You could say that, strictly from a performance point of view, data is the bread and butter of your online business. Clean, accurate data that is organized into helpful metrics that help you take smart steps towards optimizing your digital marketing efforts.

Google Ads’s Quality Score is exactly the kind of metric we are talking about. As the mighty Google specialists put it, you have to keep in mind that the Quality Score is a form of diagnosis, not a Key Performance Indicator. That doesn’t make it any less important in your campaigns – their results depend highly on it. Let’s see how!

 

Why Google Ads Quality Score matters

As you set up your Google Ads Search Campaigns, one of the things you will certainly think of is your budget and how you spend it. The Quality Score of the keywords used in your campaigns is crucial to budget spending, because, as Google explains it, “it is used to determine the minimum bid for each keyword”.

Imagine you want to show an Ad for blue lace dress. You check out the search volume of this particular expression in Google’s Keyword Planner and you find out that there are 12.100 average monthly searches for it and you decide you want to create a campaign to target people who are looking for blue lace dress.

Google Ads Quality Score Importance - Keyword Planner - MTH Digital

This expression will be assigned a minimum bid – the lowest amount you can pay for a click in order to show your Ad to a person searching for blue lace dress. That amount will raise if your Quality Score is poor and will lower if your Quality Score is high. Now you might ask: how does that increase and decrease happen? Here is the math behind it all, as explained by Wordstream.com:

Quality Score

Cost per Click Modification

10

-50%

9

-44.2%

8

-37.50%

7

-28.60%

6

+ 16.7%

Google Benchmark

4

+25%

3

+67.3%

2

+150%

1

400%

You can end up paying 4 times more on a click for a targeted keyword than what you are willing to pay if the Quality Score of that keyword in your Campaign is very low.

The Big 3 that make up the Google Ads Quality Score

The good/basic news is that Quality Score is a simple grade given to your keywords. The marketing-savvy/even better news is that it is made up of 3 components which decide the actual grade + 1 point given by Google for the overall optimisation:

  • Ad Relevance – 30% of the Quality Score
  • Landing Page Experience – 30% of the Quality Score
  • Expected Click Through Rate – 30% of the Quality Score

All 3 of them can be Bellow Average, Average or Above Average. Let’s Talk about each so the final math makes more sense:

  1. Ad Relevance: this shows how closely related your Search Ads are to your keywords and vice-versa. Going back to the blue lace dress campaign, if you bid on this expression/keyword and you use this exact expression/keyword in the Headlines & Descriptions of the Ads included in the Campaign, your Ad Relevance will be Above Average. For example, this Ad below uses the keyword in the first Headline.
  2. Landing Page Experience: this shows how relevant the page you are sending users to through your Ad is to your users’ search terms & interests. Ideally, for an Above Average Landing Page Experience, the page’s Meta Title, Headings and products names will contain the keyword you are bidding for. In our example, the Meta Title of the Landing Page would be Find The Blue Lace Dress That Fits – 100% Cotton 0r something on the lines of that. And the page would consist of a list of blue lace dresses.Other criteria for a good Landing Page Experience include: good quality product images, mobile page  loading speed of 3 seconds or less (introduced as a factor in Quality Score in 2018), relevant and well organised content for the particular keyword you’re bidding for.

    You can always check your mobile landing page experience, one of the most important factors for Google to deem your Ad worthy of the keyword in your campaign here.

  3. Expected or Actual Click Through Rate (CTR): after your campaign will run its course for a couple of hours, let’s say (this varies depending on how big the Search Volume for your keyword is), you will start seeing a CTR percentage attributed to your Ads. This is the number of people who clicked on your Ad after seeing it divided by the number of people who have seen it.Clicks/Impressions. This depends on how sexy your Ad is, how appealing it is to the user who searches for blue lace dress, for example. Maybe you have the best prices for blue lace dresses, maybe you have a ton of designs. Using these unique selling points in your Ad will convince users to click on it and this will raise your CTR to Above Average.

When all these components are Above Average, you get a Quality Score of 10 and the perks that come with it. To put it as simple as we can: if your bid on a product name + you name the product in the Ad + you send the user to a page that contains variations of that product you are doing it right. Here’s how a perfect 10 looks like next to your keywords:

Google Ads Quality Score - Perfect 10 - MTH Digital

Where can you see the Quality Score of your keywords in Google Ads

As a general rule, the Quality Score and its components should always be in a marketer’s Custom Columns in a Google Ads Performance Report. This means all indicators should be taken into consideration when optimising a campaign.

You can add Quality Score, Ad Relevance, Landing Page Experience and Expected Click Through Rate in the columns you see next to your keywords and have an overview of the big picture. This will also give you an idea about why the Quality Score is lower for some keywords.

Google Ads Quality Score - Ad Relevance Landing age Experience Expected CTR - MTH Digital

You can add these columns in your reports very easily – Go to your Campaign – Ad Group and then to the Keywords tab and click on the Columns tab to add them.

Let’s go straight to Quality Score 10

There’s a number of thing you can do to achieve the mighty 10 in Quality Score and they are the means of Google Search Ads optimisation techniques. Let’s see what optimisation looks like when you look at the Quality Score of your keywords in the blue lace dress campaign:

  1.  Make the best out of your Ads: we love a good piece of copywriting, but in Google Search Ads you have to combine short & smart texts with your best selling points and most importantly the keywords you bid on. Include the blue lace dress keyword in your first or second Headline and your Descriptions.If people search for your product in other ways and you add those variations of the keyword in your Ad Group (lace dress in blue, blue dress made of lace and so on), make sure you also include them in your Ad or variations of the Ad. Google urges marketers to add at least 3 Ads per Ad Group to make the best out of our campaigns, so use Ad Variations to include as many of your keywords as possible in them. This will increase your Ad Relevance score.
  2. Be tidy and organised with your keywords: this comes on top of advice no.1. In order to have an Above Average Ad Relevance, you need to address a specific set of keywords in your campaign. Let’s say you create a Campaign with multiple Ad groups. You want to add closely related keywords in each Ad Group so that you can tailor your Ads to them.To be even more specific, we’ll give you a bad example: Let’s say you create a campaign to promote Dresses and you add all the following keywords in your campaign: blue lace dress, long yellow dress, short-sleeved dress, cap sleeve dress, turquoise tulle dress . You will probably create at least 3 Ads to promote these products, but you won’t be able to stuff all these types of dresses = keywords in those Ads. Therefore, your Ad Relevance will be lower and your Quality Score will suffer accordingly.
  3. Work on your Landing Pages: look at how people search for your products and add those keywords in your Product Category Meta Titles and your product names, if possible. Maybe you have previously called your category Amazing Gowns in Whimsical Shades of Blue with Lace Work but if people search for blue lace dress, consider using this expression on your Landing Page. This will increase your Landing Page Experience and improve your Quality Score.

Diagnosing your Google Ads campaigns and saving your budget

We said in the beginning that Google Ads Quality Score is more life a form of diagnosis for your campaigns. Actually, Google explains it as follows:

“Another way to think of the Quality Score reported in your AdWords account is as warning lights in a car: something that alerts you to potential problems.”

Since we like Making Things Happen, we understand that higher Quality Scores mean lowers costs and, if the prices and actual products are right for the user, more conversions. After you’ve set up your columns and seen your Quality Score and its components, optimisation is key and it is constant.

Quality Scores of your keywords are updated in real time as and the final score is updated daily in your account. So keeping an eye on them until you can consider your campaign fully optimised is a daily routine. It is very important to make sure you add all possible negative keywords (keywords and expressions related to your keywords that trigger your Ad when they’re searched for by a users but which don’t fit your products). Let’s say people look for blue lace dress with cap sleeves. If you don’t sell that exact design, you will want to add cap sleeves on your Negatives list so that you reduce your spendings on search queries that lead nowhere.

The Google Quality Score is something to keep an eye on, especially when your Google Ads budget is limited. Think granular and optimise!

 

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