When it comes to netting killer converting paid campaigns, Google Ads is number one on the charts and thankfully they provide a lot of tools to help navigate their systems. While they may be more opaque with their algorithm updates, they offer data and scores to assist people in using their Ads platform. If people can more easily get results through their paid spending, they’re more likely to keep that faucet on and Google doesn’t want to stop that! One of those features is called the Quality Score. This time on the Helix House blog, we’re talking about what that is, what it measures, and how you can improve your ads’ quality score.
Here’s what Quality Score is straight from the Horse’s (Google) Mouth
“Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages.
So, in layman’s terms: Quality Score is a scale from 1-10 that represents Google’s estimate of your ad’s performance. The higher the score, the better Google expects your ad to perform. It’s a general vibe check.
If Quality Score is just an estimate of the expected performance, why does it matter? Can a low Quality Score ad still perform well? Sure, there’s always a chance. But the things that Google measures are what it values in it’s algorithms so it makes sense to use the Quality Score as a guide. Work towards a higher score that engages with the Google ad platform, and their users, in the best way possible. Higher Quality Score ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions on Google. Lower prices and better positions make for a more cost-effective campaign.
So, if Google rewards you for having a high Quality Score, it’s probably time we best get to how to increase your Quality Scores, right?
When we talked about what Quality Score was, we mentioned the three metrics by which Google creates this score: expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. This gives us three avenues to a higher quality.
When it comes to clickthrough rate (CTR) there are three potential statuses for it: below average, average, or above average. Nothing too strenuous right? Expected clickthrough rate is based on a number of metrics. For one, Google looks at the historical performance of the ad to influence it’s expected CTR. Let’s say this is a brand new ad though, so how do you get that into the above average category?
Ad copy, the right extensions, or changes to the ad format! To find the right extensions and format you’ll need to test several different possibilities to find the one that works best. As for ad copy, the next piece ties into that.
Like expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance has three statuses: below average, average, or above average.
Now average or above average means that there’s nothing obviously wrong with your ad, it’s relevant enough to the keyword to work. So consider those a nice green check mark. However, if you’re pulling in a below average status there are a few things you can do to improve. Your ad or keywords may not be dialed in enough, or the ad group may be too broad when it comes to topics. In this instance you can break up the topics into more ad groups that are all more tightly tied together to smaller batches of keywords. Just by breaking up the ad group like this could see all those ads have their ad relevance shoot up to above average!
This next step might be the most work-intensive, but it’ll deliver the best results for sure. Same as the others, Google gives out ratings of below average, average, or above average on landing page experience. This measures the landing page that the ad sends the searcher to, and how relevant and useful it is to them. What gets a high rating? Well organized pages, content that relates directly, and clearly, to the query.
If your landing page experience is rating below average, you need to do one of two things:
If your ad is for the keyword “running shoes” and the landing page takes the searcher to the “shoes” parent page, you might just need to take it one step further and deposit them directly on the “running shoes” page.
This is going to be a much more robust endeavor but, it’ll help you in more ways than one! In fact there’s more to this than we have space for today, so let me point you in the direction of a couple of blogs that can help you out. Here’s an entire piece on how to write a landing page and how to optimize it to boot.
Alright, there you go that’s the basic idea behind improving your Quality Score! Work on each of those three paths to get your score as close to 10 and have ads that should perform at their absolute best. There’s always room for tinkering of course! If all that seemed a little too inside baseball or complicated for you to handle, we don’t blame ya! There’s a reason agencies like Helix House are around. We know how to take that technobabble and turn it into gold (or at least American dollars)!