Your Quality Score (QS) is Google’s rating of the quality of your Keywords, Ad Copy, and Landing Page experience. Google combines QS with your keyword bid to determine your ad rank and Cost-Per-Click in the AdWords auction. To make sure you aren’t wasting any dollars or missing out on warm leads, be sure to continue reading or get in touch with us about improving your Quality Score.

How to measure Google AdWords performance


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You can determine your Google AdWords performance (and return on investment) using a range of different key performance indicators (KPIs).  Some of the common KPIs that marketers use today include conversion rate, click-through rate, cost per click, and cost per acquisition.

  • Conversion rate. Is the number of people who acted on an ad divided by the number of people who viewed the ad. This is one of the most important key performance indicators of advertising and marketing. A high conversion rate means that your ad is effective and/or your offer is very compelling to the audience.
  • Clickthrough rate (CTR). Your click-through rate is simply the number of clicks your ad received divided by the number of times your ad was viewed. If you have a low CTR, your ad might not be enticing or interesting enough for people to click on it once they have viewed.
  • Cost-per-click (CPC). Is the amount that you’ll be charged per click that you receive. This amount is up to a pre-set maximum bid amount that you set when creating a campaign. Calculate your CPC by dividing your total ad cost by the number of clicks you received.
  • Cost-per-acquisition (CPA). This is how much you paid per paying customer. Get this metric by dividing the total cost of the ad by the number of people who purchased through the ad.


How to improve your Google AdWords quality score

It’s important to understand that the quality of your ads affects the cost that you pay to place them, and where they are placed in general. Google wants to ensure the best experience possible for it’s users, so will provide advertisers who aren’t creating an enriched customer experience with a lower quality score. Ad quality is reported on a scale of 1 to 10 together with other metrics (with one being urgent improvements required, and ten being you are an A+ student!)


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As stated by Google, your quality score (QS) is a diagnostic tool, not necessarily a performance metric. If you have a low QS, then the best thing to do is to look at your KPIs and see where you’re underperforming.


Google recommends consistently reviewing the “big three” aspects that determine ad quality:

  • Expected Click-Through-Rate (CTR). Google calculates an expected CTR based on the keywords you use.
  • Ad relevance. Are the people who see your ad actually your target market based on the keywords you use?
  • Landing page experience. Your landing page is where a user ends up when they click on your ad. Google measures your landing page experience by analysing the page using automated systems and human evaluation.

Your ads are expected to do better once these three areas are improved. Keep reading for our guide on improving the ‘big three’.


Improving Click-Through Rate

As we have mentioned, your click-through rate is the percentage of people who clicked your ad against the number of times it was shown. To enhance your click-through  rate, you need to ensure that your ads are going to the correct audience (via your keywords) and are written in an enticing and relevant way.


Improve your CTR with the following tips:

  • Consider negative keywords. Keywords are at the top of the list for most advertisers. They tell Google the search terms that advertisers want to bid on. Negative keywords are the opposite. They’re the words that Google will not consider in relation to your ad. In short, using negative keywords will eliminate irrelevant searches that may use some of your regular keywords.
  • Take advantage of location bidding. Improve your CTR by tracking the location information of the people clicking your ads. There are two types that you should consider: physical location (where the user is making the query) and location of interest (what area they’re searching for). Both will help you adjust your location bids according to the right audience.
  • Use dynamic keyword insertion. Users tend to click on ads that show almost exactly what they searched for. Dynamic keyword insertion allows you to include a user’s specific search term in your ad copy, making it more relevant to the user.  


Improving Ad Relevance

To put it simply, the more relevant your ad is, the higher your quality score.


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Ad relevance does not solely refer to the ad itself. Your selected keywords and landing page must also be relevant. The tips we shared above on increasing your CTR also increase ad relevance – so it literally pays to optimise them.

Another effective option is to do split testing. Split testing involves experimenting with different campaigns using alternate settings. You’ll see it as “AdWords Experiments” on Google. You can create a separate but similar ad as an experiment, then compare its performance with your original ad. This way, you can test which ad is more relevant without affecting the original campaign.

Lastly, make sure your landing page is also relevant. The next tip will explain how.


Improving the Landing Page Experience

An Image of an Plane Landing

The landing page experience is as important to your QS as your ad copy. Your landing page is where users are directed to when they click your ad. Thus, it is important that the landing page must deliver on what your ad promised.

Optimise your landing page with the following steps in mind:

  • Provide users with information about the specific ad they clicked on. If you just send users to your homepage, you will lose potential customers. Make it easy for them to take action on your ad by sending them to the relevant page that they asked for.
  • Check if your landing page loads quickly. Slow pages can affect your QS, so you should definitely ensure that your landing page does not take forever to load – use this helpful tool by Google to assess your site speed.
  • Design the page in a user-friendly way. Include relevant headlines and content, and structure your page in a way that supports your customers’ journey. Make your page as interesting and appealing to all users (think videos, graphics, text, etc).  The user must also easily navigate through the site. Ensure that you have clear call-to-actions for your site visitors, to entice them to convert (whether its giving you a call, buying your product online, and so on).


Final thoughts


Creating and optimising high-quality and performing ad campaigns may take a lot of time, but the results are worth it. One final tip from us: Always monitor and evaluate your campaigns regularly. Ad relevance is about timeliness, so don’t fall behind by ensuring that your ads, keywords, and landing pages are always up-to-date. Hopefully, you’ll soon see your QS improving and your ad costs dropping.


Further reading