extensions.
    To boost CTR and ad score on mobile ad scores, user extensions that are user-friendly for both mobile and desktop.
    For example, add a message or call extension, or use the new lead ads and send someone a brochure via autoresponder so they have instant satisfaction.

Summary

Consistently boosting your Google Ads Quality Score needs to be a large part of your routine when developing a robust and ever-evolving PPC advertising system. Since a higher quality score translates to higher ad placement and at a reduced cost-per-click (CPC).

Achieving a greater Google Ads Quality rating is less complicated than one may think, yet most people are giving away adshare and paying more than they have to for traffic.

Google ads also offers a huge opportunity to test and therefore learn about what your user wants to see on your landing pages. This means improved conversion rates too. Why not use that data and squeeze every last bit of value out of it.

By utilizing the above strategies, you can continuously enhance your Quality Score, enhancing your advertisements’ direct exposure as well as significantly reducing advertising expenses while doing so.

If you track everything you are doing, with conversion site tracking and using Google analytics (you can even use your Facebook pixels to create cross-platform remarketing ads), you can measure and improve without guessing. Your data, along with a little training will guide you forward and upwards to become an ace in your field/niche.

Watch this video of a live Google ads account demonstrating how to improve quality scores.

About Mia Gordon

Mad scientist online marketer, experimenter & tracking/analytics nut since 2003. Co-owner of Adventure Helicopters, a helicopter scenic & charter business. See my full list of software, apps & tools that make online marketing life fun & easy!