What is Quality Score, How Does it Affect PPC & How do I Improve it?
Are you looking for a quality score definition?
Wondering what is a good quality score?
Want to learn the steps to improve quality score?
Then have no fear!
I am here to explain all of these things and much more in the following handy blog post.
What is Quality Score?
Put simply, Quality Score is a rating out of 10 that shows you how relevant your Landing Page and Ad are in relation to the keywords that you have chosen to trigger them.
The more relevant the ads and landing page you have, the higher your quality score will be.
Quality Score formula AdWords:
- Landing Page quality
- Expected Click-through-rate (CTR)
- Keyword relevancy
- Ad Text Relevancy
Whilst no one apart from Google (or relevant search engine) know exactly how weighted each of the AdWords Quality Score factors are, it’s known that Google favors Click-through-rate so make sure this is top of your checklist.
You can see the Quality Score of every keyword you are running in the ‘Columns’ section in AdWords.
There are eight columns you can select in regards to Quality Score in AdWords – ‘Quality Score’ & ‘Quality Score Historical’ (out of 10), ‘Ad Relevance’, ‘Landing Page Experience’, ‘Expected CTR’ & the historical versions of these (Above, Below or, simply, Average).
So far, I have been referring to Quality Score in terms of Google AdWords but it is also a metric used by Bing & Yahoo (called Quality Index).
Quality Score is not to be confused with AdRank, but we will come onto this shortly.
How Does Quality Score Affect PPC?
A high Quality Score undoubtedly has a positive effect on your PPC efforts, but how exactly?
Well, a high Quality Score actually reduces the amount that you will end up paying per click and can therefore reduce your cost-per-conversion giving you or your client a better ROI.
Just as with the organic results, Google wants to give users the best experience when they search on their search engine.
They need to deliver users the most relevant information possible so they keep returning and Google can continue to show them more ads.
This is common sense when you consider that the vast majority of Google’s overall revenue comes through AdWords
This is where AdRank comes into the equation.
AdRank is Google’s algorithm for deciding in what order they will display adverts for a given keyword search.
Your AdRank equals Quality Score x Bid
Whilst a number of factors decide whether or not your ad will show (radius targeting. Bid adjustments etc.) your quality score and ad rank are calculated in the above way.
Other variables such as the aforementioned radius targeting can be seen as merely filters.
How Do I Improve Quality Score?
If you want to improve the overall health of your PPC account then you’re going to have to know how to improve a keyword’s quality score.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll soon know the secret of how to get 10/10 quality score adwords:
- Troubleshooting – Start by looking at those keywords with low Quality Score ratings and the reasons that AdWords give you in the columns. This will give you a good idea as to why a particular Ad group or campaign is performing badly
- Breakdown Ad Groups – Ask yourself if the keyword is relevant within the current ad group, if it would be better suited in a different ad group or if you could split up the ad group completely. As a general rule of thumb, if an ad group has 10+ keywords you should consider splitting it up into more granular ad groups.
- Optimise Ad Copy – Ensure that the copy of your ads relates closely to the search term that triggers it. For example, if your keyword is ‘Black Football Boots’, it’s recommended that this phrase is located somewhere within the ad copy.
- Click-Through-Rate – As mentioned, Google focus on this metric in determining their Quality Score. Try to improve this by A/B testing two separate ads for the same ad group. Make sure to give them enough time to gather a significant amount of impressions e.g. 100+. Again, this can also be fixed by splitting out ad groups and making them even more granular and relevant.
- Target Relevant Landing Pages – Make sure your keywords in an ad group point to the most specific landing page as possible. E.g. if you’re a Personal Trainer and have a ‘Weight Loss’ ad group with ‘weight loss’ keywords, you’d want to point these ads to the ‘Weight Loss’ service page rather than, simply, the home page.
- Decrease Landing Page Load Times – You can only play the cards you’re dealt and if you’ve optimised all other aspects of your PPC account but your landing page is letting you down it can often be frustrating. However, if you have a client that still wants to know how to improve quality score you will have to explain they need to improve landing page load times. Time to dig out that web dev’s email address!
Quality Score Myths
There’s a lot of myths out there when it comes to Quality Score but don’t believe the rumours and listen to what Google and the experts say.
For example, higher positions do not benefit your Quality Score.
Google realises that higher position ads will have a higher CTR and so compensate for this by adjusting their algorithm to stop the number one ad constantly being the best Quality Score.
Other false claims include: changing match types affect quality score and pausing ads will harm your Quality Score.
Again, simply not true.
When it comes to Quality Score and best practices make sure to listen to the official websites of Google, Bing & Yahoo rather than the latest Twitter rumours and if you’re still unsure of anything contact an expert.