Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. This is why every time we search for something or ‘Google it’ the results are exactly what we are looking for and saves us a lot of time and effort. Quality score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of both your keyword and PPC ads. It is highly likely that whatever we are searching for on Google and the ad that appears for this search term or query on the SERP, has a high quality score.
What is Quality Score?
As defined by Google, quality score is a “diagnostic tool meant to give you a sense of how well your ad quality compares to other advertisers.” Quality score is Google’s way of assessing the quality and relevance of your keywords in terms of ad copy, landing pages and user response. Quality score is a core PPC metric that gives advertisers a chance to improve the quality of their ads for the best user experience. Quality score is measured on a scale of 1-10 and is only available at keyword level for the keywords you wish your Google ads to show for. Keywords with higher quality ads and highly relevant landing pages will be given a higher quality score than someone who has poorer quality ads. Whilst it does not have any input in the ad auction, quality score is an important metric in keeping costs down in Google ads.
How is Quality Score calculated
Google will always aim to give users the best experience possible and that means giving users the best answers to the query or keyword they are searching for. Whilst quality score isn’t an input in the ad auction, it helps to distinguish how certain keywords affect the user experience and can ultimately affect your cost per click. The higher your quality score, the higher the likelihood of a low CPC. If you have a low quality score, be prepared to ramp up your budget.
Quality score is based on the performance of three key metrics combined:
- Expected click-through rate – the likelihood that your ad will be clicked when shown. Does the ad have enticing headlines, descriptions, extensions and sitelinks that would create a bigger desire for a user to click through to?
- Ad relevance – how closely your ad matches the intent behind a user’s search. Is the ad relevant to the keywords that the user is searching for and does this ad solve the users query.
- Landing page experience – how relevant and useful is the landing page that your ad is directing users to. If your ad discusses home insurance but the landing page takes users to a company’s homepage, it will not lend itself to a good landing page experience. Users will be expecting to click on the ad and be taken to a landing page that gives them more information on home insurance.
Each of these components is given a rating of ‘Above average’, ‘Average’ or ‘Below average’. These ratings can give you an indication of where you can make improvements. For example if your expected click-through rate is below average, perhaps there are not enough enticing headlines for users to make users click through. If your landing page does not give the user a good experience or more information related to the ad they have just clicked on, then they are likely to have a bad landing page experience resulting in a lower quality score.
What makes a good Quality Score
A good quality score starts at 7 with anything above this being considered a high quality score with optimal ads and a good user experience in Google’s eyes. Aim to look at your ads from a customer perspective. Do the keywords match the ads? Do my headlines make sense? Will this stand out to a customer? Make your copy appealing to users and relevant to your keywords. Direct users to appropriate landing pages, not just your contact us form or homepage. You can’t trick Google! A high quality score is an indication that your ads are relevant to the keyword, directs users to a relevant landing page, and is enticing for the user to click through to.
Why is Quality Score important?
Quality score can be used as a valuable tool to identify where you can improve your ads. Improving your quality score on your most important keywords should be a part of a long term strategy on Google ads to improve your performance.
Quality score is vitally important to keeping your costs down on Google ads. The better the quality score, the cheaper the clicks. Consider it a ‘well done’ from Google for doing a good job on ads and making their life easier by keeping users happy!
Performance Marketing Specialist