How to Improve Quality Score and How It's Evaluated

How to Improve Quality Score and How It's Evaluated

With Google AdWords, you pay only when a potential customer clicks your ad to visit your site or give you a call.

You've already learned how to write a compelling AdWords ad. Now, you need to ensure that:

  1. You are choosing the best possible keywords for your ad campaigns
  2. Google will display your ad when someone searches for what you have to offer
  3. Your ad appears in the best possible position on the search engine results page (SERP)
  4. You are looking for ways to lower your cost-per-click

You can address all of these issues when you find out how to improve Quality Score for your campaigns' keywords.

What is Quality Score?

On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, the Quality Score is Google’s rating of the overall user experience that your ads and landing pages provide when users search for your keyword(s). See it as a general guide for whether your ads and landing pages are useful to someone looking at your advert, rather than as a strict code to adhere to. There are several easy ways to check your keywords' Quality Score . The following factors affect your Quality Score:

  • Expected Click-Through Rate (CTR): How likely is someone to click your ad when Google serves it for the keyword they type in?
  • Ad Relevance: Does the ad make sense to appear when someone searches for a particular keyword?
  • Landing Page Experience: Does the information on the landing page correspond to what the ad is offering, and vice versa?

Knowing these things can help you to improve Quality Score if you notice that your chosen keywords are not doing so well.

How to Improve Quality Score

When you want to improve your Quality Score, consider looking at the three previously mentioned factors on both an individual basis and as a whole. As Google uses a unique algorithm to determine your keywords' Quality Score, improving it may mean making adjustments to your keywords, your ads, or even your website. Let's take a look at how to improve each of these.

Improving the expected Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The expected CTR is an estimate of how likely someone will click your ad when it appears for one of your chosen keywords. It assumes that the search term will match your preferred keyword exactly, and doesn't take into consideration any other factors, like type of device or other auction-time factors. When looking at your keyword status, you will see one of three types of statuses for their expected CTR.

  • "Average" or "Above Average" - No significant problems with the keyword's expected CTR relative to all the other keywords across AdWords
  • "Below Average" - Consider changing the ad text to be more similar to your top keywords

Changing the ad text for "below average" status keywords could include using the actual keywords within the ads. Let's take the example that you are a sock purveyor, and someone searches for "socks with polka dots". Your ad group might contain the following keywords: socks with polka dots, polka dotted socks, decorative socks, fashion socks, colourful socks. A poor example of an ad might say:

Bob's Sock Factory
Ad - Visit Our Site Today to Explore a Wide Variety of Socks. Get 50% Off!

This does not contain any of the relevant keywords and the searcher is unlikely to click it. Better ads might include the following:

Bob's Sock Factory - Decorative Socks Online
Ad - Visit Our Site Today to Find Socks with Polka Dots. Learn More!
Explore Bob's Sock Factory for Colorful Socks Today. Get 50% Off!

This is where crafting two or more ads per ad group comes in handy. You can incorporate more than one of your preferred keywords into each ad to improve your expected CTR.

Improving your expected CTR could also mean improving your preferred keywords altogether. Consider removing keywords that people don't really search for, or add more varied keywords to your ad groups by running a keyword diagnosis.

The expected CTR is an estimate of how likely someone will be to click on your ad when it appears for one of your chosen keywords.

Improving the relevance of your ad

Another way to improve Quality Score is considering ad relevance. Ad relevance refers to how well a keyword matches the message in your ads, similar to the qualification for expected CTR. For this category, you will also see one of three possible statuses of average, above average, or below average.

Let's look again at the keywords for Bob's Sock Factory: socks with polka dots, polka dotted socks, decorative socks, fashion socks, colourful socks. An ad with below average status might say:

Bob's Sock Factory
Ad - Shop Our Store Today to Find Things to Put on Your Feet.

Creating a more specific ad, in this instance, would help improve its relevance to the chosen keywords. The improved examples in the section above also apply in this instance.

Improving the landing page experience

When you're trying to improve the Quality Score of your keywords, you should compare them to the copy, or words, on your chosen landing page, as well as the landing page's overall user experience. How useful is your landing page to people who click the ad? Is it well-organised? Does the page have text that relates to a person's search terms? Is the page clear in its directions?

Returning to the example of Bob's Sock Factory, we can consider one of the improved ads from above:

Bob's Sock Factory
Ad - Visit Our Site Today to Find Socks with Polka Dots. Learn More!

So, if someone has searched for "socks with polka dots," one of your top keywords, and Google serves your ad, then the person clicks your ad only to find striped socks and plain white socks, the landing page is no longer useful to the searcher.

Another example is if the person clicks the ad which matches their search term, but they can't easily find any more information about socks with polka dots, or they're bombarded with pop-ups, or the page takes too long to load. Any of these factors can negatively affect user experience on the landing page, and it will lead people away from your company and your product. Make sure to provide clear direction with helpful information, related links, a clear view of a shopping basket (if applicable) and easy-to-see contact information.

Grouping your keywords to improve Quality Score

When you create your ads and keywords, you'll be creating ad groups for them to sit in. With a few different ad groups, you can divide your keywords into similar categories that are more relevant than having just one or two ad groups.

The following are examples for Bob's Sock Factory:

Ad group: socks Ad group: hosiery Ad group: other foot care
Socks Hosiery Foot care
Socks with polka dots Nylons Shoe insoles
Polka dotted socks Panty hose Blister care
Decorative socks Control top panty hose Foot band aids
Fashion socks Knee high nylons Memory foam insoles
Colorful socks Tights Shoe laces

When your keywords are divided into small and concentrated ad groups, you'll be able to write more relevant ad text that corresponds to your high quality landing pages. Knowing how to improve Quality Score is as simple as choosing and grouping keywords that relate to your landing pages, writing ads that relate to your landing pages and keywords, and ensuring your landing pages are helpful to your potential customers.

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