Our paid search experts offer their advice on how to improve your Quality Score in order to improve Ad Rank and save money on ad spend.
Quality Score is a metric applied by Google to keywords. As the name suggests, the score applied is representative of a keyword’s quality.
This quality is affected by several factors, some of which are well known. Others are guesses based purely on speculation. Google has never revealed all the details of the ‘secret recipe’ behind Quality Score.
Some of the known factors are:
As well as keyword Quality Score, which is visible in the AdWords interface, it is generally accepted that Google applies a Quality Score at Ad Group and account level too. However, Google has denied this.
Quality Score affects Ad Rank and the amount you spend. Ad Rank is, nowadays, a complicated secret formula known only to Google itself. However, a highly simplified version looks like this:
Ad Rank = Bid (CPC) x Quality Score
The only way to improve your Ad Rank is to increase your bid, or improve your quality score.
Obviously, improving Quality Score is the cheaper option in the long run – Google rewards good Quality Scores by offering higher ad positions for cheaper clicks. In other words, you get the best of both worlds.
An example of this is the keyword ‘MOT check’. Although you may think the intention behind this keyword is “my car needs an MOT test”, Google perceives it to be “I need to check if my car is due to have an MOT”.
In situations like this, where Google’s perception of a keyword doesn’t match your own, you will find it more difficult to achieve a good Quality Score. This means you have to weigh up whether it’s worth pursuing this keyword, based on the CTR and conversion rate it achieves, against costs.
BidCops - ClickThrough’s free money-saving PPC tool for AdWords - can give you instant insights into Quality Score issues, through its ‘Quality Score by Keyword’ dashboard.
This breaks down all the keywords in your account, organised by Quality Score. An overabundance of low Quality Scores means you need to take urgent steps to improve CTR for these keywords.
This post is adapted and abridged from our FREE eBook – The Best-Practice Guide to AdWords Audits: Part One.
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