The world of Google and Quality Scores can be an interesting place! At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember when running a SEM campaign on Google is to deliver relevant, compelling ads that match a user’s search inquiry and correlate to a landing page that delivers on what you promise in your ad. With that said, there are things you can do to improve your Quality Score, but “chasing the number” shouldn’t be the main focus of your optimization.

Let’s define it:

Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower cost per acquisiton (CPA) and better ad positions.

  • Quality Score is reported on a 1-10 scale and its components (expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience)
  • The more relevant your ads and landing pages are to the user, the more likely it is that you’ll see higher Quality Scores
  • Quality Score is an aggregated estimate of your overall performance in ad auctions

Now that you know what a Quality Score is, let’s understand what does and doesn’t matter when it comes to ad quality.

The User’s Device: Does Matter

The user’s device (laptop, tablet, smartphone or whatever) is taken into account when ad quality is calculated. Make sure your site experience is optimized for mobile, and if you haven’t already, try targeting users on mobile devices with specific mobile-friendly ads and pages. Google doesn’t require that you have a separate mobile site, but you should make sure that information is easy to find and the navigation is intuitive for users on a mobile device.

Relevance to a User’s Intentions: Does Matter

Relevance to users’ searches and intentions is the heart of ads quality. That means ads and sites that help users gather relevant info, complete a sale or other task, and navigate with ease are more likely to result in high ads quality. This is why Google suggests you focus on delivering relevant ads to answer queries rather than trying to optimize to manipulate your score.

Your Ad’s Placement on the Page: Doesn’t Matter

While it’s great to have a high position on the page, doing so doesn’t increase the expected CTR rating of your ads. The expected CTR is normalized for your actual position on the page. The top position is expected to receive more clicks than the third position on the top, and so on. Google also normalizes for other factors that affect visibility, like ad extensions and other ad formats.

You don’t need to bid for higher positions to increase Quality Score, so you’re free to bid to performance: the clicks, conversions and costs that work best for your business.

Wrapping It Up

At the end of the day, the user experience is what matters most. Do what is best for your target audience and your business objectives, and the rest should (in theory) follow. Google is smart enough to know when you’re trying to trick its users, and it’s not a smart business model. Like with anything, honesty is the best policy.

Got questions? Contact us today – we’d love to help you achieve your business objectives!