In this post, Castle’s Head of E-Commerce Edward Potter explains what is quality score in Google Ads’ metric and gives some helpful advice on how to make the most of this important tool.

Google Ads are a fantastic way of getting your business’s products or services in front of some of Google’s billions of active monthly users. You can target your ads in a variety of ways, including focusing on specific keywords that users might search for – but how do you know how successful your ads actually are in connecting with your intended audience?

There are various ways to assess the quality of your ads on Google Ads, but one particularly useful metric is the Quality Score. In this post, I’ll explain what the Quality Score means, how it’s determined, and offer some advice for how to improve the Quality Score for your ads. This should hopefully allow you to get ahead of the competition when it comes to getting users to click through to your page.

What is Quality Score in Google Ads?

In simple terms, the Quality Score is a metric that Google Ads uses to measure how good your ad is. But what does “good” mean in this case? Well, for the Quality Score, it’s all to do with the audience. Essentially, Quality Score assesses just how relevant the audience is likely to think your ad is. And based on Google Ads’ judgment of your ad’s relevance, it’ll give you a score from 1 to 10.

A screenshot of the Google AdWords interface showing: clicks, click-through rate and impressions. An important aspect for a successful Ad campaign is to gain an understanding to what is quality score in Google Ads.

What affects an Ad’s Quality Score?

Let’s consider an example. Say a user is looking for some wall art for their home, and the search term they go for is “elephant canvas prints”. So, they type this into Google, and we’re considering the Quality Score of the ads they receive.

The top Quality Score of 10 would be for an ad that honed in on this exact keyword. Obviously, there would be different elements to the ad, but to receive a 10 it would have to be focused on exactly what that person had searched for.

And it’s not just about the ad itself. The landing page that the user would be taken to if they clicked on the ad would also have to be about that exact same keyword. All the content, all the experience would have to be geared toward what that person has initially searched for.

Essentially, Google is going to reward you with a good Quality Score if your ad copy and landing page match up with what the person has asked for in the search.

Now, a poor Quality Score, on the other hand, would be if your ad was only very loosely linked to what the user had searched for. So, it could be a page about giraffe prints for example – they’ve asked for elephants, and you’ve given them giraffes. Or, it could be about elephants, but not about canvas prints.

Or perhaps there are issues with your landing page. It could be that the landing page didn’t have enough products that were linked to their initial search. It may even be due to technical issues. For instance, if the landing page is very slow to load, no user’s going to like that. So, in sum, a poor landing page or poor ad copy would result in a poor Quality Score.

What would be considered a good Quality Score?

Of course, hitting 10 every time isn’t always going to be possible. And that’s not necessarily the goal. Rather, you would generally look to have a quality score above 6. 7 or 8 is what you’re really aiming for. 10 is perfect, but if you’ve got a score of 7 or 8, you should be doing better than most of the competition.

The Head of PPC, Edward Potter typing an email on his laptop explaining what is quality score in SEO.

How do you improve your Quality Score?

So, you’re aiming for a Quality Score of 7 or 8, and at the moment you’re at a 4 or a 5. How do you solve the issue?

The main thing to do is to look at it from a user’s point of view. If we go back to the example from before, the user has typed in “elephant canvas prints.” That’s what the user is looking for. Look at your ad copy, look at your landing page – how relevant is that? If you were the customer and you were searching for this term, how relevant is your ad copy and your landing page?

If you’ve got lots of different products on the landing page, for instance, how do you make sure that the most relevant products are at the top of the page? What about the title of the page? Does it match up with what the user has searched for? Looking at your ad copy, make sure you’re using the exact phrase that the user has looked for. Or you could, in another scenario, use dynamic content ads, so the content changes based on what the user has searched for.

So, there are a few different options. But the basic principle is to look at what the person has searched for and ask, how relevant is your ad copy and landing page to that search?