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How Does Quality Score Affect Your Google AdWords Performance?

Written by Andrew Seiden on 01.17.19

How it works and how to increase your quality score!

Working with Google AdWords can be challenging, especially when it comes to understanding the effect your Quality Score has on your account. Basically, it’s like anything else—the higher you can get your score, the more advantages you’ll get.

What is a Google Quality Score?

Google rates the quality, relevance and performance of your PPC Ads and keywords in order to determine your Google Quality Score. You may think of Quality Score as Google's way of judging whether or not your PPC ad meets your potential customers' needs. Your Quality Score will hit on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest (and most likely to meet your potential customers' needs).


The main factors used to determine a Quality Score include

  1. Expected click-through rate (CTR)
  2. Ad text relevance and quality
  3. Landing page relevance and quality


Though it is unclear exactly how much weight Google puts on these three factors, plenty of marketers have dug through the weeds and have found an approximate breakdown of how these factors make up Quality Score:

  • Expected click-through rate (CTR) = 60% of Quality Score
  • Ad text relevance and quality = 25% of Quality Score
  • Landing page relevance and quality = 10% of Quality Score
  • Unknown = 5% (Google's way of keeping advertisers on our toes)

Each new campaign you start receives a rating of 6 as a Google Ads default. Ads with high scores ranging from 7-10 - those that meet your prospects' needs - receive Cost Per Click (CPC) discounts while ads scoring in the range of 1-4 are charged a CPC premium. Below is a chart showing how Quality Score can affect your CPC in terms of what you will pay vs. what you can save.

Quality Score and CPC


The higher the score, the better the positioning and rates

Your Quality Score has a direct correlation on the success of your PPC campaign(s). It pays to optimize your Quality Score because of the higher Return on Investment (ROI) potential. Higher Quality Scores means lower Cost Per Conversion which is different from Cost Per Click. In this case, it’s not the clicks that count but rather the amount you pay when someone takes an action you wanted them to take. That could mean making an online purchase or simply signing up for a newsletter. Cost Per Conversion is usually higher than Cost Per Click simply because not every click ends in a conversion. Fortunately, having strong Quality Scores will lower both your Cost Per Conversion and Cost Per Click.




How to improve your Quality Score

It’s relatively easy to make improvements to your Quality Score if you monitor your account and campaigns diligently and make relevant changes on a weekly basis.


Refine Your Keywords

Always be on the lookout for opportunities to create more relevant keywords for your campaigns. Don’t forget long-tail keywords and pillar pages that can extend the scope of your promotions.


Target Your Ad Copy

Testing your ad content with targeted groups can make a huge difference in reaching your audience. The more relevant your copy, the more click-throughs you’ll get and that’s one of the best ways to improve your Quality Score.


Organize Your Keywords

Arranging keywords into logical Ad Groups helps them work more effectively with individual campaigns.


Create A Negative Keywords List

Designate search terms and their variations that you want excluded from your campaigns. Negative keywords will help you avoid wasting your budget on irrelevant clicks.


Optimize Your Landing Pages

Your landing page content should meet the expectations that visitors had when they clicked on your ad. Make sure your landing pages have relevant and cohesive messaging for visitors to increase the opportunities for more conversions.

More than anything, Quality Score is a measure of relevancy across all of the assets in your Google Ads account, meaning the structure of your campaign(s) is extremely important to achieving high Quality Scores. Your Ad Groups should contain cohesive collections of keywords (7 -10) that are relevant to the types of keywords that your potential customers are searching on. The ads you create should naturally contain some of the keywords you are bidding on, include strong call to actions and have relevant supporting content that a user would expect to see when searching on Google. Finally, your landing page needs to deliver on the promise you portrayed in your ads. These pages should connect directly to your Ad Groups and present a concise conversion opportunity that your visitors were expecting when they typed in their search query.  


Your Google Quality Score can dramatically impact the success of your ad campaigns so it’s a great idea to be diligent in monitoring your campaigns and making changes where necessary to optimize your results. Remember: you can never be too specific when organizing your campaign(s) - it will only lead to a more relevant experience for the user from keyword to conversion.

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Topics: Paid Campaigns