Getting more qualified traffic out of Google Ads budget is crucial for improving your results. Quality score in Google Ads has a lot of influence over your cost efficiencies which is why it’s so important to get a great quality score.
The difference between a 6 vs 10 quality score can save you nearly 50% on your average CPC. You can still get the performance you desire from your campaigns without a high quality score of course. A higher quality score is definitely useful to help you get the most out of your budget.
This article will review what quality score is, why it matters, and how to get a 10/10 quality score.
What is Quality Score & Why Does It Matter?
Google was originally created with a user centric approach. Their objective was to make sure people had an excellent experience searching for queries on Google. As Google rolled out advertising in its search results, they wanted to make sure people were getting relevant information.
That’s where quality score comes into play.
Quality score is Google’s way of determining how relevant your ad experience is to a user’s search query. Google’s own definition of quality score is the following:
“Quality Score is a diagnostic tool meant to give you a sense of how well your ad quality compares to other advertisers.”
Google looks at the following components when evaluating the quality score:
Each component focused on a different part of a user’s experience with your content. Here are some more details on each component:
- Ad Relevance – when comparing the keyword you show up for and the ad copy you use, how relevant is your ad. For example, if you sell blue shoes and have an ad for blue shoes that shows up on the term “blue shoes”, that’s pretty relevant.
- Expected CTR – after your ad shows up on a given keyword, how often do people click on your ad vs your competition. Comparatively speaking, this is determined by the average CTR of your ad vs your competition. If you and your competition sold blue shoes but their shoes are 20% off, your ad might have a lower score than theirs because more people are clicking on their ad.
- Landing Page Experience – after someone clicks on your ad, do they stay on your website and do they complete a meaningful conversion action. Aka, did the user get what they were looking for? The point is whether someone found the information related to their search and didn’t just leave to go to another website. The interesting part of this is whether they completed the desired conversion action (became a lead, made a purchase, etc). You determine that portion of the quality score to a degree.
You might already have a few guesses as to why quality score is important. Below is a graph from WordStream that also shows the CPC savings you
The amount you save can vary of course depending on your industry and what your competition is doing. What’s interesting is that Google incentivizes having a better user experience by lowering your CPCs with a higher quality score.
There are quite a few other reasons to have a higher quality score in Google Ads. Such as:
- Having a higher chance of your ads showing up – quality score is a factor alongside your bid and ad extension quality that Google uses to determine which ads show up. Higher quality scores improve your odds of showing up in the ad auction.
- Your ad position – higher quality scores also help you win vs competition. Even if your bid is slightly lower, your ad could show up in a higher position if you have a higher quality score vs your competition.
- Your ad performance vs the competition – lower CPCs can help you get more out of your budget. If you can get 100 clicks out of your $100 budget but your competition only gets 80, you have an advantage.
- How often your ads show up – similar to having more clicks from your budget. If you don’t run out of your budget as quickly, you could show up more often.
How To Get a 10/10 Quality Score
This is really the million dollar question when it comes to quality score and it’s tough. After all, if everyone could do it, then a 10/10 score wouldn’t be very meaningful.
Here are useful tips we have used to improve our client’s quality score:
Generally Useful Advice:
- Use the data in your account to figure out where to get started. Look at keywords with higher quality scores and see why they might have a higher score. Same thing for lower performing terms. This will help you figure out what you’re doing well and what you could do better with lower performing terms.
- When a campaign is first launched, you get a 6/10 quality score. Then Google decides your quality score after you’ve run ads on a given keyword for a few days or you get a +1000 impressions. Here are the useful things to consider:
- Once Google gives you a quality score, it is harder to significantly increase that quality score than it is to create a new campaign to start the process over again. If you have a 4/10 quality score, it will be very difficult to get anything higher than a 5 or 6.
- It’s better to take the time to improve your landing page/ad/keyword targeting after your initial test campaign is launched. Otherwise, you could spend several months spending a lot more budget/time making smaller changes that don’t have the desired effect.
- Organize your campaign before you launch it to make sure you have the right ad copy for the right keywords and the right landing page for the right ad copy & keywords. Adding an extra hour or two to do this can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
- Quality score is still a vanity metric. Getting more traffic at a lower cost is great, but you can still get great results with a lower quality score. Some examples below illustrate my point:
- Let’s say you do get 100 clicks vs your competition that gets 80 clicks for the same shoe terms. If you have a 1% conversion rate & they have a 2% conversion rate, then they are getting more purchases. To be exact, you will get 1 purchase to their 1.6 purchases (2 if you round up). Assuming you sell shoes at the same cost, they generated DOUBLE the revenue that you made?!?
- Quality score is about user experience, not end business results. Sometimes the two align, sometimes they don’t. Landing page experience is a good example of this. You can have a great landing page that has all of the best practices in place, keeps people on site, and is highly engaging. As a result, Google could give you a higher quality score. You could still have an issue getting sales because people could need time to consider other options.
- Last point – if you have a longer sales cycle or revenue isn’t your end conversion goal, there can be a difference between results. Your in account quality score could be great or bad…..and that could have very little effect on your business. You could get more sales or no sales and Google might not even know about it because it has no data on your sales performance. That’s not to say it isn’t good to have a good quality score, it just means that quality score isn’t the only thing you should consider.
- Giving smaller audiences ad creative that is specific to their search query is the best way to get an above average rating. For example, if you sell used waterproof camping backpacks, then you should have a keyword for “used waterproof camping backpacks” with an ad for used waterproof camping backpacks. It sounds redundant, but the consistency provides reassurance that you have what users are looking for.
- It is more difficult to increase your ad relevance for broadly themed terms. Simply put, you can’t be everything to everyone. If you use the same used waterproof camping backpack ad for the keyword “camping backpack”, you’re likely going to get a lower quality score. This can be made up with promotions or add ons to make your product more relevant to this larger audience. The issue is that people searching a broader term have a variety of products they are looking for and you might not be able to fulfill all of those needs.
- Mirroring keyword intent is a good place to start as mentioned earlier. Anticipating a user’s needs with their search query is a great way to succeed. Not only with your quality score, but in general with your marketing. Consider what your customers care about and what differentiates you from your competitors. Is it the lower price, the quality of your materials, the brand, reviews, etc. We go over this in a prior article, the point is to figure out what people care about and show that in your ad text.
- This is probably the most difficult quality score component to improve because it relies on outperforming your competition. In the right conditions, you have the best product, lowest price, a great promotion, and have targeted all the right keywords. Sometimes this happens, sometimes you need to do some work to get there. Similar to the last point on ad relevance – you should try to give people what they are looking for within reason. A promotion tends to help you increase your CTR, though you shouldn’t give away your margins just because you will get a few more clicks. Consider what you do best and how it helps you customers.
- Using more exact match keywords can help improve your CTR. Focusing on the top performing keywords with ad copy that relates to each keyword will go a long way. This will take a lot of time, but the end result is that you show people what they are looking for or something really close to it. That doesn’t mean you should eliminate phrase match if it’s performing well, that does mean you should try to create a focused ad experience to increase your CTR.
- Use more negative keywords to weed out lower performing queries. You can improve your CTR by not showing up for terms that you don’t convert for that have a lower CTR.
Landing Page Experience
- This can be tricky if you have little control over your landing page, but here are a few components of your page that you should consider:
- The hero text
- The hero image
- Information above the fold – is it relevant?
- Product or service information – is it relevant?
- Site speed/Core Web Vitals
- Your content – generally speaking, does it relate to what users are looking for?
- Your bounce rate
- Average time on site
- Changing up the headline to match the keyword being searched for helps mirror intent. The same thing goes for your content. Though the point is to provide value to users that is unique and gets them to stick around to learn more about your product or service.
- Using a tool like PageSpeed Insights can help you see what is making your site slower and how you can speed it up so people stay on your site. This is important to make sure fewer people bounce and that they get the content they want in a timely manner.
When these insights are combined, you should be able to get a 10/10 quality score in Google Ads. If you’re not getting the score you want, then you should see what your quality score is and determine which component of your quality score you need to focus on. The good thing is that you can keep iterating on your campaigns to gradually improve. As long as you keep testing and trying to improve, you should be able to get that 10/10 quality score.
These insights give you everything you need to improve your quality score. If you want help improving your quality score, we’re here for you! Book a free consultation with us today and we’ll go over how to get started on Google and how to get better results.