What is Quality Score?

Improve Quality Score
Photo credit: KB35

In paid search (pay-per-click/PPC), like Google Adwords, there is a number that indicates the quality of the keywords you are using and affects it’s ranking and cost-per-click (CPC). The quality score is influenced by many factors like click-through rate (CTR), account history, quality of your landing page, relevancy of the keyword in the ads, and relevancy to the search query. The number is rated on a scale of 1-10; the higher the Quality Score, the higher your ad placement will be at a lower CPC. Microsoft is slated to start having Quality Score available to marketers very soon according to their Advertising blog.

Why is Quality Score important?

Though Quality Score doesn’t directly affect conversions on your landing page, it can lead to insight about how well your ads rank relating to the amount of media spent. The guts of your paid search campaign are:

  • Choosing the right keywords to target your audience,
  • Integrating those keywords on your landing page and into the ad text,
  • And having the ad text relate directly to the landing page.

Knowing and understanding your Quality Score can give you actionable feedback to understand your competitive space as well as improve your campaign. One of the goals of a paid search marketer is to get their ads to rank higher than other ads at a lower cost-per-click. The score allows you to understand how it’s currently ranking and then make educated tests to improve that number.

Here are some ways you can improve your Quality Score:

  • Check out your keywords! Are you using the right ones? How do the keywords you’re using in paid search rank for the website organically?
  • Review on-page SEO elements. Are the keywords you’re using in paid search found on the landing pages? If not, consider adding or rewriting the content that implements those keywords.
  • Do you need more ad groups? Maybe some of the keywords don’t relate to the others – try segmenting the keywords into different ad groups so the keywords in each group are relevant to each other and to the specific ad text used for each group.
  • Google Adwords suggests that optimization is the best way to improve the keywords’ performance without raising the costs and recommends using their keyword diagnosis feature to provide insight as to why your ad might not be showing up.

The primary goal is to get the user to convert and although Quality Score doesn’t directly relate to those conversions, having a high Quality Score gives your ads the best opportunity to rank well for those keywords.  The more targeted the keywords, ads, and landing pages are the more likely the user will click on the ad and convert on the page. Using the right keywords for your campaign, making sure that they are relevant to the ad text as well as the landing page you are using is the best way to obtain a good Quality Score.