As defined by Google, your Quality Score (QS) is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages. It does what is says on the tin.

Your QS is calculated on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being ‘something is very wrong’ and 10 being ‘give yourself a pat on the back, you’re amazing’. So, the higher the better, but generally speaking anything above 7 is considered strong.

Why should I care about my Quality Score?

QS is essentially Google’s way of looking out for its users; Google wants the user journey to be as smooth and relevant as possible, and will therefore reward those who adhere to and comply with its rules.

So, why should you care about Google’s opinion of you?

It’s simple really; a higher QS can lead to a lower cost per click (CPC), as well as improved ad position.In turn, this will lead to you being able to drive more clicks at a lower cost, bringing down your cost per acquisition (CPA), and pushing up your return on investment (ROI).

Put plainly, a higher QS means more cost-effective campaigns.

How do I find out my Quality Score?

Go to the keyword tab in the AdWords interface, and add the column very appropriately titled ‘Qual. Score’. You’ll then be able to see the quality score for all of your keywords.

It’s worth noting that there will be only be a QS if there is enough data for Google to work with. Otherwise, the QS column will show as blank.

5 Simple Ways to Boost Your AdWords Quality Score

Essentially, improving your QS is all about increasing relevancy. Relevancy, relevancy, relevancy!

Google wants to make the user journey from search query, to click, to landing page as smooth as possible. Help them to do that and you’ll be amply rewarded.

1. Improve the relevancy of your ad

If you’re selling glitter birthday cards, your ad needs to shout about this. When a user searches for ‘pink glittery birthday cards’, that’s what they want, so be sure to include this keyword in the headline. For instance, ‘Pink Glittery Birthday Cards – Free UK Delivery’.

This is going to give you a higher click through rate than a more generic (and less relevant) ad such as, ‘Greetings Cards – A Card For Every Occasion’.

2. Improve the relevancy of your landing pages

Does your landing page show your keyword loud and clear, so when the user clicks through, they know they’re in the right place?

Failure to achieve this can result in people flicking back to the search results page and converting with a competitor. Google research shows opinions are formed within 50ms, on average.

For instance, ‘Pink Glittery Birthday Cards – Free UK Delivery’ will ideally land on a page titled ‘Glittery Birthday Cards’, displaying a range of colours, including the user’s desired pink.

3. Make sure your landing pages are user friendly

Does your page take 5 hours to load? Is it cluttered and unclear? You’ve got somewhere between 5-8 seconds to capture a user’s attention before they leave and potentially go elsewhere.

This approach is leaning towards conversion optimisation. If you’re interested in improving landing page quality get in touch, or get stuck into our conversion optimisation content here...

4. Make your ad copy compelling

Following on from number 1, what is your expected CTR? Google will predict this based on your ad relevance, and judge it for each keyword as below average, average, or above average.

Average and above average indicate there are no major issues, but if you’re seeing below average then you may want to consider updating your copy.

So, you’ve made sure your keyword is in your headline 1 or 2, but how appealing is the rest of your ad? Are people going to want to click on it?

Make sure to include any offers, promo codes, or USPs in the copy that will make you stand out and make your ad more clickable, based on your audience.

‘Pink Glittery Birthday Cards – Free UK Delivery’

‘Pink Glittery Birthday Cards – Order Today For 20% Off’

‘Pink Glittery Birthday Cards – UK’s Leading Glitter Supplier’

Adding negative keywords will also help to improve your expected CTR, as they enable you to filter out unwanted searches and traffic.

For example, for the campaign above we would negative any surrounding terms such as ‘playing cards’, ‘cards against humanity’, ‘face glitter’, ‘hair glitter’, etc…

5. Be consistent, and good...

Finally, historical account performance will help to boost your QS. For new accounts this isn’t really applicable, but it’s still important.

It pays off to start your campaigns in the best shape possible (following the advice above), so that as time passes and Google gathers more data about your account, they’ll see how wonderful and relevant your campaigns are, and reward you.

Essentially, your QS should improve over time, whether your account is brand new or years old, as long as you’re following the steps above.

If you have any questions regarding your quality score - or AdWords implementation generally - please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll happily give your account a free health check, just to make sure your ads are performing as well as they can.