What is quality score and why does it matter for a PPC advertising strategy?

Top search engines like google have a certain methodology to display or rank your website at the top spot within the search engine result page. The written rule of PPC is that for a particular keyword your website will be displayed based on the amount the advertiser is willing to pay for the clicks.

There is a real estate crunch at the top (within the SERP) due to lot of advertisers vying for the top spot and for the same top keywords. Example – Digital marketing is a top keyword for institutes who want to sell digital marketing courses and for agencies who would like to attract potential customers who would like to promote their product or service online.

So, what is Quality Score?

It is Google’s measure of how relevant a keyword is based on the many auctions it is involved or participated. So, based on bidding and auctions of the keyword it is scored accordingly and this info is provided to the advertiser and can be seen with in the advertiser’s account. Quality score column (Shown below) within the advertiser’s account will provide the quality of the keyword based on a score between 1 to 10 10 being the highest. However, it is not used to rank ads but meant to provide a useful insight around the keywords.

The below table is taken from one of the blogs of SEJ

What is the purpose of Quality Score?

The primary reason Google has a Quality score for keywords is to make sure users have the most relevant ads being displayed when they search for anything using google search engine. A major chunk of Google’s revenue is through advertising, so making sure users find relevant/attractive ads for them to click is an important factor for Google to make money. Quality score is a measure of the probability of people clicking the ads for a keyword – the better the score it is more likely that people will click your adv for a specific keyword.

Take the example of user’s searching for a product and non-relevant ads or low-quality ads appear in the search result page. This not only going to impact the revenue of google but also turn way the customers/advertisers to other sources. So, it is important to use relevant keywords within your ads so that it appears within the top rankings of the SERPs.

How does Ads get ranked?

Once the top keywords (Keywords which are likely to be searched by the users) are identified, these keywords get into an ad auction. Now this a timed (Seconds) auction where Google evaluates how much is each one is bidding, how relevant are the quality scores etc. After this process a rank is automatically assigned to the ads which determines whether your ads will fall in the first page of search engine result page or the second page.

So, it’s obvious that an advertiser will benefit if he falls in the top position of SERP as there is greater chance of getting clicks and generate more lead which will translate into more sales.

How to improve Quality score?

You can improve Quality score by improving the relevance of your keywords, ads, and landing pages.

The three sub components of QS need to be looked at to improve the QS:

  • ECTR or Expected click-through rate
  • Ad – relevance
  • Landing page experience

The value for each component will be based on the below parameters upon which you can judge the Quality score, which can further help you optimize your ads:

  • Below Average
  • Average
  • Above Average

Expected click through rate:

Don’t get confused with the actual CTR or click through rate which you see in many of the reports or ad tools. This measure gives an indication of how many clicks you may receive for your ad when the search keyword is an exact match with your keyword. This will be a number, if it’s low make sure your content or advertisement is relevant to the chosen keyword.

The more relevant keyword in your advertisement the more good it is for your CTR. Consider an example of a store which sells top quality Fish Food. Now this keyword has Fish and Food, someone searching to buy fish can also land up on your website however they are not looking or would to consider your service. This may negatively impact your CTR and it makes sense to add more relevant keywords to your advertisement.

You must write a compelling ad around your keyword in order  or include a stronger call to action or have a unique value proposition to have improve your CTR.

Ad Relevance

This score is a measure of how relevant your ad is to the auctioned keyword. At times you may delve too many broad topics may cause this score to go down.

For example, if you are into the business of selling used car, then keywords like second hand car and sell my car and registration of cars may be relevant, however if they are all in same ad group and share the same ad text, some relevance is bound to be lost.

If you have plans to build a separate set of ad group make sure you have relevant set of keywords grouped together within each of these ad group. Say in the above case registration of cars can be in a separate ad group

Landing Page Experience

If this score is low make sure your content or ad is relevant to what users have searched for. The user must have landed on your site with a specific objective, so make sure your page is able to deliver what it has promised.

This is the page where the user lands when they click on the ad link from any of the search engines, make sure the page loads fast and you direct the user to the relevant landing page and not to the home page.

The landing page must be compatible in both mobile and desktop devices and as always it is important to note that linking to a specific landing page is always better than directing the user to a home page.

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