Google AdWords Quality Score

What is Quality Score?

Quality Score (QS) is the key to a successful paid search marketing campaign. While many PPC advertisers and marketers find this to be a frustrating metric to fully understand and master, it can help you to stand out from the crowd while paying less than your competitors.

QS is ultimately defined as an ‘estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages’. Google uses this estimate to determine your cost per click (CPC). Your QS is dependent upon a number of factors, including:

  • Your click-through rate (CTR)
  • The relevance of your ads
  • How relevant each keyword is to its ad group
  • The quality and relevancy of your landing page
  • Your overall historical AdWords account performance

Quality Score

Although no one actually knows exactly how much each of those factors directly influence Google’s QS algorithm, we do know that CTR is the most crucial component. The more people that click your ad, the better your CTR will be. This will indicate to Google that your ads are relevant and helpful to the users. However, if you comply and focus attention on those factors, Google should reward you with:

  • Lower Costs
  • Higher Ad Positions

How To Improve Google QS

Structure Your Campaigns Into Smaller, Targeted Ad Groups

A common mistake a lot of advertisers make is not separating out keywords into separate ad groups. By structuring your campaigns into targeted ad groups, you can increase the relevance between the search query and the ad itself. The smaller the number of keywords you have within each ad group, the better. Remember, relevance is key!

Optimize Keyword Ad Copy

It is essential that you choose ad copy that is closely related to the keywords within your ad group. This increased relevance will likely increase your CTR, thus leading to a better QS. You can do this by manually inserting the keywords or using dynamic keyword insertion (DKI), which will insert them automatically. Google has also added additional metrics and reporting for the QS which can be added to your columns, allowing you to evaluate the performance of your ads.

Relevant Landing Pages

When creating ads, you must first consider the relevance of the landing page. The landing page should contain specific content that uses your chosen keywords, making it as relevant as possible to the search query. If users click on one of your ads and they land on a page relevant to their search query, you are more likely to have happy customers who stay on your site for longer and make a purchase.

Benefits Of Improving Google QS

Higher Ad Rank – This is used to determine the position of your ad, above the organic results. It is directly proportional to QS. The formula is: Ad Rank = max. CPC x QS. The main elements of your Ad Rank are the bids you have set, and the quality of your ads and website. Google takes into consideration the expected result from your extensions and other ad formats when calculating this. When estimating the expected result of your extensions and ad formats, Google will consider components such as the relevance, CTR and the prominence of the extensions on the search results page. So, even if your competitors are bidding higher than you are, you can still be in a more prominent position at a lower price by using highly relevant keywords and ads.

Low CPC – Your average CPC is based upon your keyword QS. The better your QS the less you will have to pay compared to your competitors, and your ad will appear in a more prominent position.

More Traffic – With a higher QS you will receive a higher ad rank, leading to more traffic to your website.

Impression Share – This is the percentage of search traffic for a keyword that Google will display your ad to. A higher QS results in a bigger share of ad exposure.

Lower Minimum bids – An estimated first page bid is the lowest bid required for your ad to show on page 1 of Google. With a higher QS, Google allows you to bid less than your competitors and still appear on the first page.


A low AdWords QS is ultimately the result of poor consistency between keywords, ad groups, ad text, and landing page content. These tips and advice will help you to streamline your campaigns and increase your QS, which ultimately helps you to be more competitive.


Tom Mullarkey

Tom Mullarkey

Tom graduated from University of Salford with a first-class degree in Business Information Technology. He has a wide range of digital marketing experience including Paid Social and PPC. He is responsible for creating paid social campaigns, developing reports and working with PPC accounts in Google AdWords and Bing.

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