Three Ways to Improve the Quality Score of Google Ads

October 24th, 2019 by Marissa Wehrer

At first, Quality Score may seem like an arbitrary number attached to your keywords, but there is so much that goes into it. Once you learn how to improve and maintain a keyword’s Quality Score, you can feel confident that you’re also improving the overall health of your Google Ads account.

Defining Quality Score

Google states that “Quality Score is intended to give you a general sense of the quality of your ads.” Quality Scores are provided at the keyword level and meant to reflect how the keyword performs in your account with regards to ad and landing page quality.

Quality Score is reported on a scale of 1-10 and factors in expected click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. Overall, a healthy Quality Score averages around 6. Depending on how aggressively you want to improve Quality Score, start by reviewing keywords scored at a 3 or below for opportunities.

It’s important to note that although it’s not used during auctions to determine Ad Rank, your historical Quality Score is a good indicator of how future ads will perform. Learn more about the ad auction in this video.

Improving Quality Score

Three factors can be optimized to enhance the Quality Scores of your keywords: expected CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience. Each category can be rated as above average, average, or below average.

Example of Google Ads campaign being managed by Search Influence in New Orleans, LA

Let’s talk through each factor and recommendations on how to improve each one.

1. Expected CTR: This is how likely it is that your ad will get clicked when shown for that keyword. Expected CTR is the easiest and most immediate element of Quality Score to improve.

First, try reviewing the Search Term Report for keyword opportunities. This way, you can implement keywords more relevant for users. Once you add these keywords to your ad groups, pause the other keywords with low CTR.

Another consideration is that your ads are not compelling enough for people to click. Test new ads with different messaging. A way to give your ad a natural CTR boost is by using Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) in your ads. This trick is when you write {KeyWord:HeadlineText} in your headline, which then dynamically generates the headline as what the user searched.

2. Ad Relevance: This measures “how closely related your keyword is to your ads.” An ad may be deemed relevant to a keyword when the keyword appears in the ad.

If your keyword has a low QS because of ad relevance, instead of writing a brand new ad, try this. First, duplicate an existing ad that has high performance. Then, write in the low QS keyword as part of the ad.

Also, ensure that your ads are answers for the queries the ad group most often receives. You can check queries using the Search Terms report. This is easier to accomplish when your ads and keywords are in specific ad groups consisting of tightly themed keywords.

If you want to try something completely new, test Google’s Responsive Search Ads. This tool lets machine learning determine which of your ad headlines and descriptions will be the most relevant to the searcher. You can enter up to 15 headlines and four descriptions per ad!

Something else to keep in mind is that Google looks at your site for relevance. Make sure you are landing every ad on the page that is most closely related to your keywords rather than only your homepage. Google takes into account keyword density on the site, so using relevant keywords on each landing page can also improve ad relevance.

3. Landing Page Experience: This measures “how relevant and useful your website’s landing page will be to people who click your ad.” Landing pages that are not mobile responsive may take a hit in this factor. According to Statista.com, as of the second quarter of 2019, Google accounted for 95% of the mobile organic search engine visits in the U.S.

Not all online advertisers can swiftly optimize landing pages as needed. If this is your case, start with making sure that your keywords and ads are relevant to the landing page’s current content.

If that still doesn’t improve the Quality Score, you may want to consider the following for your landing page:

  • Making the page mobile responsive
  • Minimizing load time
  • Optimizing images with metatext, tags, title and alt text that include relevant keywords
  • Making conversion points clearly visible

You should also consider improving your website’s content or testing new call-to-action buttons at each conversion point.

Take Action Now

As you can see, there are three factors that you can improve to increase Quality Score, yet there are only so many things you can do. If all of these possibilities seem overwhelming to you, start by making a list of optimizations you can tackle now, as well as some you may need to address later. Then, create an optimization schedule for yourself and revisit it each week.

We are a Google Premier Partner, meaning we work on ad accounts daily to ensure clients maintain a strong Quality Score and campaign performance. If you find yourself unable to improve Quality Score, reach out to Search influence for specific recommendations and consulting services. Or let us work on your ad account directly with an online advertising package.