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Your Guide to the Google Ad Quality Score

The key to effective Google Ads is to create high quality adverts that are directly relevant to your target audience. The goal always being increased clicks and conversions. But creating high quality adverts is not as easy as it looks. Google’s quality score is Google’s way of telling you whether or not it thinks your advert is of high quality or not. The score can directly impact the performance of your adverts from where your advert is ranked to the cost of your advertising efforts.

Why Does Your Google Ad Score Matter?

Google’s Ad quality score matters for two entities. One to the advertiser and the other to Google itself. Google’s goal of maintaining trust with the large audience that uses it everyday is paramount to the company and its continued success. Users trust Google to bring them to the correct information when they do a search. For example if you are running an advert that is getting a lot of clicks but your website is not delivering the information required, that impacts the searchers trust in Google.

However, Google also wants to make money so it must risk some adverts being like this in order to maintain profits. This is where the Ad Score comes in. The point of the score is to help maintain trust between Google users and Google. If your score is good, Google will reward you with lower cost adverts and a higher ranking. If your adverts have a low score, they’ll cost more and be ranked lower.

The quality score is also beneficial to the advertiser. It will let you know how good Google thinks your ad campaign is and give you an indication as to how relevant the score is to your target audience. The monetary benefit is also key for the advertiser. Maintaining higher ad quality scores directly impacts on the cost and visibility of your campaign. Your campaign may run but will be impacted by high cost per click and lower ranking. This will significantly impact your campaign, especially if your competitors have a high ad quality score. Your competitor may easily be outranking you at a lower cost per click just because of their ad quality score being higher.

How Google’s Ad Quality Score is Calculated

To understand the best ways to keep your ad quality score high is to understand how your ad score is calculated. They factors Google takes into consideration is the following:

CTR (Click Through Rate): A higher CTR can indicate to Google the relevance of the advert. When it comes to new campaigns, Google may estimate the CTR. If you have a history of strong ad campaigns this may be of benefit here too as Google will take into consideration the CTR history of your URL.

Relevance of your advert to the search term and keyword: If you have a long list of keywords that are not specific enough this can impact your quality score. For example if you are advertising jumpers and you’re targeting people who are searching for clothing – your ad may take a hit here.

Landing Pages: Google takes into consideration your landing page. If your landing page is irrelevant to your advert this may impact on your ad quality score. Factors like page speed load time can also impact in this instance. This can also be device specific. If your adverts perform well on a desktop but not on mobile or vice versa this can also impact on your Google Ad quality score.

How Can I Improve My Google Ad Quality Score?

  • Create Tighter Keyword Groups

If your keyword groups are large and a little all over the place then it’s likely that your ad and search term relevance isn’t going to be great. Reading Google’s own recommendations when you’re starting an advertising campaigns of adding “10-20 Keywords” should definitely be ignored.  

Here is one example. Let’s pretend you are a company that provides Digital Marketing Services. You want to appear for users who search terms like “SEO Company, Digital Marketing Agency, Facebook Advertising Agency, Google Ads Agency, Web Design Agency” etc. It is in your best interest not to add all of these keywords into one ad group and create an advert generic to them all. Instead take each one and create smaller groups with a relevant advert alongside.

Organising your keywords in this way will make it easier to tailor other aspects of the campaign such as the ad copy text and your landing pages.

  • Test and refine your ad copy.

As with all marketing strategies the ability to A/B test can provide insights that would’ve previously been overlooked. It is a fantastic way to strengthen a campaign. Make sure to use 3 or 4 variations of the ad copy for each ad group and see which ones are performing best. Continuing this process over time will be hugely beneficial to your campaign. The higher the CTR from your adverts, the higher your quality score. Making sure you are keeping the ad copy that performs best is a great way of improving your Google Ad Quality Score.

  • Landing Pages

It is best practice to always create highly targeted landing pages for each ad group. You want the page to distinctly align with the search term and the keywords you’ve allocated in your ad group. Your landing page needs to directly relate to the ad that sent visitors there. If you are using the same landing page for several ads – it needs to match up to all of the adverts. Alternatively you need to create different ads or new landing pages. This won’t just help your Google Ad Quality score but it will also keep your customers happy and improve your conversions.

On the technical side of things making sure that your page is crawlable and has a fast loading speed is hugely important. If your landing page is not crawlable Google can’t detect the relevance which will impact your quality score. When it comes to page speed this will impact your campaigns but it will also impact your organic SEO. It’s best to make your landing page (and website in general for that matter) is performing well when it comes to speed.

  • Negative Keywords

Always add negative keywords to your campaign. They help get rid of wasted searches very easily. This should also be an ongoing process. Once your campaign is live make sure you check what search terms are indicating to Google to show your advert. If any of these are irrelevant – make sure to add them to your negative keyword list. This will continue to increase the quality and relevance of your ad campaigns.

  • Use Dynamic Keyword Insertions

These allow you to create campaigns with interchangeable phrases in the headline or description of your ad in line with what the user has searched for. (So long as it is in your list of keywords). This is a great way of making your advert more relevant to the user. It will also increase your CTR which should positively impact your campaign.


It definitely takes some trial and error but it is worth the time invested. They’re an important metric to keep an eye on and can definitely impact your cost per click and ad ranking.

If you’re struggling to get your quality scores where you want them on your campaigns? Get in touch with us here and see how our ad management services can benefit you. Or feel free to tweet your questions to @3B1agency.