A “secret” hidden metric that determines the effectiveness of your Google Ads campaigns.
It lowers your ad cost and boosts your click-through rates, conversions, and ROAS.
Creating Google ad campaigns is easy.
But turning them into hyper-profitable cash-spitting assets sometimes makes you want to rip your hair out.
You want to drive more specific actions such as purchases from your store, optins for your email newsletter, or more booked appointments and demos for your services.
Most advertisers focus heavily on two metrics to determine the success of their ads.
Cost per acquisition (CPA) and ROAS — return on ad spend.
But did you know that Google covertly rates your ads?
All advertisers are pitted against each other, and only those that understand buyer psychology and expertly control the Google Ads platform get high scores (and the majority of the traffic).
This score determines your advertising success and how you fare against competitors.
It is called the Google Ads Quality Score.
What is the Google Ads Quality Score?
Google aims to provide a remarkable user experience for people using its search engine.
One way of doing that is by giving a competitive advantage to advertisers with the most relevant and highest quality ads called “Quality Score.”
The Google Ads Quality Score is a critical diagnostic metric meant to give you an indicator of your ad campaign’s success, as it determines how relevant and useful your ad is to people searching for what you have to offer compared to other advertisers.
Google Ads Quality Score (QS) is an estimate of the quality and relevance of your ads, keywords, and landing pages.
The score ranges from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, and is calculated every time your keyword triggers an ad to appear.
The Quality score is a part of the Google Ads algorithm used to determine your ad’s “Ad Rank,” which is the position your ad appears on when someone types in the search query that triggers your ad, and the cost-per-click you pay.
The higher your Quality Score, the more likely your ad will be displayed.
Ads with a quality score of 10 can get 66% more click share and receive up to a 50% discount on cost-per-actions from Google
That’s why improving your Google Ads QS can be a game-changer for your ad campaign’s success.
By following the practical tips and strategies in this ultimate guide, you can increase your ad relevancy, lower your ad cost, and boost your ad performance in 2023 and beyond.
In this ultimate guide, you will learn everything you need to know to improve your Google Ads Quality Score (and how to do it fast…)
The Importance of QS. Why Google Ads
Quality Score Matters?
The Google ad platform runs on an auction. But the #1 spot is generally not the highest bidder or pays the most.
Your ad’s performance and how it ranks in the auction are determined by your Ad Rank — your ad rank consists of your Quality Score and your max bid (how much you’re willing to pay for a click).
Your Google Ads Quality Score is a crucial metric that determines how useful and relevant your ad is to meet the needs of Google’s users when their search triggers your ads.
The higher your QS the less you pay.
Here are more reasons why quality score matters:
- Ad Position: A higher Quality Score can result in a higher ad position, which means more visibility and potentially more clicks.
- Ad Cost: A higher Quality Score can result in a lower cost per click, which means more value for your ad spend.
- Ad Relevance: A higher Quality Score means that your ad is more relevant to the user’s search query, which can lead to a higher click-through rate and more conversions.
As you may understand…
A high-quality score means that your ads are relevant to the user’s search query, and they are more likely to click on them.
- Google believes that your ad is relevant to the search term.
- It leads people who’ve clicked on your ad to a landing page that’s useful to them.
- It has higher CTRs than your competitors on similar keywords.
On the other hand, a low Quality Score means that your ads are not relevant or useful to potential customers, leading to lower ad positions, and lower ad rank — Google will charge you more for clicks.
Your quality score is not the only thing you need to generate a high return on ad spend (ROAS).
Don’t optimize for Quality Score, but rather use it to identify key areas in your advertisements that require optimization.
You’ll also need granular keyword targeting, competitive bids, and compelling ad copy.
But most importantly, the “after click magnificence.”
Most businesses are happy with a 2x or 3x ROAS. But what if you could manufacture 8x, 9x, or 15x returns directly from your Google Ads campaigns with high quality scores?
After click magnificence is the nurture strategy you employ after people click on your ad to get siphoned into your business ecosystem.
This is where you can orchestrate insane ROAS 30, 60, 90, or 180 days post click — from the 97% of your market that aren’t ready to buy right now.
What Are The 3 Factors that Affect Your Google Ads Quality Score?
There are several factors that impact your Google Ads Quality Score. The keyword in this article is “relevancy.”
Each factor is rated by Google based on “Below Average,” “Average,” and “Above Average” scoring.
This is determined by evaluating these factors compared to other advertisers who are bidding on the same keywords as you.
Here are the factors that you should focus on:
- Ad Relevance: Your ad copy and keywords should be relevant to the user’s search query.
- Expected and Current Click-Through Rate (CTR): A higher CTR indicates that your ad is relevant and useful to the user.
- Landing Page Experience: Your landing page should be relevant, informative, and easy to navigate.
Google takes in the status of each factor to grant you a quality score. With Expected CTR and Landing Page Experience weighing higher than Ad Relevance when granting a Quality Score.
This is because if someone ends up completing a signup form or purchase after the click, the user gets what he wants, and you’ll keep spending money on the platform.
1. Ad Relevance
This measures the relevancy of your ad messaging, and the keyword used in the user’s search query. If your ad is not relevant, users are less likely to click on it, resulting in a lower quality score.
2. Expected and Current Click-through Rate
This metric indicates the likelihood of a user clicking on your ad after seeing it. A higher expected click-through rate indicates that your ad is compelling and relevant to the user’s search query.
3. Landing Page Experience
The landing page experience is the user’s experience after clicking on your ad. Google evaluates the relevance and usefulness of your landing page to the user’s search query.
How To Check Your Google Ads Quality Score?
You can find your Google Ads Quality Score in your Google Ads account at the keyword level.
Follow these steps:
- Sign in to your Google Ads account.
- Click on the ‘Campaigns’ tab.
- Select the campaign that you want to check.
- Select the ‘Keywords’ tab.
- Look for the “Quality Score” column.
- Under “Modify columns for keywords”, open the Quality Score section. To view your current Quality Score.
- choose any of the following to add to your column:
a. Quality Score (expand it).
b. Landing Page Exp.
c. Exp. CTR
d. Ad Relevance
What Happens If I Have A Low Quality Score?
It’s not the end of the world.
A low Quality Score is just an indicator that you need to get back to the drawing board.
Before troubleshooting your QS, it’s important to know which factors are causing a low QS.
A Low Quality Score (anything below a 7) is often caused because the advertiser doesn’t have the “technical and practical marketing knowledge.”
For example, most advertisers make the mistake of just jam-packing their ad groups with all kinds of keywords.
This causes your ad to show up for all types of search intent queries that are irrelevant to your products or services.
Let’s say you sell luxury sunglasses like Gucci sunglasses.
But if you’re targeting “Gucci glasses,” people might see your ad for Gucci sunglasses, when they’re actually looking for “Gucci eyeglasses” to aid their vision.
This is in fact a message to market mismatch.
9 Ways to Improve your Google Ads Quality Score
to 10/10 For Search Ads.
As you see, there are various ways to improve your Quality Score. Most specialists would tell you to focus on writing strong ad copy, use negative keywords, and optimize your landing page.
But if you truly want to experience a 10/10 Quality Score every time you create new ads (and make more money), you need to follow a holistic approach to Google Ads.
- Conduct granular Research: Quality market and keyword research is the foundation for success. Use keyword research tools to find relevant keywords for your ad campaign.
- Use Negative Keywords: Use negative keywords to filter out irrelevant searches that are not relevant to your ad, and offer.
- Campaign, ad group, and keyword structure: Granular set-up campaigns will help you manage your campaigns more efficiently and craft hyper-specific ads.
- Improve Ad Relevance: Make sure your ad copy is relevant to the user’s search query and highlights the benefits of your product or service.
- Use Relevant Ad Extensions: Include any relevant ad extensions to provide additional information about your business, such as location and phone number.
- Optimize Your Landing Page: make sure that your landing page is relevant, contains useful information, provides a good user experience, and has a clear call-to-action.
- Test Your Assets: A/B test your ads and landing pages to find out which ones perform better and optimize accordingly.
- Speed Up Your Website: A fast-loading website can improve user experience and help improve your Quality Score.
- Monitor Your Quality Score: Keep an eye on your QS, analyze your data regularly, and make data-driven adjustments to improve your quality score and overall campaign performance.
1. Conduct granular Research
Thorough keyword research is essential for finding the most relevant and high-volume search terms for your target audience.
Choose keywords that are closely related to your product or service and that you can educate and motivate a potential buyer to make a purchase decision.
2. Negative Keywords
Use negative keywords to exclude irrelevant search terms to your offer. They help you filter out irrelevant traffic and empty clicks that could lower your Quality Score.
For example, if you’re selling luxury watches, you might want to exclude searches for “cheap watches” or “used watches”.
3. Campaign, Ad Group, and Keyword Structure
Efficiently setting up your account structure in a data-driven way helps you to manage, measure and optimize your ad account with minimal budget casualties.
Campaigns: At the top level, your campaigns should be organized based on your marketing objectives, search intent, target audience, and budget.
Ad groups: Organizing your ad groups on specific themes or keywords can help you create highly relevant ads and landing pages. Ensure that your ad group themes align with your campaign goals and target keywords.
Keywords: Select keywords that are closely related to the search intent of your user to seamlessly bridge the gap between their wants and needs and your product or service.
4. Improve Ad Relevance
In order to optimize your ad, your ad copy should be clear, concise, and compelling. Remember to use relevant keywords in your ad And use ad extensions to provide additional information and make your ads stand out.
A lot of advertisers forget one simple “hack” that’ll improve their click-through rate.
Make sure your ad clearly states the benefits and has a clear call to action to motivate users to actually click.
5. Use Relevant Ad Extensions
Ad extensions provide additional information to users about your business, which can make your ads more compelling and improve your expected click-through rate.
A few examples of ad extensions include call extensions, location extensions, and site link extensions.
It’s smart to include as many ad extensions as possible that are relevant to your business.
Here’s an overview of Google ad extensions:
- Sitelinks – Add additional links to specific pages of your website.
- Callouts – Add additional descriptive text to your ads, highlighting your key selling points or features.
- Structured Snippets – Highlight specific aspects of your products or services.
- Call extension – Add a clickable phone number to your ads.
- Promotion – Promote specific offers or discounts within your ads.
- Lead form – Users can submit a lead form directly from the ad.
- Location – Add your business address and a map to your ads.
- Image – Add images to your text ads to help them stand out.
- Price – Add prices for specific products or services directly to your ads.
6. Optimize Your Landing Page
The goal of a landing page is to convert a visitor into a lead or a customer.
Most landing pages are focused purely on converting visitors into cash, while other pages are built to educate a person to get them closer to making a buying decision.
Increasing your Quality Score comes down to “how effective is your landing page?
- Conversion rate. The percentage of visitors that took action on your landing page (such as filling out a form or purchasing a product)
- User experience. Is the page relevant to the ad and search intent? Does it provide the information the visitor is looking for?
7. Test Your Assets
The way to orchestrate higher Quality Scores, conversions, and ROAS is to test and optimize different variations of your ads and landing pages to see which ones perform the best.
Start with 1 landing page and a variety of ads. Once you’ve found a winner, start testing your landing page to boost the results you want.
If you notice (an extremely) high click-through rate, but your landing page conversion rate is poor, you know that you first need to optimize and test a new landing page variation.
8. Improve Site Speed
The longer potential customers have to wait for your site to load, the more likely they are to abandon your site.
If people who’ve clicked your ads have to wait longer than 2 seconds for a page to load, your bounce rate can skyrocket.
Faster sites and landing pages reap the most benefits as it helps in promoting a flawless user experience.
9. Monitor Your Quality Score
Analyzing your Quality Score on a consistent basis is key to making data-driven decisions to keep improving the overall performance of your ad campaigns.
Keep in mind that the Google Ads Quality Score is a weapon in your armory. A competitive metric to indicate the success of your Google ad campaigns.
Not the end all be all.
How to Improve Your Google Ads Quality Score Fast?
Prevention trumps the cure.
It’s better to start your ad campaign with an above average to high QS than to start with a low QS and optimize from a losing position.
That’s why improving your Quality Score begins with gathering the intelligence you need before you craft successful ad campaigns.
The way to orchestrate high Quality Scores in your Google Ads account is to start with market research.
Reverse engineer your audience, offer, and ad messaging.
What moves your potential customer, and how can you spike their curiosity enough so they click on your ad versus your competitors?
The key is to truly understand your market better than they understand themselves.
And is your offer irresistibly positioned and easy to take action on?
Examine what your competitors are doing:
- What keywords are they bidding on?
- How much are they spending?
- To what pages are they sending traffic?
- What copy are they using?
- What’s their after-click magnificence like?
Optin for their offers and take a sneak peek behind the scenes.
Only then do you start executing in-depth keyword research.
Just doing “keyword research” to get some clicks is asinine.
You need to understand the search intent behind each search query that potential customers type into Google and come up with a strategy to entice and capture them into your ecosystem at each level.
Implement an efficient Campaign, adgroup, and keyword structure.
I personally like to divide my campaigns into Cold, Warm, and Hot search intent campaigns, otherwise known as top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU), and bottom of the funnel (BOFU) for each product, service or location.
- Cold: Nike sneakers
- Warm: Men’s Nike Air Max 90
- Hot: Buy men’s Nike Air Max 90 white
Then use Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) to cluster keywords into tightly themed ad groups and create custom-tailored ads for each ad group.
This will increase the relevance of your ads and boost your quality score almost instantly.
Negative keywords = 💰
It’s important to implement a good negative keyword strategy.
Negative keywords are the keywords that you don’t want your ads to show up for and ensure that your ad only appears for relevant searches that drive leads and net profit.
They help you filter out irrelevant traffic and improve your CTR.
Most Google Ads accounts that I’ve audited, can save $2,000 – $50,000 per month on their ad spend, simply by inserting the right negative keywords and search terms into their campaigns.
Before you turn on your ad campaign you’d want to have account-wide and campaign-level negative keywords added.
Account-wide negative keywords:
Account-level negative keywords allow advertisers to exclude specific search terms from their campaigns across all relevant search and shopping inventory.
Think of keywords like:
– “Competitor items.”
Campaign-level negative keywords:
At the campaign level, you want to avoid any searches containing specific keywords that are supposed to trigger ads in your other campaigns.
You do this so your campaign doesn’t steal clicks and budget from your campaign that’s optimized for that specific search query.
- TOFU Campaign #1: Game pc
- MOFU Campaign #2: Assemble game pc
- BOFU Campaign #3: Buy game pc
You’ll exclude the word “assemble” from campaigns #1 and #3.
Ad group level negative keywords:
Keep monitoring your ad groups. First, check your ads daily, then every 3 days, then every week, every month.
- Identify and exclude search terms that compete with your other ad groups and avoid diluting data.
- Identify and exclude search terms that drive up your cost but don’t end up being profitable.
For example, we sell gaming PCs.
- SKAG #1: Assemble game pc
- SKAG #2: Assemble gaming pc
- SKAG #3: Assemble game computer
- SKAG #4: Build game pc
We don’t want the ads for SKAG 1 to show when someone searches “assemble game computer.”
Best Practices for Writing High-Quality Ad Copy to boost CTR
As we’ve covered, writing high-quality ad copy is crucial for improving your Quality Score.
If you’ve done your keyword research right and set up your campaign structure efficiently, you can start to write compelling and relevant ad copy that drives the desired action.
When your ad copy matches the search query, the person searching is more likely to click because it’s more relevant to their situation, increasing your ad relevance and thus the click-through rate.
We want to craft ad copy that’s hyper-specific to the search query that triggers an ad in each ad group.
When someone searches “assemble game pc” — we show an ad that includes the keywords “assemble game pc” in the display path, Headline 1, and the description.
If your ad is triggered by the search term, the specific keywords are then bolded in your ad, making it stand out even more from your competitors.
When someone searches for “assemble gaming computer” — an ad pops up including those keywords.
Pro tip: 👊 Start with the low-hanging fruit. Find “buyer intent keywords” that your target audience is using, and start building from there.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Use attention-grabbing headlines and descriptions. Think “clickbait.”
- Highlight the benefits of your product or service.
- Use ad extensions to provide additional information.
- Use action-oriented language and a strong call to action.
- Use relevant keywords in your ad copy.
Other things that may boost CTR are the use of dynamic ad headlines:
Dynamic headlines help to increase ad relevance and click-through rates, as users are more likely to click on ads that directly address their search query.
- Dynamic headlines allow you to tailor your ad copy to the user’s search intent, without having to manually create multiple ad variations.
- Keyword Insertion is one option, which essentially pulls in a user’s search query as the headline, making the ad extremely relevant to the search.
- Location Insertion pulls the user’s nearest City / State / Country into the ad copy, making the ad highly relevant for them
- Countdown is another dynamic feature, great when running special offers that have an end date. Countdowns can increase urgency and therefore increase your CTR.
Side note: 👊 I’m a fan of pinning headlines and descriptions. Not leaving Google to its devices.
In my experience, pinned ads always outcompeted Google’s automatic combinations.
Tips for Landing Page Optimization
Your landing page is a critical component of your ad campaign’s success. Here are some tips for optimizing your landing page:
- Make sure your landing page is relevant to your ad. (Doh)
- Keep your landing page design simple and easy to navigate.
- Use clear and concise headlines and descriptions that match the ad they’ve clicked.
- Include a strong enticing call to action.
- Make sure to insert trust emblems and social proof.
- Test your landing page to improve its performance.
To improve your landing page experience, Make sure your landing page is conversion designed and relevant to your ad and its search intent.
That translates into providing a good user experience to lower bounce rates and increase conversions.
Google will perceive landing pages with a high bounce rate as having low relevance. So beware.
Q: What is a good Google Ads Quality Score?
A: A good quality score varies depending on the industry, but in general, a minimum score of 8 or higher is considered good in my eyes. However, the higher the quality score, the better your ad’s performance will be, so anything higher than what your current score is an improvement.
Q: Can I improve my Quality Score without increasing my bids?
A: Yes, you can improve your Quality Score without increasing your bids. Because your QS and max bid are two metrics to calculate your Ad Rank. By optimizing your ads, using relevant keywords, and improving your landing page experience, you can improve your quality score and lower your cost-per-click without increasing your bid.
Q: How often should I check my Quality Score?
A: You should check your Quality Score regularly, at least once a week, to make sure you’re on track and make adjustments.
Q: Can using too many negative keywords hurt my Quality Score?
A: No, using negative keywords can actually improve your Quality Score by filtering out irrelevant searches. The only thing that might hurt is accidentally excluding useful keywords.
Improving your Google Ads Quality Score is a must for your business as it allows you to drive more results and to be more competitive.
It allows you to maximize your budget, increase your ad relevancy, lower your ad cost, and boost your ad performance in 2023 and beyond.
Use the tips and strategies in this ultimate guide to see an immediate impact on your Google Ads and achieve better results from your Google Ads campaigns.
Now it’s up to you. 👏