When creating campaigns within Google Ads, they estimate the quality of your landing pages, keywords, and ads by giving you a Quality Score. This is reported on a scale of 1-10 and considers three main factors:
Expected Click Through Rate (CTR)
This is how likely someone is to click your ad when Google serves it to a user. Google suggest this is a good indication on how relevant your ad is to the users search query. Google Ads considers how well your keyword has performed in the past based on your ad’s position.
There are three possible statuses that you can get for your expected CTR: above average, average or below average. Having a status which is above average or average means there are no major problems. A below average status suggest you might want to review your ad copy, so it is more closely related to your keyword.
Note that the expected CTR is a prediction, so can be different from the actual CTR shown in the CTR column of your Google Ads account.
The ad copy used plays a very vital role in your quality score as Google measures the relevance of the ad to the keywords. Best practice would be to use the keywords you are targeting in the ad copy where possible.
Again, this is measured on three statuses: above average, average and below average. If your ad relevance flags as below average this could suggest that your ad or keyword might not be specific enough. It could also mean that your ad group is too large and covers too many topics.
One way to improve your ad relevance is to make your ad groups more specific and reducing the number of keywords in your ad groups. A good guideline is to have between 5 – 20 keywords per ad group. Make sure that you can create an ad which is specific to every keyword in your ad group; if you cannot it suggests the ad group needs to be expanded into more ad groups.
Landing Page Experience
Landing page experience is used to measure how relevant and useful your landing page will be to users who clicked your ad. This metric describes whether your landing page is likely to provide a good experience to someone who has been served your ads.
Similarly to the other two metrics above, this is measured as one of three statuses: above average, average and below average. If your landing page experience is measured as below average, you might need to change the landing page being used or consider making changes to the landing page to improve the overall experience.
Why Does Quality Score Matter?
This metric is a very important one as it determines whether a keyword is eligible to enter an auction and therefore whether your ad will be served when a user searches for your keyword.
Quality Score is a factor that helps determines your ad rank which is a value that decides your ad position. Google uses an algorithm which determines your ad rank, ad position and how much you actually pay per click.
In simple terms, ad rank can be illustrated using the following formula:
This simply means that if you have a higher quality score than your competitor, you can pay less for a higher ad position.
Max CPC Bid
The table above illustrates how you can be paying less than your competitor but achieve a higher ad position. It also demonstrates someone bidding a high CPC but achieving a low ad position due to a low quality score.
How Do You Increase Your Quality Score?
It can be really important to spend time working on increasing your quality score, but how is this done? There are a few tasks you can carry out in your account which can help improve expected CTR, ad relevance and landing page experience:
Keyword Research – the keywords you have in your account might not be the only relevant keywords for you. By carrying out keyword research you will be able to discover new and relevant keywords to add to your campaigns.
Account Restructure – make sure you have a clean account structure with keywords split into organised and specific ad groups. This will allow you to write relevant ad copy to your keywords.
Search Query Reports – having a low CTR can mean you are serving ads to people searching for keywords which are irrelevant to your brand. By carrying out search query reports and negating irrelevant searches, this should help increase your expected CTR.
Ad Copy Refresh – make sure that the keyword you are targeting is written in the relevant ad and then written on the landing page. This helps the ad relevance as well as the landing page experience.
Landing Page Amendments – reviewing the landing pages that are being used regularly will benefit your Quality Score. Make sure if you have below average landing page relevance you move to a more relevant landing page to that ad group or including the keywords from that ad group on the landing page.
It is possible to have a high Quality Score and low expected click-through rate, ad relevance or landing page experience because Google Ads looks at all three of these metrics to determine the Quality Score. Even if your overall Quality Score is high, looking at the individual factors can help you identify potential areas for improvement. By optimising these three factors, in return you should always achieve a high Quality Score.