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Spooktacular – What is your Quality Score?

Oct 13, 2017 8:00:00 AM / by Adam Ross

Happy Friday the 13th to all of you AdWord Managers out there! Not to add another thing to worry about to your list this Friday, but do you know what your quality score is currently? If that’s a new buzzword, then you should be worried about all of the money you could be wasting in your account due to a poor quality score. By managing your AdWords account around quality score, you can see lower CPC’s, higher click volume, and potentially higher conversion volume. To help you out with your AdWords management, we’ve broken down the main quality score factors here below to avoid any mistakes on this spooky day.

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1. What is Quality Score (QS) and why is it important?

Quality Score is a score given to each of your keywords ranging from 1-10. There is such thing as a Null Quality Score, which is when AdWords doesn’t have enough information to attribute a rating. This normally occurs on a new campaign, or a keyword with low search volume. For clarity sake, a score of a 10 is good where a score of a 1 is poor.

The higher your QS , the more savings you’ll receive on your CPC’s. On the flip side, the lower your QS, the higher your CPC’s. Think of it this way: if your ad is a really strong, Google will lower your CPC’s because they know their users will be pleased with the result. If your ad is really poor, they increase your CPC’s because they know users are not going to be as pleased with the result. Google still wants money, so they’ll increase the CPC’s high enough to counter the poor result and consider it a wash.

This is skewed however, very heavily in favor of the poor Quality Score. Meaning, you can see a 300%+ increase on CPC’s with a 1/10 quality score! However, if you get a 10/10 Quality Score, you may only see a 50% savings – not fair, right?

There is a really pivotal portion in the quality score where you can break even. I’ve seen this number range anywhere from 5 to 7, and since we hold ourselves to a high standard, our key position is 7/10. This number is when you see a neutral CPC – not an increased CPC, nor a decreased CPC. Keep that in mind as we move forward analyzing the scores in an account.

2. How do I find my Quality Score?

Google has finally made this much easier than the past. They have always produced Quality Score numbers under the keyword tab, but they’ve recently started to include the breakdown of where your QS needs improvements.

To find this, go to the account and make sure your Campaigns, Ad Groups, and Keywords are set to the “All Enabled” view.

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Once that’s complete, change your columns to show the QS items.

 Google-AdWords-Quality-Score-Tabs.png

This will show you all of your keywords with the appended QS, Ad Relevance, Landing Page Exp., and Exp. CTR. We’ll chat about these in step (4).

3. How can I analyze my Quality Score?

Now that you have your columns set, it’s time to export this data. Scroll up, and click the download icon. It’ll pop up with a note to Download, and then you can select your format. Once completed, you can open up the data in an excel sheet.

Export-Data-on-Adwords.png

Once you’ve exported everything, it’s time to situate the data. We have a custom tool here broken out that isn’t too complex, but it will count the number of QS scores for each rank, place it into a graph and color code the values. It will also count your QS factors for “Above Average, Average, or Below Average” and chart that out in another graph. This is all just to save time – but you can do everything manually as well.

  Analyze-Data-on-Adwords.png

4. How can I improve my Quality Score?

Great, now that you’ve exported the data and placed it into some graphs, it’s time to analyze! All of the steps prior to this has been setting up for this part here. What’s data good for if you don’t know how to fix what’s wrong? I hinted to this earlier, but there are three main factors under QS: Ad relevance, Landing Page Exp., and Expected CTR.     

  • Ad Relevance: This describes how well your keyword matches the messaging from your ads. If you’re an advertiser for a car dealership, does it make much sense to be showing a keyword for shoes? Does your message for $500 off make sense? Probably not. This also will take into consideration account structure and how your keywords & ad groups are laid out with ad copy. If you have a poor status here, look at the organization, ad copy, messaging, and keyword relevance to who you are.
  • Landing Page Experience: This field generally looks at how your landing page is for a user. Does it load fast? How is the navigation on desktop versus mobile? Is the content original or duped?  Is your website transparent and foster a sense of trustworthiness? All of those are important. Some tips here is to make sure you’re taking users to the best landing page option possible. If you’re selling a specific product, take them to a page all about that product. If they’re looking for more general information, take them to a general page to find their way.
  • Expected CTR: This looks at how likely your ad will get clicked on based on a few factors like positioning, ad extensions and other formats to the ad. So they have a benchmark per position, and let you know if you’re above or below that benchmark. To improve this field, check out your ad copy and see if there’s a version not performing that well, look at negative keyword additions, and see how your partner network is performing – anything circling around improving CTR.

Most accounts here at AdVision are built around Ad Relevance through the SKAG approach (Single Keyword Ad Group). We normally see very high Ad Relevance scores and allows us to focus primarily on landing page experience and expected CTR with our AdWords management.

In the case above in step (3), this account needs some help on Expected CTR. So we’ve been going into the account and ironing out all of the different ways to improve this field. Over the next 60-90 days, we’ll reanalyze the QS and make sure it’s moving in a positive direction.

All-in-all, Quality Score is huge for anyone running Paid Search through Google. By improving your AdWords management skills around QS, you can see lower CPC’s, higher click volume, higher conversion numbers, lower cost-per-lead, and higher Impression Share values.

Hopefully you’re not too scared to leave the house this Friday the 13th, but if you are, might as well export your account and see where you fall or reach out to us

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