How to Improve Your Keyword Quality Score
First thing’s first: What is Quality Score, and why does it matter?
At the keyword level in Google Ads, we are able to see a column for ‘Quality Score’ which displays a score of 1-10. According to Google: Quality Score is a diagnostic tool meant to give you a sense of how well your ad quality compares to other advertisers.
Quality Score is one of a few different components of Google’s formula for Ad Rank. We know a higher Quality Score means a higher Ad Rank, which leads to more Impressions, higher Top of Page Rates, and lower Cost per Clicks, among other things that boost ad performance.
Here’s a guide to help you interpret your keyword quality score:
Note: You may see a “-” in place of a number for your Quality Score. In such cases, your keyword does not have a Quality Score. A “-” does not equate to a “0”. It just means there has not been enough searches for your keyword for Google to give it a Quality Score.
How does Google rate the quality of your search ads? Quality Score is measured by 3 different components:
- Expected Click-Through Rate (CTR)
- Landing Page Experience
- Ad Relevance
Let’s take a deeper look at what each of these metrics mean.
Expected CTR measures how likely people are to click on your ad when shown.
This score is based on the past clickthrough performance of your ads. (Google excludes the effects of ad position, and other factors that affect the visibility of your ad, such as extensions.)
Landing Page Experience estimates the quality of the user’s experience once they reach your landing page. It takes into account factors such as how well your landing page content matches a person’s search term, and how easy it is for people to navigate your page.
Ad Relevance measures how closely your ad matches the user’s search, in other words, how closely your keyword matches the message in your ads. A below average score may mean that your ads are too general or specific to answer the user’s query, or that this keyword isn’t relevant to your business.
At the keyword level in Google Ads, you can view columns for Expected CTR, Landing Page Exp., and Ad Relevance. For each of these metrics, your keyword will have a rank of either Average, Above Average, or Below Average. The combination of the rankings of these 3 metrics will determine your Quality Score.
If your Quality Score is below a 6 for a keyword that you absolutely want to show for, consider the following tips for improving your Quality Score.
Tips for Improving Landing Page Experience:
- Include your keyword on your landing page, ideally more than once. This is what Google will look for when determining whether your landing page content matches the user’s search.
- Use the most relevant option of landing pages across your site for users searching your keyword. For example, let’s say you have a web page for Apparel, and a webpage within that category for T-Shirts. If your keyword is “t-shirt”, your ad’s URL should direct to the T-Shirts landing page rather than the broader Apparel page..
- Make sure your landing page is mobile-friendly.
- Test the site speed for your landing page and make sure the page loads quickly. This is increasingly important to Google.
- Make sure all buttons on your landing page work properly.
Tips for Improving Ad Relevance:
- Make sure your ad copy uses your keyword(s) in the headlines and descriptions.
- Check the Search Terms report in Google Ads to see what terms users are searching that trigger your ad. If relevant, add those search terms as keywords, and use those keywords in your ad copy.
- Separate keywords from one ad group to multiple different ad groups if the keywords are different enough. For example, instead of one “sweater” ad group for the following keywords, have 1 separate ad group for each keyword: “sweaters”, “hoodies”, “crewnecks”.
As we defined earlier, Expected CTR is calculated based on the past clickthrough performance of your ads. So, your Expected CTR will improve only when your actual CTR improves. As you may already know, Clickthrough Rate is directly related to your ad creative.
Tips for Improving your CTR:
- Rewrite your ad copy to be more exciting, compelling, and relevant.
- Include an offer such as “up to 10% off” or highlight a benefit such as “free shipping” in your ad copy.
- Test different Calls To Action in your ad copy.
There are things we digital advertisers cannot control when it comes to our ads’ Cost per Click, but there are many things that we can control. If your CPCs are higher than normal only in certain ad groups, take a look at the Quality Scores of the keywords in those ad groups. If you are able to apply any of the tips above, that could be an easy way to lower those CPCs!