When you are first introduced to AdWords, it can seem like some kind of new language, like a Shakespearean English you sort of understand it, but many of the nuances are lost.
When delving into the world of AdWords, you will have heard much ado about ‘Quality Score’, and for good reason. This much ado is not about nothing; a high Quality Score provides many benefits when it comes the performance of your ads, keywords, and account overall. So it’s worthwhile translating Google AdWords terminology to improve your understanding in this key area.
Think of your Quality Score like a play review. The review gives an overall rating of the entire performance, but just as the performance of each actor on stage adds or detracts to the whole audience experience, each component of your AdWords campaign(s) contributes to your score.
How Quality Score Affects Your AdWords Performance
So what does a high quality score indicate?? Here are seven key areas it effects:
- Lower CPC
- Higher Ad Rank
- Increased Clickthrough
- Top Ad Positions
- More Traffic
- Location and Product Extensions
- Dynamic Keyword Insertion
High Quality Score = Lower CPC
The most immediate result you will see from a high Quality Score is a lower CPC. CPC is calculated by taking the Ad Rank of the advertiser below you and dividing it by your Quality Score, plus 1 cent. A high Quality Score of 10 can get you a discount of as much as 30%, while a low Quality Score of 1 can increase your CPC by 400%.
High Quality Score = Higher Ad Rank
Google combines your Quality Score and your CPC bid amount to determine your Ad Rank; therefore, a higher Quality Score leads to a higher Ad Rank. Ad Rank takes a leading role when it comes to determining how prominently your ads are shown on the search engine results page (SERP). With a high Quality Score, you can bid lower than your competitors and still place your ad on page one of the SERP.
High Quality Score = Increased Clickthrough
A high clickthrough rate (CTR) will improve your Quality Score but it goes both ways.
Google checks into the historical CTR of your ad campaigns to see if you are delivering relevant ads to searchers. A good CTR indicates that you are providing relevant ads, which increases your Quality score. A high Quality Score can increase your CTR by displaying your ads more often and more prominently. However, quite often it is tempting to start with bids that are too low, which can also result in a low CTR.
In this case, your Quality Score acts as a mentor by telling you something needs to be improved in your ad, and keep in mind that it might be a low bid that is bringing down both CTR and Quality Score.
High Quality Score = Top Ad Positions
Does it seem like no matter how much you bid on CPC you just can’t get your ads to be seen as rise to the top of the SERP, above the organic results. That’s because your Quality Score sucks. No matter how much makeup you put on a bad performance, or how much money you pour into the props, if the quality of acting is bad, the performance will flop.
Quality earns attention. On the Google stage, the position your ad earns determines whether it will be shown at the top of the SERP, Google likes to reward campaigns with a high Quality Score by giving these ads top billing.
But to get to the top, you need to work on getting a top Quality Score. In this case, improving your Quality Score is the only way to get there.
High Quality Score = More Traffic
It stands to reason that the most relevant ads will connect with more search queries, which means more views and more clicks, which all lead to more traffic.
You can’t expect people to show up if they don’t know you exist, so start by working that Quality Score. A high Quality Score earns more traffic by reducing the average CPC, which in turn provides more traffic for the same budget, since Google will show your ad until your budget limit has been reached.
High Quality Score = Location and Product Extensions
Location extensions are hugely valuable in helping searchers by showing searchers an address, map, telephone number or even directions to your company. For people searching with a mobile device this is an incredibly useful service: one click to call, or one click for directions makes it easy for a searcher to become a customer.
But, just like sitelinks, in order for these extensions to show, your Ad Rank is an important factor, and the best way to increase Ad Rank is by working on your Quality Score.
High Quality Score = Dynamic Keyword Insertion
Dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) is an amazing advanced AdWords feature that allows you to customize your ads to the searcher’s query. It means the ad will automatically be customized to the searcher’s query by inserting the most relevant keyword from the keywords in your adgroup. But - DKI is a feature that has to be earned. And yup - you guessed it, a higher Quality Score is needed to qualify for this feature.
And, as an added bonus, a final benefit of Quality Score is as a continual learning tool. When AdWords makes changes to the rules, it may affect your Quality Score, which makes you investigate, improve and update your AdWords knowledge.
The Components of Quality Score in Adwords
While there is no magic formula to a highly successful AdWords campaign, there are several components that are essential to the performance of your ads, and they all add up to your Quality Score.
The first step to take your AdWords ads from snappy headlines to an ad with substance is to understand the various elements that Google will take into account when rating your Quality Score. These include:
- Account-Level Quality Score
- Ad Group Quality Score
- Keyword-Level Quality Score
- Ad-Level Quality Score
- Landing Page Quality Score
- Display Network Quality Score
- Mobile Quality Score
There are more to details to an AdWords campaign than you see at first glance. And while all of these elements play a role in your Quality Score, just like actors on a stage, when it comes time to tweak your ads, you need to understand what you must fix to bring the whole performance to a standing ovation.