How To Improve Quality Score in Google Ads

Hyder Jaffari
August 30, 2023
How To Improve Quality Score in Google Ads

In Google Ads, the Quality Score (QS) measures the overall experience of your ads and landing pages when users search for your keywords and visit your website. A score of one is the worst, and ten is the best possible you can achieve.

Even though Google calls the score "a guide, not a precise metric," that has not stopped every advertiser from trying to get the best possible score, after all, the higher your score is, the lower your cost per click (CPC) will be.

As you know, Google places the ads on its SERPs based on an auction. The price you're willing to pay for a click — the max CPC — and your Quality Score are the main elements determining your performance in the ad auction.

Let's look deeper at how to get the possible score for our ads.

Factors Determining Quality Score

The three components below are the most important elements determining the QS.

  • Relevance - Your campaigns, ad groups, keyword sets, and the ads themselves are the main structure of your advertising plan. Ask, how relevant is each keyword in your ad group? How relevant is the content of the ad to the targeted keyword? The more relevant your ads are to the query, the higher your conversion rate, which increases your QS.
  • Search Terms - People mostly use phrases to look for information. For instance, "recipes for sunday barbeque." As an advertiser, you may target "barbeque equipment," in which case you would want to avoid your ad appearing here since the person is looking for recipes. Showing your ad to the wrong audience can result in a low click-through rate and a lower Quality Score, leading to higher costs and lower ad positions.
  • User Experience - Once a user has landed on your page, their experience and purchasing action play a significant part in Google sending you more traffic, thereby increasing your Quality Score.

One important thing to remember is that if your competitors have equal bid prices, the business with a higher quality score will show at the top of the SERPs. You do not need to bid higher to go above your competition; doing the above well enough should do just fine.

Impact of Quality Score on Cost-Per-Click

Studies* have shown that the lower your quality score goes, the percentage by how much you pay per click goes up significantly. Here's a table to show you the variations based on QS.

Ad Rank

Ad rank is a score that determines the position of your ad on the Google search results page. It gets calculated using a combination of your bid amount and the ad quality score.

If your quality score is higher than your competitor's, and even if you pay less CPC, your ad will likely have a higher position on the page.

Here are the three main factors that determine Ad Rank, as stated by Google:

  • Bid amount - This is the amount you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. The higher your bid amount, the higher your ad will rank up to a point before QS starts becoming relevant.
  • Ad quality - Measures how relevant and useful your ad is to the searcher. See the factors for QS above.
  • Context - This refers to the specific search terms that the user has entered, as well as other factors such as the user's location, device, and time of day. Google uses context to determine how relevant your ad is to the user's search intent.

Here's an example:

  • John bids $2, but his advert needs to be more relevant and ranks 4 out of 10.
  • Jenny bids $1, and her relevance is a full 10. We can take this information and determine what will happen in the auction.
  • After calculating, John's ad rank is 8. Jenny's score is a 10, even with a lower Max CPC.
  • Due to a higher ad rank, Jenny's bid wins the auction and gets a higher position on the page than John's.

Combining the Quality Score and Ad Rank, your CPC can vary greatly the higher that both are.

Choosing Keywords

Selecting the right keywords is crucial for the success of your campaigns. Effective keyword research and balancing high-volume and relevant keywords can be tricky.

Keyword research tools, like Google's Keyword Planner or Bing's Keyword Research Tool, provide data on which keywords are most relevant and will work best for your new campaign.

These tools show you how many searches each term gets, the suggested bid prices, and competition levels. Using this information, you can create relevant ads and ad groups for each group of keywords.

Three main factors determine which keywords you should include in your ad campaigns.

  • Relevance
  • Traffic
  • Competition

As you go through a trial and error phase, your budget should allow you to narrow down the keywords for your campaign to succeed.

Negative Keywords

Remember to add a negative keyword list so your ad does not show up for terms you do not want traffic for but, at times, is searched along with your keyword.

You can denote negative keywords using the minus (-) sign. For example, your ad is for a "data analysis tool," so you could use the following negative keyword "-Excel plugin." Now, your ad won't show when someone searches for Excel.

Copywriting Techniques

Simple guidelines can help your adverts stand out from the competition.

  • Customize your advert headline to the search
  • Include a special or timely offer
  • Give a compelling call to action

These techniques can help improve your ads. Writing great advertisement copy is ongoing, like researching keywords or monitoring your bid prices. Focus on these tips over the long run, and you'll likely create ads that convert well and grow your business.

Here are some examples of how you can improve your ad headlines:

  • Original Headline 1: "Best Coffee in Town"
  • Improved Headline 1: "Savor Every Sip: Discover [Your Brand]'s Exquisite Coffee Creations!"

The coffee shop's improved headline evokes a sensory experience, using "Savor Every Sip" for emotion and highlighting unique "Exquisite Coffee Creations." Brackets with the brand name enhance personal connection.

  • Original Headline 2: "Affordable Web Design Services"
  • Improved Headline 2: "Elevate Your Online Presence with Professional & Affordable Web Design"

The enhanced web design agency headline balances affordability and professionalism. "Elevate Your Online Presence" appeals to standing out, while "Professional & Affordable" assures quality without compromise.

In both cases, the improved headlines aim to create a stronger emotional connection and highlight the unique benefits of advertised products or services.

Key Insights

While you may never know the secret behind how Google calculates your ad Quality Score, by monitoring your account and observing the results of your campaigns, you can find solutions and implement them quickly.

Here's a quick checklist to help you along the way:

  • Optimize your ad groups, keywords, negative keywords, and match types.
  • Understand your users' search intent and reflect it in your ads.
  • Use features like ad extensions and geo-targeting to gather more data and help your click-through rate.
  • Enhance the user experience on your landing pages, and make the purchase and checkout flow as seamless and user-friendly as possible.

Livedocs can provide clear insights into your data and show you what works. Try it out today.

* (source)

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