What is PPC Quality Score?


If you are venturing into the world of PPC (pay per click) for the first time or need to improve your current PPC offering then you may be asking yourself, just what is Google Quality Score? The team at Wired Media can help.

What is Google Quality Score?

If we look at Google’s own definition, you will see that Quality Score is their estimate of the quality of your ads, your keywords and your landing pages. To quote them directly, “Quality Score is an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing pages are to a person who sees your ad. Higher Quality Scores typically lead to lower costs and better ad positions.” That said, you want the best Quality Score possible. So, where do you start? You can find your Quality Score in Google Ads (this used to be called Adwords) in three ways:

You will soon see that you have been given a number between 1-10. Your number is your score, and this will have been allocated to you based on a few factors; what Google expects your click-through rate to be, how relevant your ad is and how good your landing page experience is. The more relevant your ads and landing pages are, the more likely it is that you’ll receive higher Quality Scores. Google’s benchmark is 5, but to reap the benefits you will want to get as close to 10 as possible. We’ll talk more about those later.

How Does Google Quality Score Work?

Quality Score is an important part of how Google decides which ads are eligible to enter an ad auction, how they are ranked and how much you will pay per click. But before we get ahead of ourselves remember this: Google measures the quality of your PPC campaign via your Quality Score so it is vital that you know not only how it works, but what you can do it make it better. Behind the scenes, we know that once Google has enough data, the keywords in your account can be assigned the score/number we mentioned earlier. If you have a high score, great. If not, let’s work to improve it. It won’t be a surprise to learn that the inner workings and algorithm are kept a secret, but what we do know is that score you have represents a sort of collective relevance of the keyword you want based on the auctions it is part of.

These auctions are where advertisers (you!) compete to show their ads to potential customers. You will want to make sure you get the keyword but remember – it’s not like your typical auction, they don’t go to the highest bidder. They go to whoever has the best ads (most relevant and you guessed it, high Quality Score). Basically, if your ads are rubbish (low Quality Score, irrelevant keyword) you will have to pay Google more or you won’t get your ad out there. Substandard ads mean spending more money which isn’t good for business – your PPC campaign needs to be cost effective, and as your Quality Score is a real-time indicator and fast pass to getting your ads seen by potential customers. The aim is to not waste money so you will want to make a note of what your Quality Score is regularly.

But what does your score mean for Google? Their revenue comes from advertising, so they understandably want to make sure users find ads that are interesting enough to click. They need to be selective because if people don’t click, Google won’t make money. You can put plenty of work into targeting the right keywords, creating amazing ads and having a persuasive call to action, but if you don’t have high Quality Scores Google will shun you and what everyone dreads; ask you to pay more money.

Here’s a brief breakdown of how your Quality Score can affect your CPC (cost per click):

A score of 1 will mean you have to pay 400% more than if you had a score of 5 (the benchmark.)

If you have a score of 8, you get a discount of 37.50%. And 10? That’s a massive 50% reduction.

As you can see, Quality Score is one of the most important metrics for any PPC campaign, so it is in your interest to score as highly as possible to reach the right people for the right price. Put simply, if your score is too low, you won’t be able to get the best placements in the sponsored search results. You’ll also pay much more than competitors who have a high Quality Score. It doesn’t need to be that way!

How Do I Improve My Quality Score?

The big question is, how do you improve your Quality Score? It can be difficult, but this is where an effective PPC agency can help. We know that high-quality leads come from Google Ads, so we don’t mind putting the work in to make sure you have an outstanding Quality Score and successful PPC campaign. We can pick relevant keywords and write writing compelling ads that will reduce your CPC.

You can improve any Quality Score by improving the relevance of your keywords, ads, and landing pages. This is achieved through effective keyword research, thought-out keyword organization and refined ad text. In addition to adding negative keywords you can also look at:

Click-Through Rate – Will your ad get clicked by users and potential customers? Yes, when the search term is exactly the same as your keyword. If your keyword is relevant but the click-through rate score is low, we recommend writing a stronger ad – focus on your call to action and make sure it is crystal clear that the keyword is related to your offering.

Ad Relevance – How well does the message in your ad match the keyword? This should go without saying. Don’t overdo it – keep your account structured by making separate groups for each set of keywords that are closely related.

Landing Page Experience – What happens after a user clicks your ad? They go to your landing page. It is a waste of time, effort and money if your landing page isn’t enticing; your potential customer will navigate away. Make sure that your landing page is closely related to what the user searched for.

Some Quality Score Myths and Misconceptions

Quality Score is a performance indicator. Wrong! Your Quality Score is a handy diagnostic tool. Don’t think of it as a detailed metric and don’t make it the focus of your account management. Think of it this way – when your battery is going to die on your laptop, you can see it on your toolbar. Think of your Quality Score as a measure that lets you know how good your ads and keywords are.

I need to get rid of any spelling mistakes. Wrong! Targeting misspelled keywords with your PPC campaigns can be a clever strategy. Be warned though – you don’t want to work them into ad groups that use the correct spelling as this will make you irrelevant and ruin your Quality Score. Keep them separate – that means separate campaigns and landing pages.

My site speed doesn’t matter. Yes, you’ve guessed it – it really does. The faster your website loads, the better experience visitors will have and Google is all about promoting considerate advertisers. Your site speed can influence your Quality Score so do an audit and speed up any lagging pages for a quick improvement.

My auction ad rank is determined by my Quality Score. This isn’t true – your Quality Score is an aggregated estimate of your overall performance in ad auctions.

How Quality Score Can Help Your Business

You may feel a little overwhelmed at this point, but that’s okay – we can help make sense of it all. We offer fully managed and part managed PPC services so you can be involved at a level you are comfortable with. PPC can help increase leads via effective targeted campaigns – we can get the right customers to your site and help to increase your sales.

The simplest way to think about Quality Score is this: your Quality Score is a measure of how likely it is that users will click your ad for a particular keyword or thing they are interested in. When more people who see your ad click it than those who don’t, Google realises that your ads are relevant, reliable and helpful to users. Users that are your target audience. As a result, they make more money. You make more money. And they reward you with higher ad rankings and lower costs for advertising with them.

If you get your PPC and Quality Score right, you’ll be setting yourself up for higher return on investment (ROI) – who wouldn’t want that?

After reading this page, we are confident that you won’t be asking yourself what PPC Quality Score is anymore. If you have further questions and want to see how we can help, contact us today.