Quality Scores

What Are Quality Scores?

Short Definition: A measurement of a pay-per-click ad or landing page’s relevance that affects the cost-per-click and performance.

Quality Score is a measure Google uses to estimate the quality of your keywords, ads, and landing pages based on their relevance. It’s reported on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the worst score and 10 being the best. Google uses your Quality Score to determine your cost-per-click (CPC), and your CPC is multiplied by your maximum bid to determine where your ad ranks. In other words, higher Quality Scores can mean lower prices and better ad positions, which translate to a greater return on investment (ROI).

How Does Google Determine Quality Score?

Google has never revealed exactly how their Quality Score algorithm works. However, we do know that the relevancy of an ad or landing page to a user is a big factor. This makes sense when you consider that it’s Google’s job to return the search results that match the searcher’s intent as closely as possible.

Other Quality Score factors include:

  • Your historical AdWords account performance (i.e. your account-level Quality Score)
  • Your ad click-through rate (CTR)
  • The relevancy of each keyword to its ad group

How Can You Improve Your Quality Score?

If some of your ads or landing pages have low Quality Scores, there are a few things you can do to try to raise them.

Perform additional keyword research. Hone in on the keywords, especially long-tail keywords, that are most closely related to your campaigns. Remember that relevancy is going to be a major deciding factor for your Quality Score.

Split keywords into tight groups. Make sure these keywords are tied to the most relevant ad campaigns.

A/B test your ad copy. Since click-through rate is a factor for Quality Score, you should test different versions of your ads against one another to determine which version gets the highest CTR.

Identify negative keywords. By adding negative keywords, you can stop your ads from being served for irrelevant search terms, which could improve your CTR.

Optimize your landing pages. Your landing pages and ads need to be fully cohesive. When a user clicks an ad, the offer from the ad should be immediately apparent on the landing page.

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