7 Ways to Improve your Quality Score
Originally published April 20, 2019. Updated September 9, 2021.
For search marketers, your keyword quality score can be one of the most impactful components of your ad campaigns. Combined with bids, your quality score determines where ads serve on the search engine results page (SERP). A poor quality score could mean you’ll rarely secure the top positions, or that you’ll have to pay a premium to obtain it.
In 2021, having a good quality score is as important as ever. But which factors influence it, and what can you do to make it better?
In this blog post, we’ll answer all those questions and more. But first, let’s review all the parts of a quality score.
The 3 components of quality score
A quality score is a value on a scale of 1-10 that is given to each of your keywords. It is made up of three factors:
A) Expected click-through-rate: This is the rate at which Google expects searchers to click through from your ad to your landing page.
B) Ad relevance: This refers to how closely your ad matches the intent behind a user’s search.
C) Landing page experience: This is an approximation of how useful your landing page is to users who click your ad.
Now let’s determine how to improve the score.
A) Expected Click Through Rate (CTR):
Your expected click through rate is a prediction of how likely your ad will be clicked on when viewed. This prediction is based on how well a keyword has performed in your account, as well as how the keyword has performed for other advertisers.
1. Ad copy testing
Testing various headline and description combinations is a great way to optimize your ads. A proper test can reveal which messaging resonates best with users and is more likely to result in a click. Some of the most impactful tests include measuring a variety of calls-to-action and a variety of value props to determine what resonates most with customers.
One additional great way to test ad copy is to utilize Google’s Responsive Search Ads. This ad type lets you enter up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions. Google will then dynamically show different combinations of your headlines and descriptions to see what combo works best. You can view the results of each headline and description by going into your ads and clicking “View Asset Details”. The only performance data available is impressions, but you can assume from this data that the more times a headline or description is served, the better it has performed!
The name of the game is ad real estate. How much space does your ad take up compared to other advertisers? The addition of extensions not only makes your ads larger on the page (and pushes competitors farther down the page), but their size is also more likely to catch the eye of users. Try adding sitelinks, callout extensions, or structured snippets.
B) Ad Relevance:
Ad relevance measures how closely your keyword is related to your ad.
1. Group similar keywords into ad groups.
Google encourages grouping keywords into ad groups based on a common word or theme. Let’s say your company sells shoes. If you have a group of keywords that all speak to discount shoes, put them in their own ad group. This ensures that when you write an ad that speaks to your discounts, every keyword is relevant to that messaging.
2. Find ways to incorporate your keywords in your ad copy.
Another way to ensure your keyword is closely related to your copy is to simply put it there. One option is to select your strongest performing keywords and insert them into headline 1. Another option is to utilize dynamic keyword insertion (DKI). Want to learn more? Check out our DKI How-To blog.
C) Landing Page Experience:
Landing page experience measures how well your website provides a strong user experience and landing page relevance to the search once they click through your ads.
1. Make sure your landing page matches your advertising efforts.
The first step is to make sure your landing pages make sense for your keywords and ads. If you’re advertising that you sell shoes, then show the user a page with the shoes you have for sale. It’s as simple as that!
And more so, you want to make sure that you are keeping your messaging consistent from ad to the landing page, assuring that your landing page follows through on the offer and call to action.
2. Try landing page testing.
Once you know your landing pages make sense for your keyword and ad combinations, you now have an opportunity to try landing page testing. You can send users to a category page, best sellers page, specific product page, etc.
Overall, search engines strive to deliver the highest quality experience to their users. Quality scores are meant to encourage advertisers to optimize their campaigns in order to continue delivering the best user experience. If you take the time to optimize, your reward won’t just be more relevant traffic to your website, search engines will give you higher ranking positions and even reduce your CPCs. Get out there and start optimizing!
When testing your landing page, conversion rate (CVR) is a good representative of a good landing page. Why? Because looking at CVR means that the customer has already read the ad, and was intrigued enough to click on it and go to the website, now the conversion is in the hands of the landing page and the more conversions seen, leads one to believe that landing page was a good experience.
3. Make your website mobile friendly.
Almost everyone searches for products using their mobile phone these days and having a mobile-friendly website with easy navigation will only encourage more site visits and conversions.
Interested in Learning More About Quality Score?
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