Quality Score: How To Check, Monitor & Optimize? | Article – HSBC VisionGo

We will try to cover each and every point related to the quality score to let you understand the concept more thoroughly and specifically.

Marketing  ·    ·  11 mins read

Now that you are here, we know that you have recently started using Google Ads and have come across the term “Quality Score”. (If you never come into contact with Google Ads at all, then I am afraid this article is less befitting for you, perhaps you can start by reading my other articles.) If you wish to understand the concept more thoroughly and specifically, there’s no need to worry as you are in the right place. We will try to cover each and every point related to the quality score in this blog post.

SEM is a form of a paid marketing campaign where you can pay for your ads to appear at the top of the search engine results. Now, what’s the problem? The biggest problem is that a lot of your competitors are advertising, and they all would likely love to appear at the top. So how does Google decide the Ranking? Ad Rank = CPC Bidding + Quality Score. I won’t spare time to explain CPC Bidding here as I assume you guys show know what it is if you have tried Google Ads before. I will spend time on explaining What Quality Score is.

What is Quality Score?

In theoretical terms, we could say that Quality Score is a grading system equipped by Google in order to determine whether your ad is eligible to be shown in the sponsored place and decides it’s position as well. Google assigns a quality score to EACH keyword in your Google Ads campaign.

As mentioned above, the ranking is not entirely dependent on your Quality Score, the other factor influencing your ranking is your CPC Bidding (Cost per click Bidding).  (This is a popular example I like to use in my class: If you are a pretty girl with 10 admirers courting you simultaneously, you will grade them (based on their appearance, inner qualities, knowledge or even height) whether you are willing to admit them or not, then construct your priority list according to the grade you assigned them of. ( However this priority list is not equivalent to your list of acceptance right? Of course not, the depth of his pocket is the determining factor in real life…..)

Even if you are well-endowed with the full-package deal, girls are less likely to accept you if the depth of your pocket is too shallow; yet if your Quality Score is overly-underachieving , then you won’t get in the Waiting List regardless of how deep your pocket is…….. 

Too much crap? Okay, Okay! Let me put it in a so-called academic way.

 

True Definition of Quality Score

If bidding is the only relevant factor, then the entire search engine industry would be extremely undermining and abominable. Imagine if large and powerful companies continuously buy in less-pricey and less competitive keywords with zero relevance to their companies, all for the sake of increasing their traffic. Just imagine how bad the customer review or experience will be if the client is searching for ways to unclog drains and a bank loan ad pops up…..Hence in order to avoid such ill-natured practices, Google takes various factors into consideration while deciding the position your advertisement would hold and the amount you would be paying for a single click. It uses a ranking factor called “Quality Score” in order to determine the ranking. Your ad’s quality score for various keywords depends on three main  factors, namely Expected CTR, landing page’s experience, your ad’s relevance.

 

Why it is important?

Please bear this formula in mind: Ad Rank= CPC Bid x Quality Score. If you are not so weak in Maths, you can understand that with Better Quality Score, you can have lower CPC bid to achieve same Ad Rank. In short, Quality Score could help to lower your average CPC.

Did you know that ads with a quality score ranging from 8 to 10 are provided with a discount of about 37% – 50% on their cost per clicks whereas the ads with a quality score ranging from 4 to 6 are provided with just 16% – 25% discount? Wouldn’t you love to rank at the top and pay less? That’s a win-win situation.

 

3 Key Components Of Quality Score

These three most important key components help Google calculates the quality score of your ad for various keywords :

  • Expected Click-Through Rate (CTR) 預計點擊率
  • Ad Relevance 廣告的實用性
  • Landing Page Experience 登錄頁的體驗

There are 3 grading for each element and they are Below Average, Average and Above Average and the total score is 10. Let’s just first understand how Google calculates the Quality Score with the help of these three components.

Google uses this formula to calculate the quality score for each ad.

Quality Score = 1 + CTR Weight + Ad Relevance weight +    Landing Page Experience Weight.

Learn More if you are interested in how those Foreign SEM gurus Reverse-engineer the Quality Score factors: Here

Let’s try to understand what these three key components are.

 

Expected Clickthrough Rate

It calculates with your expected clicks divided by expected impressions. If your keyword is used to have a high CTR and your ad has been very attractive, then your Expected CTR is likely to be high.

Three Major Reasons Leading to Below Average Expected CTR:

1. Keywords Matching Issue
2. Ad Group is not tightly Themed (Too much keywords covering different things in one Ad Group)
3. Not Appealing Ad Copy

Learn More About Keywords: https://www.kickads.co/sem-keyword-matching-type/

Learn More about Better Ads: https://www.kickads.co/7-tips-to-rock-your-google-text-ads-headline/

 

Ad Relevance

Ad relevance is used to measure how closely your ad is related to your keywords. Normally if we put more keywords into ads, we are likely to have a higher Ad Relevance. This is also the easiest element for quality score to achieve ABOVE AVERAGE since we are able to control this metric by inserting keywords into our ad copy.

Learn More about How to Improve Ad Relevance (Look at Tips Part): https://www.kickads.co/7-tips-to-rock-your-google-text-ads-headline/

 

Landing Page Experience

Google checks the quality of your landing page and estimates how useful your website’s landing page would be to the people who click on your sponsored ad. You need to keep in mind that you must make your landing page attractive and to the point and use the relevant keywords in your content effectively. Also, speed and mobile-friendliness are other points to be considered.

Tool to Check your Website Speed: Here

Tool to Check your Mobile Friendliness: Here

However, with my experience, it is really difficult to find ways to significantly improve your Landing Page Experience Score unless your website really sucks, with very low speed and no mobile Friendly Version. So don’t take it really serious about their diagnosis.

It is quite often when you successfully optimize your CTR and Ad Relevance, your landing page get improvement as well. Please focus on your CTR First.

 

What is Good or Bad Quality Score?

Quality Score Rating 10: Strive for Excellence is never a mistake. However, in my opinion, I would not strive for 10 for every keyword as it is quite cost-ineffective and  unrealistic. Here is my two cents.

Score 8 – 9: Considered very good but in reality, it generally happens for Branded Keywords or very Low-competitive Keywords. However, if you obtain 8 -10 for generic keywords, that Congratulation!

Score 6 -7 : Considered Pretty Fair. I would not spend too much time working on further improvement.

Score 3 -5: Something you need to pay attention to. In most of the situations, you need to figure out how to improve. However, if it is a generic keywords at very competitive industry, Let say Beauty Salon in Hong Kong. Low Quality Score for Generic Keywords in this industry is very common. If this is the case, Optimizing those keywords should not top your priority List.

Score 1 -2: The first step is that you should consider if it is relevant to your business. If not, You can simply pause it. If it is kind of relevant, Then please spend some good effort digging out what happen to this keyword.

 

How To Check Quality Score At Google Ads Platform?

Check Quality Score (Ranges from 1-10)

You can easily check out the quality score of different keywords at the panel of Google Ads. Follow the steps in order to check the quality score for different keywords.

  • You need to sign in to your Google Ads Account. 
  • Click on Keywords on the left side.
  • First of all, click on the “Columns” Section. Next, go to Modify Column and later, just search for quality score and click on “Quality Score.” Click “Apply.” 

In order to check out the quality score rating as well as the rating of the three key components, you can add columns to your quality report. You just need to follow these steps.

  • In the upper right corner of the table, you need to click on the columns icon. Now you need to select “Modify Columns.” 
  • Check the current quality score and Landing Page Experience, Expected CTR, and Ad relevance and hit apply. 
  • Now you will be able to check the real-time ranking of your quality score as well as the three key components. 

How To Check Historical Data?

If you would like to see past quality score and statistics of the components, just go through this :

As mentioned in the above steps, visit the “Modify Columns” section and expand the “Quality Score section.” Check the Quality Score (hist.), Landing Page experience (hist.), Ad Relevance (hist.) and Exp. CTR (hist.) and select the apply button. You will now be able to check out the historical data.

 

How To Monitor Quality Score Change?

Wouldn’t you like to check out the change in your quality score in order to further improve it more? If you want to monitor your quality score and check out whether it has improved, you can use a whole lot of tools available all over the Internet. However, most of these tools are paid ones and are quite expensive.

 

Why you should Monitor Quality Score Change?

Now that you understand the importance of Quality score and how Google uses it to calculate your ad’s ranking as well as CPC, you need to keep leveling it up. You definitely know the advantages of a high-quality score. You will be able to improve your quality score if you keep track of it. How can you expect to improve if you don’t know where you stand currently? Hence, you need to keep track of it for the various keywords and monitor the quality score as well as its three major key components.

Recently, I found out one tool to be absolutely amazing and helped me to keep track of my quality score easily. Plus, it’s absolutely free-of-cost. I would definitely recommend you to use this tool.

 

Quality Score Tracker v3.0

It’s a free script that helps you to monitor the quality score of your account. You even don’t need to spend a whole lot of time installing it. It’s just simple and easy to install.

Let’s try to understand the various features it has to offer :

 

Quality Score Tracking

All of your Keywords’ Quality scores would be saved in a spreadsheet. It tracks all of them. Alongside, you will be able to go back and check the history for any of the keywords as well.

 

Dashboard

You will be able to see where you stand currently and check the average quality score of your keywords. This Dashboard provides you with summarized quality score data in your Google spreadsheet.

Google Drive

All of the files in the spreadsheet are automatically stored inside a folder in your Google Drive. You will easily be able to access such kind of data through your browser. There’s a limit to how many cells can be held in a Google Spreadsheet. After the limit is crossed, the script will just create more spreadsheets. Plus, these spreadsheets are provided with a name and a number which helps you to keep a track.

 

How To Install Quality Score Tracker v3.0

Follow these simple steps to install the script :

1. Copy the code from here (With Detail Installation Step) and paste it in your account.

2. Schedule a time for the script to run weekly. Recommend to run it at Monday 1am to 5am, so you can check your Quality Score and do weekly report on Monday Morning after you go back to office.

3. Now, run the script for the first time,making sure you can run the script successfully.

 

How To Optimize My Quality Score Further?

Who doesn’t like better grades? What if I tell you that I could help you optimize the quality score? After all, who wouldn’t love paying less and ranking at the top of the search engine results. Take these points into consideration in order to increase your quality score.

 

Keywords Research

Before carrying out a campaign, it’s really important to carry out thorough research in order to educate yourself with the basics. You need to carry out thorough research of your keywords and try to understand if they are performing well. There are a lot of keywords that people search for in the Google Search Engine. Some perform perfectly while some don’t perform that well. Check from Keyword Planner for more details. Plus, you will understand what amount of traffic your competitors are able to generate on their website with the use of those keywords.

 

Work On A Better Landing Page

Landing page is the web page that people first land on when they click on the ad. What if it’s just designed poorly and filled with irrelevant content? Would you be proceeding further? Neither would I. You can conduct a test on how good your landing page is with the help of Google Mobile Friendly-Test & Google Page Speed Insights so you know the infrastructure of your landing pages is solid or not.

Plus, your landing page must consist of relevant keywords. You need to consider various unique keywords for each ad group. You would be able to increase your overall quality score if you tend to use relevant keywords effectively on your website.

 

Limit your Keywords Per Ad Group

Google suggests that 1 ad group consists of 5 to 20 keywords. However, based on our experience, we advise you not to have more than 6 keywords in 1 ad group because the more keywords you have in 1 ad group, the lower ad relevance it is. HERE IS THE FLOW, if we customize the ad copy based on that keyword, how amazing it would be! Since we our keyword is very relevant to the ad copy, the clickthrough rate is going to be very high. (But obviously, in fact it is basically impossible to customize each ad copy based on each keyword!)

Here is an example, let’s say there are 2 ad groups. The first ad group is “SEM Service” with sem service related keywords. The second ad group is “SEM agency” with sem agency related keywords. We will put sem service related ad copy in “SEM SERVICE” ad group and sem agency related ad copy in “SEM AGENCY” ad group. With this act, we can create super high CTR sem campaigns and thus help improve the performance because of customized ads.

 

Leverage Different Keyword Matching Type and Use Negative Keywords

Do you know what negative keywords are? These are the keywords which you would include in your targeted ad groups that would prevent your advertisement from showing up. So why should we even use them in the first place? Imagine you are a video production house and you are bidding a keyword of +video +production. At the same time, there are thousands of people who are looking for video production jobs. What they are going to search?

For sure it will be “video production jobs” or “video production recruitment”. At this moment your ad shows up and they click on that. Your money goes and you have got nothing back. So in this case, we will put job / recruitment into negative keywords so that any search terms regarding jobs or recruitment will not match any of our keywords and thus, we can save more budget from not showing our ads on these irrelevant search terms.

Learn More About Keyword Types: Here

 

Write High-Quality Ad Copy

Well written ad copies can invite a huge amount of traffic to your website. Words can make or break your business. A successful copy sells for millions. If you want to let your crowd be attracted to your product or service, your high-quality ad will need to focus on one. Better Ad Headlines always come with better Expected CTR and Ad Performance. Do put more effort into writing better headlines. If you wish to know more about the techniques of better headlines write up, please check here to know more:https://www.kickads.co/7-tips-to-rock-your-google-text-ads-headline

 

Insert Google Ad Extension

It is well-known Fact that Putting Correct and Reasonable Ad Extension would have a positive impact on Quality Score. From the information provided by Google, On average we have found that there is a 10-15% CTR uplift from implementing a new ad extension. Honestly, Opinions is slightly divided on How directly Ad Extension affect Quality Score. Some believe it improves your Expected CTR, one of the biggest elements in quality score, consequently increase your quality score whereas some believes that Google directly take Ad Extension into the Quality Score Calculation.

I am not so sure on this issue but anyway, this is a common belief that we should have at least have certain number of Ad Extension at every campaign or even Ad Group, If you want to learn more about Ad Extensions: https://www.kickads.co/9-google-ads-extensions/

 

Quick Cheat Sheet to Optimize Quality Score

Feeling too text-heavy on this Article and want to have a quick understanding on how to optimize Quality Score. For Lead Generation Purpose, You can download our Free Cheat Sheet in the below Link in exchange for your Email: Here (Probably We need few more days to send out as we has some technically issue from Active Campaign)

By knowing the essentials of quality score and how we can improve it, say goodbye to 1/10 quality score keywords and get ready for at least 6/10 quality score keywords. Let’s improve your quality together because hence you will have a better cost per click and ad rank. Cheers!


Terrence Chung
Terrence Chung
Kick Ads Limited
Kick Ads Limited