The importance of quality score and how to improve it
With many metrics to follow and understand when running a PPC campaign, some can be missed or undervalued. One of the most common of these is PPC quality score.
What is quality score?
Quality score is a score rated from 1-10 (worst to best) on PPC keywords. It is a measure of how well your overall ad quality compares to other advertisers. Once keywords have been running for some time and gathered data, Google assigns them a score. A better score is an incentive as you can be rewarded with cheaper CPCs, higher rankings, and more ad extensions visible.
How do I improve my quality score?
Quality score is comprised of 3 factors: landing page experience, ad relevance and expected CTR. Each one of these is graded below average, average or above average and all work towards your quality score out of 10.
Let’s take a look into each of these areas and how to improve each one.
Landing Page Experience
An important one that might require some web input, landing page experience is extremely important for user experience and thus, plays a factor in your PPC campaigns. Even though PPC’s main role is to get users to a site, the landing page we send them adds to the overall experience and is ultimately where users will convert. If users are reaching a landing page with little or no relevance to their search query or ad they clicked on, these will be penalised.
How can I improve my landing page experience?
To improve the user’s landing page experience, look at your keywords and check if those are visible on the landing page. A good user experience would see them search for their query, click on an ad saying the query, and land on a landing page also showing that keyword and information on what they searched.
You could also consider testing a different landing page. Are you sending users to the homepage when there’s a better category or product page that better serves the query? You can run A/B tests to review if this helps improve quality scores.
Literally what it says on the tin. Is the ad you’re showing someone reflecting what they’ve searched? Have you got the keyword visible in the headline and description? If not, it’s likely your ad relevance score is lower.
Check the keywords in your ad group and check you have copy covering them in your ads. Google’s responsive search ads offer space for 15 headlines and 4 description lines so there is plenty of room for keyword coverage. If you’re still stuck with how to improve your ads, check the Google recommendation tab in the Google Ads interface, there are often recommendations to improve ads, but make sure you sense-check the copy before applying!
Expected CTR can be one of the hardest factors to improve easily. The expected CTR is an estimation from Google on the rate at which viewers will click on your ads. More than the other components of quality score expected CTR looks at historic performance to predict future trends. A good CTR can be understood based on industry trends. On average CTR across all industries is 5.06% for search with the highest being in travel at 7.83%.
To improve your expected CTR, and like ad relevance, try using more relevant and precise keywords in your copy to improve CTR. Using broad match type can make this harder as it will use a wider variety of search terms which might not exactly match the search query so maybe consider using exact or phrase instead, or running more regular search query reports to negate out irrelevant terms. On the same note, it could be worth looking at how many keywords you have in your ad group. If you have 50+ keywords in one ad group, it’s unlikely your copy is directly reflecting all of them that could impact your CTR, try opting for ad groups of 3-20 keywords instead.
It’s also worth reviewing your ad extensions as these can result in a higher CTR. Sitelinks for example not only offer users more options and information but they help take up greater real estate on the search engine, ultimately pushing competition down, and thus, improving your CTR.
All metrics are compared over the last 90 days and Google offers the ability to see historical data on each 3 of the components of quality score so you can see how your changes have improved overall performance. If you’re looking for help improving your PPC campaigns then get in touch with our team today!