You’d be hard-pressed to find someone that hasn’t used the phrase ‘Google it’ at some point in their lives. ‘Googling’ has become the default action/phrase when you want to have your questions answered. We trust that when we type a question into Google’s search bar, that Google will have a QUALITY answer for us.
Google has managed to cultivate its reputation as a leading resource for information by understanding people’s intent and providing their users with reliable, high quality and most importantly relevant information. Providing quality search results to users is the cornerstone of Google’s success.
Organic search results, whilst making up the majority of a search engine results page (SERP), are not the only results that are presented, Ads also make up a chunk of the SERP.
In order to maintain both a high standard of information which is also relevant to its users, PPC platforms such as Google and Microsoft also take the QUALITY of the ads into consideration when deciding who wins in the auction and ranks higher.
For advertisers this means making sure ads are as good as they possibly can be, not just by bidding higher for particular keywords, but having a high-quality ad that will lead to a cheaper cost per click (CPC).
When a user types into a search engine, an instantaneous, real time, auction happens, where advertisers bid for their ads to appear for the user’s search.
If an advertiser is bidding on keywords related to the search term used by the searcher, then they will be eligible for the audition, bidding high enough will get their ad onto the top few search results. But the bid factor isn’t the only important variable to a successful ad ranking.
Yep, you guessed it…
This status predicts whether your keyword is likely to lead to a user clicking on your ad. Google Ads takes into account how well your keyword has performed in your past campaigns.
“The expected click-through rate that Google Ads provides is an estimate based on the assumption that the search term will match the keyword exactly. At auction time (when someone’s search term triggers one of your ads), Google Ads calculate s a more accurate expected CTR based on the search terms, type of device and other auction-time factors” - support.google.com
“Landing page experience is Google Ads’ measure of how well your website gives people what they’re looking for when they click your ad.
Your landing page is the URL people arrive at after they click your ad, and Google Ads analyses it through a combination of automated systems and human evaluation” - support.google.com
“This status describes how well your keyword matches the message in your ads. For example, if someone searches for your keyword and your ad shows up, would your ad seem directly relevant to their search?” - support.google.com
Each of the three factors above are given a ‘grade’.
Graded on a scale of 1-10 (worst to best).
So the overall combination will give you your ads quality score.
You can check the quality score of your keywords by adding the Quality Score column to your keywords report in the Google Ads dashboard. You can even break down the report to include the keywords Ad Relevance, Expected CTR and Landing page Experience.
A common mistake that people make, when setting up their search campaigns, is to have too much of a broad range of keywords in one ad group. Having a large number of keywords makes it hard to keep the content of your ad relevant.
The second mistake that people often make is not having a clear theme to the keywords in theri ad group, again this means that not all of the keywords will be relevant to the ads in the ad group.
The third mistake a lot of people make it to only have their ads going to their home page URL. The content of your page is taken into consideration when determining the score of your landing page experience. If you're bidding on keywords specific to products or services that you have web pages related to then traffic should be targeted here.
A high quality score can mean a lower CPC for the same ad rank or a higher ad rank for the same cost. Ultimately, this means that the cheaper the click, the more clicks that you can gain for the same budget.
One thing to consider when running ad campaigns is that determining your Quality Score does require some historical data, so if your Expected CTR is low to begin with, don’t panic, it may just improve over time.
My advice would be to revisit your Google Ad campaign 14 days after it is set live to fully understand the Quality Score of your keywords. Optimisation is an ongoing process, and small tweaks may be all it takes to bring your ads from average to the above average threshold.
Want to learn more about how you can use Google’s advertising tools to improve your campaigns quality score? Head over to our latest blog post on 6 tools and features in Google Ads you might not know about.