Google’s Quality Score is like the elusive Himalayan Ghost Cat, an animal very difficult to see, let alone capture. However, it's a very valuable measure of your AdWords health. If it's on, you'll reap the benefits of position and CTR. If it's off, so is your campaign...somewhere.

To help look at this piece a little closer, Bjorn and Finch have teamed up with another industry leader, AdAlysis' Brad Geddes, to give a holistic view of Quality Score form both their unique perspectives. The webinar will be live this coming Tuesday, January 17th at 9:00 am PST/12:00 pm EST. We'll host Q&A afterward so come with questions!

The webinar has been shown but the recording is HERE.

Read on for a blog that Brad has shared with us focused on projecting Quality Scores...

“Why It’s Impossible to Project ‘Above Average’ CTRs in Quality Score” by Brad Geddes

We’re often asked by advertisers questions such as “I have a 44% CTR, why does Google say my expected CTR is average”.

Now, 44% is high, and that’s for a brand term. However, we’ll see some accounts where non-brand needs at least a 15% CTR to be ‘above average’.

As expected CTR is a major component of quality score, if you’re focused on increasing quality scores, it’s a primary testing metric. Although, I’d argue Conversion per Impression testing accomplishes increasing Quality Scores and profits. Regardless of your testing metric, understanding expected CTR is important to raising your Quality Scores.

The below charts graph CTR by Quality Score. Both of the included charts contains keywords that are mostly above average expected CTRs. This is data at the campaign level, so some keywords in the campaign need slightly higher or lower CTRs to hit the ‘above average’ score.

To receive a 9 or 10 for the non-brand; this company needs a 9% CTR.

To receive a 10 for their brand term, they need a 46% CTR.


In fact, for their top terms, for non-brand, this is what they receive:

  • 3.5% CTR: below average
  • 8.5% CTR: average
  • 14.5% CTR: above average

For their brand terms, this is what they receive:

  • 6% CTR: below average
  • 15% CTR: average
  • 46% CTR: above average

Now, if we turn to a different company, for their brand terms, they only need to hit a 15% CTR to be above average.


As CTRs vary so much by brand, industry, and commercial user intent – it is impossible to say what CTR you need to hit to be considered above average for any keyword.

The best you can do is identify areas of low quality scores and then test the ads to try to increase your CTRs.