How To Improve AdWords Quality Scores

Improving your Google AdWords Quality Score is a great way to cut costs and improve conversions.

First, you have to understand how the AdWords algorithm ranks ads.

  1. For a specific keyword, AdWords looks at the maximum CPC that all bidders are willing to pay.
  2. Each ad has a Quality Score ranked 1-10 based on several factors, including number of clicks on an ad, landing page relevance, your account history, geographic location, and other factors that Google uses to rank your ads.
  3. The Max CPC is multiplied by the quality score to get a rank. Positions are determined based on the order of this ranking.

Note that this doesn't determine how much you actually pay for the click, it only determines the position. The amount you pay is based on the rank of the position below you and your quality score (but that's for another post).

Less relevant ads pay more and score lower while ads with high Quality Scores result in higher placements at lower costs. Often, the top position will actually be paying much less for the top spot than the competitors, due to the Quality Score multiplier. That's why it makes so much sense to bid on your own branded keywords because you get them at a very low cost, while if your competitors bid on them it costs them a lot more due to the competitor’s low Quality Scores.


So...how do you improve AdWords Quality Score?

  1. Create targeted and relevant ads. The click through rate (CTR) of your ads is believed to be the number one factor in determining Quality Score. If your ad has thousands of impressions with few clicks, then it will typically have a low CTR. In order to improve your CTR, use the specific keywords in your ads along with a strong call to action. Use a competitive differentiator in your ads to set yourself apart from the other ads. Think like a customer: If I see 5 ads, which one would I click?

    Finch’s granular campaign structure isolates ads to match them with keywords, making it easy to see which ads/keywords have a poor click through rate. When you improve your ads that have the highest impressions and the lowest CTR, those small changes can have a high impact on the quality score with little effort.
  2. Link your ads to credible and original content. Google prizes original content: If you are copying someone else's content, then someone else deserves higher scores. You should be the source of your own content. For example, on product pages rather than including the manufacturers description, try adding your own product description and thoughts about the product.
  3. Don't create "junk" landing pages. Pages that don't add additional or relevant content will have high bounce back rates and will result in lower quality scores over time. Also, remember that Google AdWords is inherently linked to Google search - so legitimate pages should have already been successfully indexed by Google.
  4. Select only relevant keywords. Bidding on irrelevant keywords is a sure-fire way to blow through your budget. Finch will expose these in your audit and show you a sampling of which ones are not effective. Also, Finch will drop or devalue non-performing keywords over time.

In short, rather than trying all the tricks, just spend some time tweaking the details, and you'll see big rewards in terms of improved Quality Scores.