Quality score: It is a numerical value from 1 to 10 that Google gives to your keywords to evaluate the quality of your ads. Google has an algorithm that evaluates hundreds of factors to show users relevant results in organic results. In the same logic, it has created the quality score factor that affects the ranking and display of ads in order to provide users with a better experience by showing relevant ads.
Because we believe better ads are beneficial for everyone, the Google Ads system is set up to identify and reward quality ads. (Google)
There can be multiple advertisers targeting the same keyword. Therefore, Google must somehow determine the order in which these ads appear. It does this with the ad rank it assigns to each keyword. However, ad positions are determined by the ad rank score, not the quality score. In other words, having a quality score of 10 does not mean that your ads will be shown in higher positions. However, there is a fact that a very low-quality score can prevent your ads from getting impressions.
In 2002, the ad rank score was determined by simply multiplying click-through rate and per click. Google improved this formula a little more in 2005 and removed the quality score factor. Thus, ad rankings began to be determined by the formulation of quality score x cost per click. The quality score of your keywords is determined by the following three basic factors.
- Expected click-through rate
- Ad relevance
- Landing page experience
You can quickly see how each factor is performing in your Google ad account by adding columns to your keyword report / hovering over the status tab next to your keyword. These values are expressed as above average, average and below average. Thus, you can determine in which area you need to make adjustments. At the same time, you can examine your quality scores resulting from these factors by following the same methods.
Advantages of having a high-quality score
- Keywords with high-quality scores are rewarded with lower cost-per-clicks than keywords with low scores.
- Having a very low-quality score can reduce your ad impressions. So you may not be able to show ads on every search query.
- A high-quality score is an important factor for advertisers targeting top positions. You can achieve a higher ad position at lower costs.
How to check quality scores?
You can check the quality scores of your keywords by hovering over the status tab in the keyword reports section. In addition, from this screen, you can see whether your keyword is currently showing and the performance of the 3 main factors that affect the quality score.
If you want to take a more detailed look at your quality scores and the status of the key factors that affect the quality score, you can add quality score metrics to your keyword report. (keyword report > columns > quality score)
You can also see the historical performance of your quality scores and the factors that affect the quality score in these columns.
You can also get more general data on your quality scores by creating a report from the reports tab of your Google Ads account. E.g;
Keywords with a quality score of 8 accounts for 33% of the total cost.
Keywords with a quality score of 10 accounts for 23% of the total cost
You can see that the keywords with 3 quality scores, which we can define as low, constitute 1% of the total cost.
We have to say, one of our favorite areas in the new interface is the reports section. It has become much more useful than before. However, we still cannot get the average quality scores of the keywords in a Google Ads account from these reports.
3 main factors affecting quality scores
Expected Clickthrough Rate
The expected clickthrough rate is calculated based on the probability that the ads shown are clicked when your ads are shown for that keyword. This evaluation is done regardless of factors that may affect visibility, such as the location of your ads and their extensions.
It takes different values from your actual click-through rates. In doing so, it considers how your keywords have performed in the past. In addition, this prediction is made in such a way that the search term exactly matches the keyword, regardless of the match type of your keyword.
Ad relevance measures how well your keyword aligns with your ads. The basic logic is this. Google wants to show ads related to the search queries users make.
Remember, the condition of having a high relevance score is not that the keyword is in the ads, but that your ads are related to the search results and that you include phrases that will attract the attention of the users.
Landing Page Experience
The two factors we mentioned above were related to advertisements. The click-through rates of your ads may be great and the compatibility with your keywords may be excellent, but the page we direct to the users after clicking on the ads also has an effect on their quality scores.
Landing page relevance is simply how happy your visitors are with the page you’re referring to. Pages with high landing page relevance are often designed for user experience. It also contains information about users’ search queries.
Other Factors That May Affect Quality Stamps
Although the factors that we will mention below are indirectly related to the basic factors mentioned above, it would be more useful to go into a little detail.
The title, description, and display URL you use in your ad texts will directly affect your click-through rates, so they will have a direct impact on your quality scores.
For example, let’s say that the user who searches for “nike air max men” on Google sees the above ad text.
Ad headline: We see that the created ad headline is exactly related to what we are looking for. This ad headline will have a much higher click-through rate than the “Nike air max” headline. It is also available in the CTA in the ad header. Wonderful! We have presented users with an actionable message that what they are looking for is here. In the ad headline, this is pretty important!
Display URL: Your display URL is the subdirectory section at the end of the URL shown in ads. This can be an area that can provide information about which page users go to. The display URL of the ads being compatible with users’ search queries can be another factor that can increase your click-through rates. The /nike-air-max/male used in the above example clearly gives information about what kind of page I will go to after clicking on the ad.
Ad text: Although your ad texts are not as eye-catching as your ad headline, they are areas where you can manage to attract the attention of users. In your ad texts, highlighting the features that your competitors cannot provide and the points that users pay attention to in your product or service can increase your click-through rates. Remember, you can activate Google ads with more than one ad text. Thus, you will have the chance to evaluate the performance of your ads with real data.
By using ad extensions, you can give users more information about your products/services.
Using extensions in your ads can make your ads appear more powerful in the search engine. For these reasons, ad extensions are a powerful factor in increasing your click-through rates. But that doesn’t mean you should use all extensions. You only need to use extensions that work for you.
Landing Page Relevance
A lot of things we talked about so far were about how to welcome users with relevant ads. The next stage of the process is the landing pages, where we direct users who click on the ads.
In order to provide a good experience for users, you should make sure that your landing page is compatible with your keyword and ad text.
Here are three of the most basic things you can do to increase the relevance of your landing page;
- Make sure your keyword is related to your URL.
- Make sure your page title is related to your keyword
- Include content related to your keyword on your landing page.
In order to provide a better experience for users, you should make sure that the content on your landing page is original, not a duplicate. In addition, if we include elements that will give users confidence, it can increase the experience it will provide. (Phone, address, information about you, etc.)
In addition, advertisements and pop-ups that will prevent users from using your site can negatively affect the landing page experience.
Page Loading Speed
We have mentioned many times in our previous articles how important the loading speed of landing pages is. Page load time is one of Google’s most important ranking factors. It is also one of the most important factors affecting the landing page experience.
Let’s also underline that Google states that a page should open in less than three seconds on average for a good user experience. You can visit Google’s Pagespeed Insights tool to learn about the performance of your landing page.
Google doesn’t require you to have a mobile-specific design, but it does emphasize that your pages should provide a good experience on mobile devices. If your website is not mobile-friendly and you do not want to make it compatible, you can at least prevent the display of ads on mobile.
Past Performance of Your Account
If you are an advertiser who has just started advertising, the overall average of the keywords you have chosen is taken into account when determining the quality score of your keywords.
Let’s say you already have an active Google Ads account. In this case, Google will determine a starting point for you by evaluating the quality score of the keywords in your account, instead of evaluating the new keywords you will add from scratch.
If your relevant keywords, ads, and landing pages are doing well, we’ll likely maintain a positive view of them.
The regions your campaigns target also have an impact on quality scores.
You may encounter different advertisers in the regions you target, and your ads can be ranked in search engines with different ads. This is a factor that can directly affect your ad performance and click-through rates. Therefore, it may be useful to measure the performance of your ads in different regions while optimizing the quality score.
Raising Bids to Increase Quality Pounds
The higher you appear in Google search results, the higher your click-through rates will be. However, raising your bids to increase your quality scores will not affect your quality scores positively or negatively. When calculating your quality score, Google calculates based on the position of the ads you are in. In other words, the expected CTR of a keyword that comes in the second place is different. The expected CTR of a keyword that comes out in the 4th place is different.
While it’s good to have a high position on the page, it won’t increase the expected CTR of your ads. The expected CTR is normalized for your actual position on the page. (Google)
As a result, you can easily increase or decrease your cost per click according to the performance of your keywords.
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