How to maximise your quality score

Top tips for gaming the auction & lowering cost-per-click.

What is Quality Score?

Unlike a normal auction, the Google search auction isn’t necessarily won by the advertiser willing to pay the most. Google wants the user to see useful & relevant ads, so the winner depends on both the monetary bid, & “Quality Score”, which is a measure of the quality of the user experience.

Quality Score is made of 3 components:

  • Ad relevance: How relevant is your ad to the keyword and search term?
  • Landing page expectancy: How good / relevant is your landing page? What’s the site speed like? Are there lots of navigation options?
  • Expected click through rate: How likely is someone to click on your ad vs other advertisers’ ads?

Optimising these 3 factors therefore increases your chances of winning the auction & getting more clicks for your credits.

Read on to find out how to do just that.

Ad Relevance

To understand how we can improve ad relevance, it’s important to understand the structure of a Google Ads account:

The Account is divided into Campaigns, & each Campaign is divided into Ad Groups. Within an Ad Group, there are any number of keywords, & up to 3 ads. 

If you win the auction, then the ad that is shown to the user is the one in the same Ad Group as the keyword which entered the auction.

In order to achieve a high Ad Relevance, you want to make sure that each ad in an Ad Groups is relevant to all the keywords in its Ad Group. 

For example, if you have an article on your site about planting trees, & another article about wildlife conservation, you could have an Ad Group for each of these. This would allow you to show ads mentioning tree planting to users who search for “tree planting”, & ads on “wildlife conservation” to users who search for “wildlife conservation”.

Landing Page Expectancy

Since each ad has a specific landing page, then grouping your keywords into themed Ad Groups as discussed above can ensure your landing page is relevant, improving your Landing Page Expectancy.

You can also improve the relevancy of your landing page by ensuring key phrases that are included in your keywords & ads are present on your landing page.

Landing Page Expectancy doesn’t only depend on relevance, but also on the quality of your website. Some things to consider:

  • Does your site load quickly?
  • Is it easy to navigate?
  • Is it broken?

Working on your site’s SEO (search engine optimisation) & CRO (conversion rate optimisation) will also lead to improvements in Landing Page Expectancy.

Expected Click-Through Rate

Having relevant ads, as discussed above, will naturally also improve expected CTR. 

In addition, you should include any selling points that will make you stand out vs other advertisers e.g. stats on your impact.

Ad extensions can also improve your CTR by making your ad stand out more. Sitelinks are a good example of this, as they significantly increase the size of your ad:

Do good, better

If you’re looking for a paid media agency with a track record of efficiently scaling Google Ads accounts, get in touch!

How to maximise your quality score

Oxford educated, Gwenno’s expertise now spans Paid Search, Social & Display, working on a mix of ecommerce, charity, event, education & B2B clients. In addition to tackling creative strategy, she is also the agency's tracking expert and oversees data & reporting projects.