When running a Google AdWords campaign, one of the most important, yet ultimately most confusing concepts to get your head around is Quality Score. In short, the Quality Score of an ad will impact upon both the ad position and the cost per click, two things which are of uttermost importance to ensure success. In order for AdWords to bring a strong ROI for your business, you need to ensure you?re getting the very highest quality of clicks (yes, quality is generally far more important than quantity) but that the price you?re paying per click works. Even on a relatively strong conversion rate of say 5%, if you?re selling low margin products, even a slight increase in CPC (cost per click) can have a significant impact upon your profit levels. As such, understanding on how you can increase the Quality Score of your ads is something which needs to be at the heart of all search marketers.

Google have never, until now, revealed too much information as to what impacts the Quality Score of an ad, however last month, they announced a brand new whitepaper which looks a little more in-depth on the concept and looked to stop many of the guesses and rumours which have been doing the rounds for some years.

Whether you run AdWords campaigns for your own business or on behalf of clients, if you?ve yet to take a look at the whitepaper, we strongly suggest that you do so here. If you?ve already taken a look, however, or are simply looking for a summary, we welcome you to take a look at what we believe to be the main points below:

  • Quality Score Is a Helpful Diagnostic Tool, Not a Key Performance Indicator. Too many marketers spend too much time focussing exclusively on improving their Quality Score. As Google have outlined, it should be seen more as a warning sign for an or keyword which needs a little more attention than an indication that your campaign isn?t performing. Whilst it?s important to keep an eye on, it?s not the only factor as to strong performance.
  • Focus Your Efforts on High-Value Areas Where You Can Affect Change. Spend your time working to make improvements which will have a significant impact on your campaign. As far as we are concerned, you need to spend time ensuring your highest converting terms are performing as well as possible and making improvements in these areas…there?s no point spending the time in areas which aren?t as important to you.
  • Pay Attention to the ?Big Three? Component Parts of Ads Quality. As far as Google are concerned, the big three components of quality are relevance, expected CTR and landing page experience and, as such, it is these areas where you need to focus your initial efforts to ensure your campaign performs. In particular, Google offers some fantastic insight into how to remedy a number of issues being faced:


  • Understand What Does and Doesn?t Matter When It Comes to Ads Quality. Whilst you really need to read the whitepaper yourself to fully understand what does and doesn?t matter, the main takeaways from this section are that you need to understand the importance of offering a great user experience tailored to the devices your audience are using. Do you have a responsive site or at least a mobile landing page? If not, you need to have! Ensure your ads are relevant to keywords to encourage a high CTR and that you also offer a great landing page experience. On the other hand, don?t spend too much time worrying about your campaign layout (naming and the like) as this is generally just for your ease of navigation.


Above all, it?s absolutely vital that you understand the core concepts of Quality Score and how it is determined (see above), however you need to spend your time wisely and focus on making improvements in the areas which really matter. Google?s whitepaper offers a great insight into the wider scope of Quality Score and, whilst we?re summarised the main points above, feel it?s well worth taking the time to read.


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