What Is Quality Score And Why Should I Care?

What Is Quality Score And Why Should I Care?
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Quality score is a metric recorded in Google AdWords and Bing Ads reporting the combined relevance and historical performance of your ads, keywords, and landing pages in regards to a user’s search query.

Quality Score can also be a helpful warning signal when there are particular ad groups or campaigns in a PPC account that need to be optimized- typically, the better your Quality Score is, the better your ads perform. Both Google AdWords and Bing Ads score each keyword on a 1 through 10 ranking scale with a score of ten representing the best Quality Score a keyword can obtain.

There are a number of factors that go into Quality Score, such as expected click through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. Every time your ad competes in an auction, Google measures these factors, and when multiplied by your maximum cost-per-click bid, Ad Rank is established. Ad Rank determines where an ad appears in the search results.

To improve ad position for a given keyword, advertisers are presented with two main courses of action: increase the max cost per click bid they are willing to pay, or improve the Quality Score on their keywords. This means that for advertisers with low Quality Scores, they will be paying more.

Advertisers with a Google AdWords account can easily view the QS on their keywords. After logging in to an AdWords account and navigating to the keyword list of a given campaign or ad group, hover over the white speech bubble in the status column next to the word ‘Eligible’ for one of your keywords.

Advertisers with a high Quality Score may see something like this:

Quality Score High

Advertisers with poor QS may see something like this:

Quality Score Low


Understanding what Quality Score is and how that metric plays into your PPC account is important for all PPC advertisers to understand.how-quality-score-affects-cpc

What are the factors that go into Quality Score?

While the exact formula for calculating Quality Score in unknown, we do know the main factors:

  • Historical click through rate (CTR): Based on historical clicks and impressions built up over time. When people who see an ad click it, that indicates to Google that the ad fulfills a searchers need. This means that if you are not actively managing your PPC account, and letting it run on autopilot, you could be adversely affecting your Quality Score.
  • Landing page quality: The landing page associated with each ad should be relevant to the search query, useful, and easy-to-navigate.
  • Keyword relevance: How closely does the ad match the user’s search intent. When the keywords you bid on directly relate to the ad triggered, there is a higher chance they will relate to the user’s search query.
  • Geographic performance: How well the ad performs in the regions targeted.
  • Targeted devices: How well the ads perform on different devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

Understanding these factors can help advertisers focus on what is most important when working to improve QS.


Why should I care about Quality Score?

Quality Score is a reflection on the ‘health’ of your PPC account and plays a large influence in the performance of your PPC campaigns. Advertisers looking to rank in the top positions in the search results while not paying a premium for those positions should be most interested in achieving high Quality Scores.

Quality score directly influences:

  • Actual cost per click (CPC): Higher Quality Scores bring lower average CPC’s, so achieving a high QS can help stretch your PPC budget.
  • Ad position and top of page bid estimate: High QS can lead to higher ad positions which will help click through rates.
  • Cost per conversion: By paying less per click, advertisers tracking conversions through their paid search account could see significant decreases in the cost they pay per conversion. Additionally, when creating highly relevant ads with tailored landing pages, conversion rates tend to increase.

Overall, Quality Score should not be used as a performance metric in your account. However, monitoring QS across a PPC account can be a good diagnostic when looking at overall performance. By working through Quality Score best practices, advertisers should see an increase in the performance statistics most important to them.

If you would like an AdWords Audit so we can check out your quality score and give you some helpful guidance to pay less per click and get bettter ad positions please give me a call – 021635229.

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Written by
Founder & CEO | Quentin Weber is the dynamic force behind Unbound, a leading digital marketing agency in New Zealand. With over a decade of experience in the industry, Quentin's expertise spans strategic planning, innovative digital solutions, and client-centric approaches. Passionate about driving results and fostering growth, he leads a talented team committed to transforming digital landscapes and achieving exceptional outcomes for clients. Quentin's unique blend of professionalism and approachability sets the tone for Unbound's distinctive, no-nonsense approach to digital marketing.

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