Google’s Quality Score Explained (plus 3 easy tricks to improve it)

By Steph Von der Heyde | Google AdWords

Apr 20
Google adwords rating excellent to poor

If you’re trying to get better results from your Google Adwords you need a solid understanding of Quality Score.

Why?

Well, when you improve your Quality Score, your costs-per-click (CPC) will decrease or your average position may increase or – if you’re very lucky – both may happen together.

Put simply, improving your quality score is the yellow-brick-road to better overall Adwords performance.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

What is Quality Score?

Your quality Score is Google’s way of assessing the relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads to your landing pages and rating the calibre of your campaigns in general.

While only people who work at Google know exactly how the Quality Score algorithm works (Google are a secretive bunch) everyone now knows that the following factors play big roles:

  • Your click-through rate (CTR).
  • The relevance of your keywords to their ad group.
  • The quality and relevance of your landing pages.
  • Your historical AdWords account performance.

If you can improve each of the factors above you’ll improve your quality score. Easy right?

Well, the basic theory is fairly easy, but in reality there are a lot of intricacies involved. Once you start to dig deeper you’ll see that unpacking each factor becomes is a lot like unpacking a Russian doll…

The good news is that every small improvement counts and over time you can certainly do a lot to improve your overall quality score (QS).

With that in mind, we thought we’d give you 3 very easy ways to do just that – even if you’re a complete beginner.

If you want to know your starting point, you can check your QS here.

3 Simple Tips For Increasing Your Quality Score:

1. Bid on Brand Terms

What’s the point of bidding on branded terms if they’re coming up in the organic results anyway?

We know it sounds counter-intuitive, but there are actually a number of good reasons to bid on branded terms in AdWords.

Two main reasons include:

  1. Branded terms get high CTR’s and therefore help to improve your quality score.
  2. You’ll prevent your competitors from stealing your traffic (bidding on your branded terms is a cheap and cheeky way for competitors to hijack your traffic).

Luckily, brand terms are very cheap, so this is simple, cost-effective and very easy to do!

2. Decrease your landing page load times.

The time it takes for your landing pages to load has become an important consideration in calculating Quality Score.

Of course, it improves user experience too, so reducing your load time is a very worthwhile endeavour.

If you don’t know where to start, a couple of factors that contribute to longer load times are:

  • Meta refreshes
  • Slow redirects
  • Multiple redirects
  • Interstitial pages
  • Slow server
  • Large page size

Reducing your landing page load speeds is a relatively quick way to improve your quality score – plus it has the added benefit of improving your overall bounce rate too.

3. Use Ad Extensions & Product Listing Ads

Ad extensions are free to use and will pretty much guarantee better click-through rates. If you aren’t already making full use of them, following this tip is a no-brainer.

The type of extension you should use will depend on your goals, but the big ones are as follows:

  • Sitelinks:

Sitelinks give searchers a choice of landing page, allowing them to select the most relevant option for their specific needs.

  • Call and Text Extensions:

Call and text extensions allow people to call or text you with one click. Obviously, this is great for mobile ads.  

  • Location Extensions

Add map information, address and phone number to your ad (without wasting space in your main ad copy).

  • Product Listing Ads.

PLA’s are for those of you who are running an ecommerce site. They allow users to see and click on the exact product they want, thereby vastly improving CTRs.

These 3 simple tricks are a great way to get started with improving your QS. Easy, isn’t it?

For more information, here are some great resources:

About Quality Score: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/7050591

About Ad relevance: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1659752  

x