If you are running PPC ads on Google, then you need to know about what the Quality Score of your ads represents. Some people say that it tells you how good your ad is performing, but this is incorrect. It’s actually a metric running from 1 to 10 (high) that measures how relevant your PPC campaign is to people who search for your keywords. The actual score is calculated several times a day, but Google displays an estimate to AdWords users in their profile.
Having a high quality score gives you several advantages. From Google’s webpage on it:
• Ad auction eligibility: Higher Quality Scores make it easier and cheaper for a keyword to enter the ad auction.
• Your keyword's actual cost-per-click (CPC): Higher Quality Scores lead to lower CPCs. That means you pay less per click when your keyword has a higher Quality Score.
• Your keyword's first page bid estimate: Higher Quality Scores lead to lower first page bid estimates. That means it's easier for your ad to show on the first page of search results when your keyword has a higher Quality Score.
• Your keyword's top of page bid estimate: Higher Quality Scores lead to lower top of page bid estimates. That means it's easier for your ad to show towards the top of the page when your keyword has a higher Quality Score.
• Ad position: Higher Quality Scores lead to higher ad positions. That means your ad can show up higher on the page when your keyword has a higher Quality Score.
In short, a higher Quality Score leads to cheaper ad prices and better placement over time. Google wants people to click on ads. If you have a good track record of making persuasive and relevant ads that get clicks, Google rewards you with a higher score. A higher score can lead to a higher ROI, though it is not the main determinant of a good ROI through AdWords.
Some companies say that Quality Score is a weak metric at best. From one perspective they’re correct. A high Quality Score means that you’re making (or your campaign has the potential to make) Google a profit. Just because you’re able to bid much less for an ad doesn’t mean that you’ll end up with a positive ROI. A 500% ROI on an ad campaign that gets a handful of conversions isn’t as good in the long run as a campaign making 150% ROI and getting far more conversions. Quality Scores can also fluctuate wildly over the course of the day. Worrying excessively about your Quality Score is unnecessary. Look to your click through rate (CTR) and bounce rates instead.
There is one very important exception. If your Quality Score is 2 or less, that means that Google has a very big problem with your ad campaign. A history of having low Quality Scores will make it much harder to get a decent price for AdWords advertisements. If you are in this situation, contact us and we’ll help you set up a plan to pull yourself out of this trap.
The things that lead to a higher CTR also lead to a higher Quality Score. Well-crafted landing pages, ad segmentation, and clear calls to action in the ad all will boost ad response, leading to a boost in Quality Scores.