Boost Your Google Ads Quality Score & Save Yourself Money

Want to advertise your business successfully for the least amount of money possible? Boost your Google Ads Quality Score and get it done.


The Goal: More Customers For Less Money

Let’s start with your end goal: you want to advertise your business successfully for the least amount of money possible.

Using Google Ads is one of the most effective ways you can achieve this. Done right, you are unlikely to find a more cost-effective way to generate leads and conversions for your business.

However, if you’re already using Google Ads – or you’re about to start – you won’t get the most out of it if you haven’t mastered Quality Score.

Above all failing to get to grips with it will push up the cost of your online advertising. Ultimately, it will cost you money.

And let’s be clear about something: Quality Score isn’t that tough.

This short read will get you up and running in no time.

Quality Score isn’t just a meaningless number between 1 and 10. By the end of the post, you’ll be answering the following questions like nobody’s business:

  • What is Quality Score?
  • How is Quality Score used?
  • What factors affect Quality Score?
  • How can Quality Score be improved?

If It Matters To Google, Then It Matters To You

Quality score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages.

Why should you care? Well, the blunt answer is simple: higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.

This is because Google live and die on whether people get what they expect to see when they search.

If Google start getting this wrong, their users will leave in droves and flock to any of the other search engines waiting in the wings.

But Quality Score isn’t just about Google.

It’s about you.

Sure, Quality Score is Google’s way of rewarding you for ensuring your content gives their users a good experience.

And, the rewards are worth your time. For example, Quality Score is a good indicator of how successful your campaign will be.

Studies have repeatedly shown that the higher your Quality Score, the lower your cost-per-conversion. This means that, on average, the higher your Quality Score the less money you’re spending per new customer.

However, the rewards of good Quality Scores are more on the nose than that. Higher Quality Score means:

  • Higher ad rankings (your ad may appear above rival ads vying for the same spots)
  • Lower costs (Google will generally charge you less per click than ads with poor Quality Score)

Google does this because they want to honours ads, and businesses, that give searchers what they are looking for.

Simple Ways To Throw Your Money Away

Quality Score is best understood through examples of bad practice.

Imagine you’re looking for someone local to fix your cracked phone screen for a good price. You search “local phone fixer” in Google, you click an ad that looks like they might be able to solve your problem.

But, ah, they don’t fix your model. Or they’re only open three days of the week. Or perhaps the page takes longer to load than you’re prepared to wait.

These are examples of ads that lead to Google’s users having a bad experience.

Ultimately, these ads will have a poor Quality Score because they don’t help the people searching Google find what they need.

So, how do you get it right? Let’s press on.

How Is Quality Score Calculated?

Right, the rubbish but honest answer first: nobody outside of Google knows.

Now let’s give you something more useful.

Taking the cracked phone screen example from above, let’s say a company called FixyPhone are bidding on the keyword “local phone fixer”.

For this keyword, and any other keywords they’re bidding on, Fixyphone will be given a Quality Score. It’s calculated using a combination of factors, including:

  1. Your click-through rate (CTR)
  2. How relevant the keyword is to your ad and the product you’re selling
  3. Landing page quality and relevance
  4. The relevance of your ad text
  5. Your historical Google Ads account performance

Right, one at a time then.

CTR

First, your click-through rate. That’s how many people are seeing your ad and clicking through onto your site.

Someone Googles “local phone fixer”, sees Fixyphone’s ad and clicks it over any other ads that are displayed. Boom. Fixyphone’s CTR goes up.

The key thing here is that it’s about the ratio of clicks to views. If someone Googles “local phone fixer”, sees Fixyphone’s ad and doesn’t click on it – Fixyphone’s CTR goes down.

Keyword Relevance

Second, your keyword relevance. Let’s say a Google user searches for “fix cracked windscreens” and comes across this advert:example of an ad of if you were to search for 'fix cracked windscreens' you wouldn't expect to find this add for fixing a phone.

This is not what they expect to see.

Google’s user is looking for a firm that will fix their damaged car windscreen. They have zero interest in anything to do with phones.

Here, FixyPhone have either bid on the wrong keywords for their advert. Or, perhaps, they have broad match setup for their advert and haven’t configured it properly.

If you’re selling a cracked screen repair service, you need to ensure you’re only bidding on keywords relating to that. Here’s an example:

Example of bid of wrong keywords as results show repairs for handsets not just cracked phone screens.

Landing Page Quality & Relevance

Third, your landing page quality and relevance.

This is a big topic but it boils down to having a page that will connect directly with the visitor who has clicked your advert.

The aim is to provide a good experience for a user from ad to conversion into customer.

Let’s say Fixyphone’s use the ad above. They bid on “cracked screens”. However, they then link to a page mostly about reselling used phones. Quality Score will be affected.

Ad Text Relevance

Fourth, the relevance of your ad text. Let’s take a look at this example:

Example of ad showing that relevancy effects quality score by using cheapest UK phone battery in a search for cracked phone screens.

Searched for “fix cracked screens”? Then you probably don’t want to hear about new batteries. The Quality Score of this ad would be affected.

Historical Quality Scores

Fifth, your history. Google has a long memory.

Getting Google Ads right first time pays dividends. Let’s say FixyPhone have a long history of irrelevant ads that performed poorly, Google will remember this and the Quality Score of new ads will be affected.

Where you can, get it right from the start and hit the ground running.

How Can You Improve Quality Score?

Right, remember the golden rule: give searchers what they are looking for. If you do the following, you should be golden:

  1. Research your keywords
  2. Organise your keywords
  3. Refine your ad text
  4. Optimise your landing pages
  5. Add negative keywords to your ads

Let’s go through them one at a time.

Research Your Keywords

You can start with the Google Ads tool, known as the Keyword Planner. The idea is to search for words or phrases related to your products or services. The Keyword Planner tries to find keywords that are most relevant to your business and add them to your plan.

Answerthepublic is another free tool which gives you information about what people are searching for.

You can also compare keyword trends and look for long-tail keyword opportunities.

Keyword trends show how the popularity of certain keywords are rising and falling over time.

Long-tail keywords are longer search terms that are highly relevant to your specific niche, have low competition level and lower search volume.

So, Fixyphone might take the following steps.

  1. They use Keyword Planner and Answerthepublic to ensure their phone fixing service is targeting the right keywords.
  2. They decide to bid on the keyword “mobile phone repairs” and similar search terms instead of “mobile phone fixer”. This is because “mobile phone fixer” is trending down month on month and “mobile phone repairs” is getting a lot of search volume.
  3. They may add in “cracked” to many of their keywords as it’s skyrocketing in popularity.
  4. They add a variety of long-tail keywords to one of their campaigns including “mobile phone repair London”, “mobile phone repair near me” and “mobile phone repair and service”.
  5. They make a plan to review how their keywords are trending every four weeks.

Organise Your Keywords

Have you got one big catch-all ad for your entire range of products or services?

If you do, that’s probably a bad idea.

You need to split your keywords into tight, highly organised groups that can then be tied to individual campaigns.

Fixyphone might do as follows.

  1. They split out their cracked phone screen repair and mobile phone repair services into separate ad groups.
  2. They identify even smaller niches for iPhone and Samsung handset screen repair and decide to target these groups specifically with further splits.

    Scrabble board with Google, Ads and Keywords entwined to show the organising of Keywords.

Refine Your Ad Text

When you’ve split out your keywords into distinct groups, ensure your ad headlines and text are laser-focused on those groups. Fixyphone could achieve this by writing a specific headline and ad for each of their new groups.

One for cracked phone screens, one for fixing mobile phones and then further specific ads for the iPhone and Samsung repair subgroups.

Optimise Your Landing Page

Sorry to keep hammering it home but remember: give Google searchers what they expect to see. That’s the first part of this puzzle, But there’s more to it than that.

How long it takes your page to load matters. Whether your landing page works for mobile matters. There are tons of pages advising you on how to make a landing page that will convert like a champion. Here’s one we wrote earlier.

Fixyphone take the following steps to ensure their lander is optimised.

  1. They redisgned their page to ensure it’s clearer and less clunky.
  2. They rework their headline and subheads to make them more relevant (and remove an embarrassing typo of Samsung).
  3. They remove massive amounts of irrelevant text that pushes their mobile phone exchange and resell programme.
  4. They add in call to action buttons that are clearly defined.

Add Negative Keywords To Your Ads

Irrelevant keywords are a budget killer.

When you bid on keywords with Google Ads, you can also specify the variations of keywords you don’t want to bid on.

The point of this is to ensure your ad never appears in front of someone who never had any intention of buying what you’re selling.

There are tons of freely available tools for facilitating this, and a good one is Kparser.

  1. Fixyphone roll up their sleeves and add several phone brands they can’t fix to their list of negative keywords.
  2. They add any reference to “windscreen” as negative keywords because they can’t do anything with a car.
  3. “Same day service” and similar varieties are also added to their list of negative keywords as their turnaround time is longer than 24 hours.

Check out our beginners guide to negative keywords here.

Seeing As You’re Here…

Right, you’ve made it. Congratulations. You’re now ready to get out there, ratchet up that Quality Score, and reap the rewards that go along with it.

However, if it sounds too much like hard work, we can help.

Simple, faster, more effective online advertising is what we do here at Adzooma.

Whether you need to get your business online with a done-for-you service, or take a free health check that will sniff out how well your PPC campaigns are performing, we’ve got you covered.

Our Adzooma PRO service will make suggestions that will improve your Quality Score and ensure you avoid the traps many people fall into when advertising online.

Either way, you are now well placed to advertise your business successfully for the least amount of money possible.

 

Author:
John Severn
I studied law and taught English to rowdy secondary school kids. Having produced content for companies big and small, I’ve found a brilliant home with Adzooma. When away from the writer’s desk, I can be found gaming, having a quiet pint or catching up with the baseball or ice hockey. If we meet, don’t ask me about books, music or film: I’ll bore you to tears.