Ad ranks are determined by Google through the ad auction process. The ad with highest ad rank gets the first position, and the one with second highest ad rank gets second position and so on.This action process reoccurs every time someone does a search that triggers an ad that competes in an auction.
Metrics that are included in ad rank calculations are: bid and overall quality score (expected CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience). In this post, I am going to discuss its importance and how to improve it occasionally.
Benefits of Higher Quality Score
Rated on a scale of 1 to 10 for each keyword in the account, overall quality score indicates if your ads meet the expectations of users. Any score greater than 7 is considered as a high quality score. Here is a well-known fact among PPC advertisers is higher quality score reduces your acquisition cost through Google ads. Check again an ad rank equation: mathematically, if one multiple variable, quality score, increases, the other ,bid, will decrease. Let’s take the data from 2013 presented on Wordstream blog last year.
According to the chart above, we can clearly see the increase of Quality Score from 5 to 7 reduced your CPC by 28.6% and CPA by 48%. On the other hand, decrease in Quality Score from 5 to 4 causes 25% and 16% drops in CPC and CPA, respectively. Also, average drop ratio in CPC is more higher than increase ratio in CPC by quality score changes.
Quality Score Factors:
There are 3 main factors announced by Google:
-Landing Page Experience
All these factors are related to each other, once you improve one, the others will be developed as well. I listed below some actions that you can apply quickly.
For Better Ad Relevance & Expected CTR:
-Test different ads: includes keywords in headlines,description and display url
-Try to structure your ad groups in order to each of them target very related keywords. It also affects your expected CTR.
-Check search term query for every ad group. Eliminate unrelated searches by adding them into a negative keyword list. Or if there is a promising but unrelated search, you can test it in a different ad group(by creating a relevant ad, landing page).
-Use attractive ad extensions, possibly related to your ad -something your user also may want to search.-
For Better Landing Page Experience:
Improvement of landing pages is not something only PPC advertisers can solve by themselves. It requires extra effort from UX, content and SEO departments. The criterias Google considers as a proof of good landing page are:
-Make sure your landing page is directly relevant to your ad text and keyword, include keywords and in the landing page.
-Explain transparently and clearlet why your product/business is there for your user.
-Make mobile and computer navigation easy.
-Check regularly the time it takes to load your site and page. Generally, Slow sites start to load in over 2.5 seconds, and the general assumption is more than 50% users left the page if loading time lasts more than 3 second. You can see it on https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/. For mobile test speed https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/feature/testmysite/ is also a good option.
-If you have very high bounce rates consistently, you may want to analyse the landing page through user perspective.
Monitoring Quality Scores
You can see the columns of Quality Score, Landing Page Experiment, Ad Relevance and Expected CTR as columns on the keyword dashboard in Google Ads. Don’t forget you can’t use those columns on ad group or campaign levels in Google Ads. However, you can see an average of the keyword quality scores in each ad group.
As another option, you can create a script on Google Ads in order to track your overall quality score day by day. You can find hundreds of codes to help you to create the script by googling it. Thus, you are able to measure changes in your quality scores on account, campaign or ad group level.
Quality Score is important in order to have a healthy ad account. Yet, higher hig quality scores don’t always equal a high performing campaign. Your KPI’s usually are CPA, ROI or Profit. There will be some keywords with low Quality Scores, but high CPL or CR. So quality score is a helpful tool for reaching your goal. It is always good to keep an eye on the quality score and to not let it drop. But there is no need for being obsessed about it.