It can be very confusing to understand a keyword’s quality score. How does Google concoct my score? What’s a good quality score to receive? Why bother improving quality scores?
Bevelwise complied a bunch of information from the AdWords blog and help center to help clear this up.
Quality Score ensures that Google only shows relevant ads to its users. Searchers want to find the information they are looking for quickly and easily and Quality Score helps Google show more relevant ads. To make sure that your potential customers see your ad, you need to pay attention to Quality Score. It also influences your ads’ position, and it partially determines your keyword’s minimum bids, which can help reduce your budgets.
Quality Score is used in several different ways, including influencing your keywords’ actual cost-per-clicks (CPCs) and estimating the first page bids that you see in your account. In general, the higher your Quality Score, the lower your costs and the better your ad position.
Quality Scores 1-10
- 1-4: The keyword isn’t very relevant to users, and as a result may have a very high first page bid. This means that the keyword is not performing very well for your website, or even for your competitors sites. Try experimenting with variations of this keyword by using plural/singulars or grammatical tweaks. If you’d like to keep advertising with this keyword, you can optimize instead. To do this, try lowering the first page bid, writing a more targeted, relevant ad, or improving your landing page content.
- 5-7: This keyword is performing well, and there isn’t a need to worry too much. On a grading scale, our AdWords Specialist at Google, said “a 6 or 7 is equivalent to an A-.” It may have a mid-range first page bid, and the keyword may not be very costly. Optimization can lower your overall costs, draw more clicks to your ads, and result in a better return on your investment (ROI). If you want to further optimize, try using more targeted ad text and keywords or improving your landing page content.
- 8-10: The keyword is extremely relevant and may have a high click through rate (CTR), relevant ad text, and a unique, relevant landing page. The first page bid for this keyword may be low. This keyword is very relevant and effective for your ad campaign. Our AdWords Specialist at Google, said that it is very rare to get this high of a quality score from Google.
Quality Score Formula:
- The historical click-through rate (CTR) of the keyword and the matched ad on Google
- Landing page quality
- The relevance of the keyword to the ads in its ad group
- The relevance of the keyword and the matched ad to the search query
- Relevance of ad text (especially the title)
- Historical account performance (CTR)
How Quality Score Impacts Your PPC Campaign:
- Cost-Per-Click – A keyword’s Quality Score influences its CPC – that is, how much you’re charged for a click on your ad when it’s triggered by that keyword. The higher a keyword’s Quality Score, the lower its CPC, and vice versa.
- First Page CPC Bid Estimates – On your Keyword Analysis page, you’ll see a metric labeled ‘Estimated bid to show on the first page.’ This metric, also called the ‘first page bid estimate,’ approximates the cost-per-click (CPC) bid needed for your ad to reach the first page of Google search results when the search query exactly matches your keyword. The estimate is based on the Quality Score and current advertiser competition for that keyword. Ad placement will still be dependent on Quality Score, your cost-per-click (CPC) bid, your budget and account settings, and user and advertiser behavior.
- Eligibility to Show Up when Searched for – Every time one of your keywords matches a search query, our system evaluates its combined Quality Score and cost-per-click (CPC) bid to see if it’s eligible to enter the ad auction. Keywords with a higher Quality Score will be eligible to enter the auction more easily and at a lower cost. Our goal is to encourage relevant ads for our users, so our pricing system is designed to favor more specifically targeted ads and keywords.
- Ad Position – Ads are positioned on search and content pages based on their Ad Rank. The ad with the highest Ad Rank appears in the first position, and so on down the page.
Monitoring Your Quality Score
Search advertising is a dynamic, evolving marketplace, and the Quality Score of your keywords can fluctuate. Google continually monitors the performance of all ads, keywords, and landing pages to reward high quality ads and encourage advertisers to improve low quality ads. The best way to maintain a high-quality, cost-effective campaign is to frequently optimize your account to help ensure your ads have a high Quality Score.
Improving a Keyword’s Quality Score
Optimization is the best way to increase your keyword’s performance (Quality Score, CTR, conversion rate) without raising costs. If your Quality Score is very low (below a 5), you may be using keywords, ads, or landing pages that aren’t as targeted or relevant as they could be. This can mean higher cost-per-clicks and a potentially poor ROI. Remember: The higher the Quality Score, the lower the price you’ll pay when someone clicks on your ad.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) focuses on keywords and relevance of pages to popular keywords. Looking at quality score, if your landing page isn’t viewed by Google as relevant to the search query, you can work improving landing page content, meta tags, image tags, etc to make the page more relevant and possibly improve your Quality Score.
While a high quality score may seem like the most important part of your PPC campaign, the conversion rate is a best indicator. A high CTR or Quality Score doesn’t necessarily mean a high ROI or that people are buying your product or service. The conversion rate tells if your keyword is driving sales, sign-ups, or whatever else your company is trying to achieve.
For more information please contact us or read our whitepaper.