Quality Score: What Is It & How Does it Affect PPC?

Quality Score: What Is It & How Does it Affect PPC?

If you’re reading this blog, the chances are you are already fairly invested in increasing your knowledge and understanding of PPC (well done you!). To develop this further, you’re going to need a solid understanding of Quality Score and how it can affect your Google AdWords performance.

Quality Score has a significant influence over the cost and effectiveness of your paid search campaigns. In the same way that your credit score can affect your ability to take out a loan and how high your interest rate is, Google’s Quality Score affects how your PPC ads perform and how much you will pay for each click.

So, what is Quality Score?

Quality Score is Google’s rating of relevance and quality of both your PPC ads and your keywords. It is the tool that’s used to calculate your ad rank in the auction process. Your Quality Score will depend on several factors, including:

  • Your click-through rate (CTR)
  • The relevance of each keyword to its respective ad group
  • The relevance and quality of your ad text
  • The relevance and quality of your landing page
  • Your historical AdWords account performance

Now, no one outside of Google knows exactly how much each factor ‘weighs’ with regard to the Quality Score algorithm, but what we do know is that the click-through rate is of paramount importance and is where your focus needs to be. When more people who see your ad click on it, that’s a fairly strong indication to Google that your ads are relevant and also helpful to its users. As a result, Google will reward you with higher ad rankings and lower costs which is of course, a win-win situation!

Benefits of Improving Your Quality Score

From our experience in analysing thousands of paid search accounts, we know that Quality Score does have a direct correlation to your PPC success. By improving your Quality Score, you’ll automatically be positioning yourself for a higher ROI. the higher the Quality Score, the lower the CPC and in turn, the lower the cost per conversion!

It’s very important to remember that cost per conversion is very different from cost per click. This isn’t how much you pay for each click, but how much you pay when someone decides to take the action you’re intending for them to take (whether that’s making a product purchase or sending an enquiry). Inevitably, not every click will result in a conversion, so the cost per conversion is generally higher than cost per click. The good news is that higher Quality Scores lower both your cost per click and your cost per conversion so it’s in your best interest to put some work into it.

Remember, a high Quality Score is Google’s way of giving you a pat on the back for meeting the needs of your potential customers, so the better you are at meeting your prospect’s needs the less Google will charge you.

How To Increase Your Quality Score

As Quality Score directly determines where and how often your ads will appear, it’s important to boost your ratings by working consistently on your account and focusing your efforts on the following key areas:

  • Keyword Research– Look to add new, highly relevant keywords to your campaigns, including long-tail keywords (3 or more words) that can help contribute to the bulk of your overall traffic.
  • Keyword Organisation– Split your keywords into tightly, organised groups that can be effectively tied to individual ad campaigns.
  • Refine Ad Text– Try using PPC ad copy that is more targeted to your individual ad groups. More effective ads get a higher CTR (and remember, that’s the most important element to Google’s Quality Score algorithm!)
  • Optimise Landing Pages– Research landing page best practices to develop your knowledge on how to create pages that connect directly with your ad groups and deliver a unified experience for visitors, from keyword right through to conversion.
  • Negative Keywords– Regularly research, identify and remove irrelevant search terms that are eating into your budget without positive effect.

So, as you can see, Quality Score is mainly a measure of relevance and improving your Quality Score is a matter of structuring your PPC campaigns into small, well organised groups of keywords. Improving your keyword research and organisation will also naturally improve the quality and specifics of your ads and website content which in turn, allows you to target the exact audience you’re after who are most likely to be searching for your offerings.

While there is no quick, easy or indeed fool proof answer to improving your Quality Score, we hope that by following the points covered in this blog you will greatly improve your scores. Now, let’s get cracking…!

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