5 Ways to Improve Your Google AdWords Quality Score

— June 28, 2017

If you’re running Google AdWords ads and they’re getting pushed down in the search engine results pages (SERPs), that’s because your Quality Score is too low.

The good news is that you can make some changes to improve your score.

In this article will offer several tips that you can follow to bump up your Quality Score and give your ad a better position in the search results.

What Is the Quality Score?

So what, exactly, is the Quality Score?

In a nutshell, it’s a measurement of the quality of your ad as it relates to user experience. It’s defined as a number from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best.

It also determines where your ad gets placed. If your Quality Score is higher than the score of your closest competitor, then your ad will appear higher in the SERPs.

Factors That Affect the Quality Score

There are three factors that affect the Quality Score.

  • Expected click-through rate (CTR) – Remember, Google makes money off of your ads. That’s why the company pushes the ads that are most likely to get clicks towards the top of the SERPs. Google uses a historical analysis to calculate a prediction about your ads CTR.
  • Ad Relevance – Your ad should be relevant to the keywords you select. In fact it’s ideal if the exact search term you use appears in the ad copy.
  • Landing Page Experience – Your landing page should match both the ad and the keyword you’re using. Also, the page should load quickly and look great on all platforms, especially mobile devices.

Now that you know a little bit about what factors influence the Quality Score, let’s look at some ways that you can improve your own score.

  1. Use Small Ad Groups

One of the best ways to boost your Quality Score is to use small ad groups.

It’s unfortunate that Google recommends 15-20 keywords per ad group. That’s usually too many to make the ad relevant to all the keywords.

For example, if you’re offering chimney cleaning services, you might like the keyword “chimney cleaning services.” However, a little bit of keyword research might inform you that “clean my chimney” is also a great keyword to use.

But it’s not likely you’re going to run an ad that includes the phrase “chimney cleaning services” and “clean my chimney.”

That’s why some people recommend having only one keyword per ad group. Now that is a little extreme on the other end…

But if you have tightly themed keywords and ads, you’ll almost certainly bump up your Quality Score.

  1. Use Negative Keywords

It’s a shame that more digital marketing agencies don’t use negative keywords. They can also help with your quality score. Many times, these companies get paid based on how much you spend, so you need to watch that.

Negative keywords are words that you put in your ad group or campaign that you want Google to ignore. People who use those words in their search terms won’t see your ad.

How do they help with the Quality Score? Because they can help you improve the CTR for the ad.

Remember, part of the calculation that’s used to determine your Quality Score is the anticipated CTR. If you have a low CTR because lots of people who aren’t in your target market are seeing your ads, then your score will suffer.

One of the best ways to keep the “wrong” people from seeing your ad is with negative keywords.

  1. Use Expanded Text Ads

Another way to kick up your Quality Score is by using expanded text ads.

That’s because they allow you to run ads that are 50% longer than the “normal” AdWords ads. The extra available space can be used for longtail keywords.

Remember, it’s a great idea to make your ad as relevant as possible to the keyword. That’s hard to do with longtail keywords if you’re not using expanded text ads.

  1. Don’t Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion

You might think the idea of dynamic keyword insertion is really cool, but it can hurt your Quality Score.

If you haven’t heard of it, dynamic keyword insertion enables you to plug the user’s exact search term into your ad copy. That kind of strategy won’t help your score and might hurt it.

The reality is that if you’re using small-keyword ad groups, you don’t even need dynamic keyword insertion.

It can also lead to unpredictable results with irrelevant messaging and misspellings. Sometimes those ads don’t appear as well-written as you like.

  1. Improve Your Landing Page

The next thing to do to improve your Quality Score is to improve your landing page.

First, run it through Google Page Speed Insights and the Google Mobile-Friendly test. If you get low scores in either of those tests, contact your development team to improve your site.

Next, make sure that your landing page is relevant to both your ad and your keyword. If you’re using single-keyword ad groups, it’s a good idea to have one landing page per ad group.

Finally, make sure that the landing page reflects the offer in the ad. There’s nothing that will annoy potential customers more than visiting a web page that doesn’t live up to the promise of the ad that brought them there.

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Author: John Lincoln

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