Understanding and Optimizing Quality Score

KLIK Staff

April 29, 2021

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Decrease Costs and Improve Your ROAS in Google Paid Search

For advertisers using Google Search as a channel to acquire customers and capture demand, optimizing your Quality Score can help drive down your keyword costs Google Search, and improve your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

What is Quality Score? It’s an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing pages are to a person who sees your ads (1). How can you view Quality Score? You can locate each keyword’s Quality Score in the keyword tab of a Google Ads account. Ratings are available to indicate what aspects of your Quality Score are above or below average for a particular keyword. How can you improve your ad Quality Score? Read on to learn about the different factors that influence QS and what advertisers should consider to improve each one.

Quality Score is an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing pages are to a person who sees your ads (1).

Quality Score Components

Quality Score measures the relevancy of your ads to the people who see them. The score itself is a ranking at the keyword level from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best. The goal is to have a higher score, which indicates an alignment between what people are searching for and what you are advertising (2). A higher score typically leads to lower costs-per-click due to better ad position, and because your ad is considered relevant.

Quality Score is made up of three parts:

  1. Landing page experience
  2. Ad relevance
  3. Expected click-through rate

Google ranks these three components individually as “above average,” “average,” or “below average.” If a score is “above average” or “average,” there are no significant problems with the expected performance for the keyword (4). However, if a component of the Quality Score is “below average,” you should consider making adjustments to avoid wasting spend by showing irrelevant ads.


Landing Page Experience

The Landing Page Experience rating estimates how useful and relevant your landing page is to the potential consumer that clicks on your ad. This metric accounts for factors such as:

  • How well your landing page aligns with the search term
  • How easily someone can navigate the website

This score helps you to identify which landing page and ad group combinations need to be improved, and which could be negatively affecting your lead generation potential.

Potential Ways to Improve Your Landing Page Experience Score

The most impactful tactic to improve the landing page experience is matching it to individualized ad groups (5). Once landing pages are standardized to particular ad groups, you can customize more easily for specific keywords. This customization will help make the ad more relevant to search terms. Employing more unique and valuable content around related keywords can help draw the viewer in and stay on your page longer.

Another strategy is to decrease the time it takes the page to load. If the loading time is too long, the user may consider going elsewhere before getting a chance to view the landing page. Additionally, consider the viewing experience on different platforms such as mobile, desktop, and tablet to maximize visibility.

Ad Relevance

The ad relevance rating measures how well the message in your ad matches its associated keyword (1). If your Ad Relevance score is below average, that means your ad or keyword may not be specific enough, or the ad group may cover too many topics.

Potential Ways to Improve Your Ad Relevance Score

Make your ad groups more specific (5). For example, if you are a personal trainer, keywords such as “weight loss trainer,” “strength trainer,” and “training session” are all relevant to your business, but the user may have different objectives.

By having all of these keywords in one ad group, the ad might end up being too general and completely miss what the user is looking for. This can lead to wasted spend, as ads are shown to users that have no interest in your product/service. Building out more specific ad groups for keywords will provide relevant ads to the appropriate viewers.

Another solution is to ensure the ad copy matches to the ad groups (5). For example, if your ad group contains keywords about “muscle mass,” include those specific words in the ad copy to increase the ad’s relevance.

Expected Click-Through Rate

The Expected Click-Through Rate measures the likelihood of your ad being clicked when shown for a keyword based on past performance in the account. This score does not take into account the ad position, ad extensions, or other factors that may affect the ad’s visibility (6). If your Expected Click-Through Rate is below average, you may want to consider changing the ad text to relate more closely to the keyword.

Potential Ways to Improve Your Expected Click-Through-Rate Score

The primary solution is to rewrite your ad (5). Consider adding keywords in your ad text that will increase the relevance of the ad to the search term.

For example, if somebody searches for “sporting goods store,” the ad text might not need to say “baseball.” Having the word “baseball” may help, but it won’t always relate to the search. However, if someone searches for “baseball equipment,” the text should say “baseball.” Another way to improve quality score to pause keywords that have low click-through rates. If a keyword does not perform well and has a low score, pausing it will decrease its potential impact on other keywords, and on the overall account.

Wrap Up

Now that you understand the components of Quality Score, you can now use it to learn where you should make optimizations in Google Adwords. By identifying which component of the score is below average and making the appropriate adjustments, you can work to present the most relevant ad and provide the user with the best possible experience. This will reduce wasted spend for your paid search ads, decrease your cost-per-click, all while improving your Return on Ad Spend.

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