If you have dipped your toe into the world of Google Ads, you may have heard the term “Quality Score.” It’s a piece of marketing jargon that can make your eyes glaze over if you are not an active PPC manager. However, if you are paying people to run Google Ads for you, Quality Score is an important number to understand because it directly affects your bottom line. Higher Quality Scores make clicks cheaper. Lower Quality Scores make clicks more expensive.
Quality Score is a cornerstone of Google Ads management, and you don’t have to get in the weeds to understand it. In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about Quality Score.
Google Ads Quality Score – What is It?
When someone searches Google for a product or service, there are usually multiple advertisers competing for that person’s click. Google has to decide which ads to show, and in what order. They do this by assigning an “Ad Rank” to every ad. So how do they decide Ad Rank?
Ad Rank = Quality Score x Bid
Google decides where to rank your ad based on your bid and your Quality Score.
The bid is easy to understand. In an auction, the highest bidder wins. Each search is an auction. So, if you tell Google you are willing to pay more for a click than your competitor, you are more likely to rank higher.
But it’s more complicated than that. Google also assigns a Quality Score on a scale of 1-10 that measures the “quality” of the ad. That score is used to determine how much an advertiser will pay. Having poor quality ads will cause you to be penalized. Having high quality ads will get you a discount and will make your advertising spending go further.
Breaking Quality Score Down
Google’s empire is built upon having the highest quality search engine. When people search Google, they expect quality results. Google makes their money by having people click ads. So, it is in their best interest to give users the best experience possible when they click ads. Therefore, they have Quality Score to incentivize advertisers to provide a good experience.
What makes an ad high quality? It comes down to three things: Click through rate, relevancy, and landing page experience.
Click-through-rate carries the most weight when it comes to Quality Score. CTR is simply the percentage of the time your ad is clicked when it shows up. If your ad gets one hundred impressions and it gets clicked ten times, you have a 10% CTR.
The more attractive and relevant your ad copy is to the user’s search, the more likely they are to click it. This is a signal to Google’s algorithm that your ad copy is good, and they reward you for it. So, it is important to write good ad copy, and it is important to utilize all the relevant ad extensions to help your ad stand out and take up more real-estate on the page.
The relevancy of the ad to the user’s search is the second factor in determining Quality Score. It’s critical to make sure the ad copy contains the keywords that the user is using, and that the language and meaning of the ad are all coherent.
Make sure the ads match the targeted keywords. Proper account structure is critical here, so that different keywords with different meanings are segmented into their own groups with their own ads.
Landing Page Quality
Landing page quality is the third component of Quality Score. It is important that your landing page provides a seamless experience from the initial search, to the ad click, to the landing page. Google will analyze the headers and copy of your landing page to make sure that it is relevant to the search. They will also reward or penalize you based on page speed. And they will not show your ad if they detect malware, re-directs, and other guideline violations.
For more on landing pages, read Eight Landing Page Tips for Google Ads.
Where Is My Google Ads Quality Score?
If you want to find your Quality Score in your Google Ads account, you can do the following:
- Click the “Keywords” tab.
- Click “Columns” and then “Customize columns.“
- Choose “Attributes.“
- Click on “Add” in the Quality Score row.
- Click “Apply” to save. You will now see the Quality Score column in your data.
If you have someone else running your account for you, you can ask them for a Quality Score report. We provide our clients with a Quality Score report on a monthly basis.
What is a Good Quality Score?
7/10 is a good Quality Score to shoot for. It’s usually not worth trying to improve beyond a seven unless you are talking about brand keywords. The Quality Score for your brand name should be a ten, and these clicks should be cheap.
Once you achieve a Quality Score of seven, you should look for other areas to optimize or expand.
Whether you are running Google Ads yourself or paying someone else to do so, it’s important to grasp the fundamentals of Quality Score to understand your accounts performance. Make sure to review your Quality Scores on a monthly or quarterly basis and take steps to improve if your overall score is lacking.