Why Quality Score is Important

Google AdWords Quality Score

Google AdWords Quality Score

Many paid search (i.e. PPC) marketers wonder how they can improve the performance of their campaigns without having to raise bids and cost. The answer lies in improving your quality score. By improving your quality score you can raise your average position and lower your average cost per click at the same time. Google calculates ad rank on every search performed on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

Ad Rank = CPC bid × Quality Score

Ad rank will determine where you end up on the SERP and how much you actually pay for a click. Raising bids may be a quick solution to raising your ad rank if you are looking to get more traffic.  However, quality score has a greater long term benefit to your campaigns because it does not increase cost in your accounts and will increase your account ad rank, with sustained benefits.

What is quality score?

Bing Ads Quality Score

Bing Ads Quality Score

Quality score is a one to ten rating (one being the lowest and ten being the highest) based on a Google or Bing Ads algorithm which determines how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing pages are to a person seeing your ad.

Imagine the following. You’ve been working hard and finally decided to take a vacation. You are keen to spend a few relaxing days in the wine country, so you search on Google for relaxing hotel Napa Valley.

Amongst the results, one of the ads reads “Wine hotel Napa Valley, relaxing four star hotel in the country, the perfect getaway, now 20% off.” When you click on the ad you are brought to the hotel’s website which provides a nice introduction to the hotel and provides details on the 20% off special. You are sold, and you book your vacation straight away.

In other words, you searched and you found exactly what you were looking for. That is what Google aims to achieve and considers a great user experience.

Google aims to always provide only the most relevant ads when someone searches on Google. With every search, AdWords considers thousands of ads and will only show those that are most likely to provide what the person was looking for.

How do you know if your ads seem to provide a good user experience? This is reflected in the quality score. AdWords calculates a quality score for each of your keywords by looking at a variety of factors including relevance to the words people searched for, whether or not people found your ad relevant and clicked on it, the quality of your landing page, and many more.

Based on these insights, AdWords assigns every keyword a quality score of one to ten, with ten being the highest and one being the lowest. Each keyword’s quality score is updated regularly taking into account any changes you made and the number of clicks you received, so having a strong quality score is important in order for your ads to be successful.

However, quality score also plays a key role in determining your ad’s position and how much you’ll pay for a click. In general, the more relevant your ad the higher your quality score, and the higher your quality score the better your position and the less you will have to pay for a click. In other words, Google rewards you for providing an ad that provides a positive experience to people who search for your products, click on your ads, and visit your website.

To see how your quality score stacks up, log in to your AdWords account and take a look at your keywords. Click on the speech bubble icon next to each of your keywords for quality score details. If you’re not happy with a keyword’s quality score, don’t worry. There are ways to improve it.

For tips on how to make your keywords or ads more relevant, take a look at our resources on how to select relevant keywords, write good ads, and provide a good user experience on your site.

Being successful with AdWords means getting your products or services in front of the people who are most likely to become your customers, and a high quality score can help make that happen. Sign in to your AdWords account at adwords.google.com and review your keywords’ quality score now.