What is Google Ads Quality Score and Why Does it Matter?

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If you’re launching your first pay-per-click (PPC) campaign on Google Ads, knowing how Quality Scoring works is imperative. As you improve your Google Ads, the platform will see that your campaign is legitimate and relevant to consumers.

However, Quality Score is only visible to you, the campaign runner, and Google. As such, many advertisers overlook it—you don’t want to be one of them. 

For a PPC campaign to thrive, you’ll need to monitor performance and opportunities for a PPC campaign to succeed. This guide will tell you how to use Google Ads Quality Score to achieve your desired results.

What is Google Ads Quality Score?

Google Ads quality score is a metric that measures how relevant and useful your ad is to users. The rating scale ranges from 1 to 10. It considers factors like:

    • Click-through rate (CTR): Google looks at how often people who see your ad click on it. A high click-through rate indicates that your ad is relevant and helpful to consumers. It can also lead to lower costs per click and a better ad position.
    • Keyword relevance: Using text that fails to match your keywords in a sensible way can potentially drive up costs-per-click and result in low ad positions. For your Quality Score to increase, you’ll need harmony between your copy and your chosen keywords. 
    • Past campaign performance: A good track record of honest, relevant, and high-quality campaigns will factor into your Quality Score.

A high-quality score means that Google will likely display your ad to users at a lower cost-per-click (CPC).

There are several Quality Score groups that you should consider.

Advertisement Score

The advertisement score is a combination of scores and determines whether your ad extensions will appear where you want them to. Low CTR ads can negatively impact your advertisement score.

Landing Page Score

Google typically adheres to three factors: relevance, transparency, and navigability. Well-crafted landing pages won’t just improve your Quality Score—they’ll also increase traffic, lead to conversions, and ultimately maximize ROI.

Display Network Score

Google Display Networks differ from Search Networks in that bidding options vary, and factors like visuals have a more significant impact than keywords or search intent. Display ads can come in various formats, including text, image, video, and rich media.

Your Display Network score indicates where media-based ads will perform best. The best way to improve your Display Network score is to test your ads. 


Mobile Score

Google calculates mobile scores the same way it calculates Desktop Scores. Mobile ads should be responsive to achieve a high Quality Score.

While essential to follow, your Quality Score won’t be considered by the Google algorithm during the bidding process. Thus, it won’t have any direct impact on the auction itself. However, it can signal how your ad will rank after the bid.

How Does Google Calculate Your Ads Quality Score?

Google rates your ads on a scale of 1 to 10. Overall, your Quality Score is the sum of each indicator’s values. For instance, if you have a basic quality score of 1, an above-average CTR of 3.5, and an ad relevance of 2, your total Quality Score would be 6.5.

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Why Google Ads Quality Score Matters

Simply put, Quality Score indicates how well your PPC campaign performs. The higher the Quality Score, the better your ads resonate with consumers. But, you might ask, why can’t I just track standard metrics?

Think of your Quality Score as a restaurant review. What aspects of your business rank high? Are your dishes of excellent quality, but your menu impossible to read? Every element of your Quality Score impacts the consumer journey.

If you aren’t yet keeping track of your Quality Score, below are a few reasons you should.

Increased Traffic

Quality Scores ensure that viewers see ads relevant to their search query. The higher your ad relevance, the likelier consumers are to click through to your website, thus increasing traffic and the possibility of a sale. 

Improved Click-Through Rate

If relevance is the ultimate indicator of a healthy Quality Score, how can you tell your ads fit the bill? The answer is your click-through rate. Achieving a high CTR will encourage Google to display your ads more often. 

Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) enables AdWords users to customize ads to popular search queries. Using DKI automatically inserts relevant keywords, increasing your ad’s visibility and the chances of a click.

Saved Money

Did you know that achieving a perfect Quality Score of 10 can save as much as 30% on clicks? Adversely, a Quality Score of 1 can increase CPC by up to 400%.

Best Ad Positions

Everyone wants to achieve a first-page rating on Google for a good reason—you’ll eat up top ad positions. With a good Quality Score, Google thrusts your ad positions to the top, making them visible to millions of potential buyers.

Powerful Insights

An underrated feature of Quality Scoring is its use as a learning tool. Remember, Google algorithms constantly change, so using Quality Scoring to keep up with new trends and knowledge can ensure that your ads continue to perform well.

How to Improve Your Google Ads Quality Score

If your Google Ads Quality Score could use a much-needed boost, there are several ways to improve it.

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Audit Your Existing Ad Material

Conducting an audit of your existing Google Ads is a helpful way to restructure. When running an audit, you’ll want to pay attention to:

  • Your CTR: Your CTR is the percentage of people who see your ad and then click on it. A high CTR means your ad is relevant and interesting to your target audience. Ideally, you want a CTR of at least 2%. If your CTR is lower than that, people will likely see your ad but not find it interesting enough to click on. You can improve your CTR by using relevant keywords, improving ad copy, and noting negative search terms.
  • Your conversions: Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who see your ad and then take the desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for your email list. When people click through your ad, you want to ensure they follow through on an actual purchase.

Evaluate New Keywords

Like Google’s algorithms, keyword popularity undergoes constant change. In addition, businesses face more competition for the same keywords every day. Thus, you’ll always have to be on your toes about what keywords are most relevant to your targeted consumer base. 

Optimize Landing Pages

Your landing pages should be relevant to your ad campaigns and offer helpful information to users. Avoid using generic pages and ensure each landing page caters to specific ads.

Improve landing page elements for readability and ease of use. In addition, check that your landing pages load quickly (at least not any longer than three seconds). You can use Google Analytics to access site speed data.

Test Ads

Just because an ad looks good to you doesn’t mean it’ll look good to your customers. Always have your customers in mind when writing ad copy and developing visuals. 

Split-test your ads to ensure they’re as effective as possible. Publish different headlines, copy, and visuals to determine which garners the most traffic.

More importantly, pay attention to your call-to-action (CTA). Leverage details about your product you think will resonate with consumers best and use this to drive your CTA.

Add Negative Keywords

Part of knowing how to achieve a high Quality Score is also knowing what not to do. Identifying and excluding irrelevant search terms can prevent unnecessary spending. 

Review URLs and Backlinks

If you’ve made any recent changes to landing pages, you’ll want to ensure that destination URLs and other internal links are not broken. 

Optimize Mobile Pages

Suppose most of your customers are mobile users. If your ads aren’t optimized for mobile devices, you could be skipping out on hundreds or even thousands of potential sales. When you design landing pages, ensure they are responsive—the entire consumer journey should be flawless.

What Google Ads Quality Score Should You Aim For?

While most companies aim for a Quality Score of 10, it’s often too challenging to maintain. After all, perfection isn’t a realistic goal. However, knowing whether your Quality Score is acceptable or below average can help to put things into perspective. 

If you rank between 1 and 3, your keywords don’t match your target audience’s common searches. If you lie within the 4 to 6 range, your alignment may be better but can still afford to improve.

Most average Google Ads campaigns achieve a score of 7.

The Bottom Line

Google Ads Quality Scores help determine how relevant your ads are and where they could use improvement. By improving your Quality Score over time, you can achieve higher click-through rates, get better ad placement, and pay less per click. 

If your pay-per-click campaign isn’t producing the results you’re after; perhaps it could use a more professional touch. Our paid search campaigns are award-winning and backed by proven results. Book a consultation with Igloo today to find out how you can make first-page status on Google.


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