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Google Quality Score, What/Why?

Google Quality Score, What/Why?

When you are optimizing your paid search campaign, how often are you checking your quality scores (QS)? What are you doing when you see a low QS? There are so many metrics to review when you dive in and optimize, let’s choose one and pick it apart!

Quality score is essentially a grade (1-10) assigned to your keywords and measured by the expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance and landing page experience. Sometimes people talk about ad extensions affecting quality score, but that impact is actually indirect. If you and a competitor have the same quality score and are willing to spend the same amount per click, whoever has the better extensions will win the auction. Think of your extensions as a tie-breaker. So, while your quality score won’t improve as a result of robust extensions, you could show up higher on the page because of them.

My recommendation would be to focus on improving quality scores under 7 starting with the lowest scores first. Pick keywords with the lowest quality score and look at the notes for anything that is “below average” and dig into those deeper.

Let’s breakdown the metrics:

Expected Clickthrough Rate (CTR): This is the metric I have the most trouble reading. There are times I see CTRs that are “good”, but the “expected CTR” is “below average”. Unfortunately, there is not a metric to tell you what the expected CTR is so you can shoot to hit it. Google is using a method (we don’t know the math behind it) to determine how often you should receive a click for the keyword you are bidding on. The only thing we are told definitively is Google takes into account past performance of the keyword based on ad position.

If your expected CTR is below average, think keyword relevance to your business and ad copy. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer. Would they search the term you have in your account to find you? If they search that term, is it possible they could find another industry unrelated to what you are selling? If you determine your keyword is relevant, let’s look at your ad copy. Are you using the search term in your ad copy? Are you truly answering the question they are asking or is your ad talking about something different? Final answer: be sure your ad copy is answering questions related to the keywords in your ad group!

Ad Relevance: We just talked about this in detail, no need to beat a dead horse, we are a horse-friendly business! Go through your ad groups and be sure your ad copy is relevant to the keywords in said ad group.

Landing Page Experience: This chat is going to be pretty similar to your ad relevance. First, be sure your ads are landing on the most relevant page on your site to answer the question the searcher is asking. On that page, be sure you have original, unique content that is specific to the topic. If someone is asking for “cost of a widget” be sure you have information about the “cost” on your landing page. If you don’t want to display the cost, be sure to tell them how they can get it. Should they email, call, fill out a form? Your potential clients wants you to tell them what to do.

In addition to content, check your site and make sure it is easy to navigate. How fast does the page load? We don’t want flashbacks of our dial up days! Can they find what they are looking for easily or do they have to dig for the answer? If they want to know more about your business, is it clear where to go? Last but not least, is it mobile-friendly?

In my experience, every metric you can review and optimize in Google Ads can be a rabbit hole. There are many paths to go down and things to consider. If you aren’t into exploring rabbit holes, you’re in luck, we love them! Contact us today and we’d be happy to audit your Google Ads account.

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