If you’re running a Google AdWords account for your business then you’ve probably wondered about your Google AdWords Quality Score and how it can affect the success of your campaigns. In this article, I’ll provide an overview of the AdWords Quality Score, explain what factors can influence your score, and offer a few actionable tips designed to help you improve your score. 

What is Google AdWords Quality Score?

Every keyword in your Google AdWords account is assigned a Quality Score. Your Quality Score is an indicator of how relevant and useful both your ad and the landing page on your website are to the searchers who see them. Determined by Google, your Quality Score can range from 1-10 (where 1 = bad score, and 10 = great score).

If you find yourself saying “Well that’s great, but WHY does Quality Score matter?” let’s keep going.

Every time someone performs a search on Google that triggers your ad to enter the AdWords auction, the components of your Quality Score will come into play. Specifically, anytime an ad enters the auction, Google AdWords calculates an Ad Rank using the components of Quality Score.

Ad Rank- not Quality Score- is what determines if and where your ad appears in the paid search results. Higher Quality Scores can translate to better Ad Rank, and higher quality ads usually lead to lower costs and better ad position. 

To better understand, let’s dig a little deeper into the mind of Google.

As one of the world’s leading search engines, Google is focused on the user experience. Their ultimate goal is to provide users with the most relevant results so as to ensure said users have the best search experience possible. The hope is that users who have a great search experience will continue to use Google as their search engine of choice for future searches. Consider the following example:

You own a Pest Control company and a local homeowner is searching for “termite extermination companies” in your area. This homeowner goes to Google, searches for a “termite exterminator” and sees your ad about termite removal and extermination. After clicking on your ad, she lands on a page on your website which explains your termite extermination services, and then decides to contact you (either by calling you or filling out a form on the page).

Wouldn’t you consider this to be a great experience for the searcher? Of course! Google considers this a great experience, too, because the homeowner (searcher) found an ad and a website that were relevant to her needs. Relevant ads can help you earn a high Quality Score, drive more clicks and gain more leads.

What Factors Affect Your AdWords Quality Score?

Now that we’ve looked at why Quality Score is so important, let’s discuss the three components that help determine a keyword’s Quality Score.

1. Expected Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

Expected Clickthrough Rate (CTR) measures the likelihood that your ads will be clicked when they are shown for a specific keyword (excluding other factors such as ad position and ad extensions). Checking the Expected CTR of keywords in your campaign can help you identify keywords that may not be relevant enough to perform well.

There are three possible statuses your can receive for your Expected CTR: Above average, Average, and Below average.

A status of “Above Average” or “Average” indicates that there are no major problems with the Expected CTR for the keyword when compared to other keywords across AdWords.

If you see a status of “Below Average,” you will want to consider rewriting your text ad so that it’s more closely related to your top keywords. Additionally, you can make sure that your text ads include some of your top keywords in the actual ad copy.

2. Ad Relevance

Ad Relevance is a measure of how closely your ad relates to the keywords you’re targeting with the ad. Ad relevance is an excellent way to help you pinpoint keywords that might not be relevant enough to your ads to perform well.

There are three statuses for Ad Relevance: Above average, Average and Below average.

As with Expected CTR, a status of “Above average” or “Average” indicates that there are no major problems with the ad relevance for the keyword when compared to other keywords across AdWords.

If you see a status of “Below average,” you have some room for improvement. This means that your keyword or ad may not be specific enough or that your ad group is too broad and covers too many topics. If that is the case, try narrowing down your keyword list by creating ad groups with more closely-knit keywords and make sure you have good text ads that are incorporate keywords from the narrower list.

3. Landing Page Experience

Landing Page Experience is an indicator of how your landing page is likely to perform when a visitor lands on that page after clicking your ad. Are visitors likely to take the desired action, or will they need to dig deeper into your site to find what they need? Will they find what they were looking for on your landing page, or will they bounce back to the search results page?

A good landing page experience can result in more leads, purchases or signups, while a poor landing page experience can drive potential customers away or to your competitors.

So why is a good landing page experience so important? While landing page experience has a direct impact on your Quality Score and Ad Rank, it can also affect your advertising costs. The better your landing page, the better your Quality Score and Ad Rank; the better your Quality Score and Ad Rank, the lower your advertising costs.

Start Improving Your AdWords Quality Score Today

Are your ads sending potential customers to a landing page where they’ll have a good experience? If not, then consider making a few of the following adjustments to help improve your landing page experience:

  • Add relevant, useful, and engaging content to your landing page
  • Promote transparency with your products or services by explaining what you offer before asking someone to fill out a form or share their information
  • Make sure that on a mobile device, the landing page (as well as your entire website) is easy for a user to navigate
  • Ensure potential customers who click your ad don’t give up and leave your site because your page took too long to load

Need more help with your Google AdWords campaigns? Contact Mannix Marketing today to discuss your situation with our team and learn how we might be able to help you.

About Sara Mannix

Sara Mannix is the CEO of Mannix Marketing, Inc., a Digital Marketing Agency headquartered in Glens Falls, NY. She founded Mannix Marketing in 1996 with a goal to get clients "found" on the web through organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The company now serves over 1500 clients worldwide and employs a team of over 30 specialists, still operating under the tagline "We Get You Found On The Web." This multifaceted company is an industry leader, specializing in organic SEO, Link Earning, SEO-friendly Website Design, Online Advertising, Social Media and more. Mannix Marketing also has one of the largest portfolios of tourism and city guides in Upstate New York. These guides, which include Albany.com, Saratoga.com, LakeGeorge.com, GlensFallsRegion.com, CliftonPark.com and Adirondack.net, reach over 10 million visitors a year. Corresponding social media profiles for the region extend this reach to millions more on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and more.