What’s your first reaction when I say “Quality Score”?

If you’re already Quality Score savvy, you may have considered it the arrival of a long lost friend. Or maybe it’s one you wished had stayed lost. For others, Quality Score is still something of an enigma.

Whatever your current knowledge (or opinion) is of Quality Score, we’re going to put it under the microscope and dissect its parts.

A common myth is there is only one type of Quality Score. There are in fact a few, which include:

  • Account Quality Score
  • Search Campaign Quality Score
  • Content Campaign Quality Score
  • Landing Page Quality Score
  • Ad Group Quality Score
  • Ad Text Quality Score
  • Keyword Quality Score

In this series, we’ll be focusing on Keyword Quality Score, which is currently the only score you can view inside your AdWords account.

If you know how to work with it Quality Score can be one of your best competitive advantages. It’s also one of the most cost-effective optimization methods since it doesn’t require you to spend more (in fact it could reduce your costs!). There are not many methods of significantly improving your PPC campaigns without throwing more dollars at them. So read on!

What is Quality Score?

Google defines Quality Score as “a dynamic variable assigned to each of your keywords. It’s calculated using a variety of factors and measures how relevant your keyword is to your ad text and to a user’s search query. The higher a keyword’s Quality Score, the lower its minimum bid and the better its ad position.”

In simple terms, it’s a rating of how “good” a keyword is based on a set of criteria.

What’s Quality Score Used For?

With relevancy being Google’s middle name, it’s not surprising that Quality Score is designed to provide a better experience to users by displaying more relevant search results.

For users, Quality Score is another way of making sure relevant and topical ads are presented.

As advertisers, Quality Score is used to determine three things:

  1. Your minimum CPC bid
  2. Keyword status/whether your ad runs or not
  3. Your ad’s ranking position

I’m sure you’ll agree these are all pretty important to your campaigns!

Why you should take the time to learn about Quality Score

Is Quality Score something you need to worry about? Well consider that a poor Quality Score means higher bid prices, less ad impressions and lower positions when the ad is displayed. It’s hard to put a positive spin on any of that!

A higher Quality Score lowers your minimum bid prices and raises your ad rankings. Conversions and more importantly ROI, are both improved by a higher Quality Score.

The example below shows how Quality Score can affect your minimum bid cost and ad position, rather than the CPC determining everything else.

Advertiser Comparison.

It’s a competitive and sometimes crowded market place, so no matter what business you’re in, any advantage is great right? Right.

When they introduced Quality Score, Google leveled the playing field somewhat. Ad ranking is no longer about how much money you can throw at your campaign. Smarter, better campaigns are rewarded which enables SMEs to compete in the same space with the “big boys”. Sound good to you? It should!

Where do I find my Quality Score?

To find out what your Quality Scores are, just log-in to your Google Adwords account, then view your keyword listings. From the “show/hide” columns drop-down, select “Show Quality Score” and a new column will be added after keywords showing a score of Poor, OK or Great.

Advertiser Comparison.

Advertiser Comparison.

Advertiser Comparison.

How is Quality Score calculated?

Keyword Quality Score has many contributing factors based on both relevancy and performance. It’s a dynamic variable which is dependent on other dynamic variables including:

  1. Click through rate (excluding Content Network)
  2. Relevancy of keywords and ad copy
  3. Landing page/web site quality and relevancy*
  4. Your Account’s Historical performance (based on CTR across all keywords and ads)
  5. Other Relevancy Factors

* Quality Score for keyword minimum CPC differs from the Quality Score used to determine ad ranking. Most factors are the same, however Landing Page Quality is not used in ad ranking Quality Score.

Advertiser Comparison.

We can only take a stab at the “other relevancy factors” – IP targeting, geo-targeting, demographic targeting, ad scheduling could be influencers. A Google Engineer once said “There are over 100 factors that can affect Quality Score. However, not all will be triggered depending on the conditions involved”.

Over the next 4 weeks we’ll be delving deeper into Quality Score, focusing on variables 1-4. These are the ones we have some control over.

So check back for our series of weekly articles on:

  • Raise Your Click Through Rates for Better Quality Score
  • Keyword & Ad Relevancy – How They Boost Your Quality Score
  • Achieve Higher Quality Score with Better Landing Page Quality
  • Indirect Quality Score Influences – Do You Know Them?

If you haven’t yet gotten to know your Quality Scores, log-in to your account now and display your Quality Score column. Are yours Poor, OK or Great?

Great Quality Score is your key to more effective and profitable campaigns with lower bid costs.