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Google Ads Help: Is Optimizing for Quality Score Worth It?

on March 3, 2018

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If you’ve spent any amount of time reading about Google Ads (Google’s Pay-Per-Click advertising platform), you’ve heard two words over and over: quality score.

Optimizing for Quality Score

Here Are ROI’s Answers to Quality Score

  • What a quality score is
  • Why/When quality score matters
  • Why/When it doesn’t

A quality score is calculated by scoring your Google Ads campaigns for their overall quality. Only Google knows exactly how quality score is calculated. But these metrics factor in:

  • Click-through rate (CTR).
  • The relevance a keyword to its ad group
  • Landing page (relevance to the ad text)
  • How your Google Ads account has performed over time

Once your quality score is calculated, Google uses it to determine your Cost-Per-Click (CPC) and your ad placement on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). When a Google user searches using keywords related to your product or service, their results pages may include ads (from youGoogAds campaign signs) assuming your quality score is high enough.

With all that on the line, it’s easy to see why your quality score matters. People can do this in a number of ways:

  • Researching (and using) the most relevant keywords (short and long-tail) relevant to your product, service, and industry.
  • Organize keywords into more focused groups
  • Test your copy (and learn from it
  • Editing landing pages to make sure that the keywords in both ads and pages align
  • Excluding irrelevant search terms

But people often fall into a trap of making Google Ads quality scores the end-all-be-all of their marketing efforts. That doesn’t work. Google Bots are smart— they can tell when you’re keyword stuffing or engineering your ad campaigns just to get a better rank.

I’ve found it’s much better to take a big-picture view.

When I’m designing or improving Google Ads campaigns, I ask myself some key questions:

  1. What are my ultimate digital advertising goals?
  2. What are my goals for this product or service?
  3. What are my values?
  4. What are consistent, accurate words and phrases that my brand uses to describe what we do?
  5. What kind of searches are my ideal customers doing? My loyal customers?

If we have these things front-of-mind, keyword stuffing and reverse engineering won’t be necessary. Our ads will be more likely to appear where they belong.

This bird’s eye view is important because, even as your ads move toward a higher quality score, other metrics could decrease that are just as important. For example, just because more people are clicking through to your web page doesn’t mean that those people are in your target market, or that they will even stay on your site once they get there.

If you have a Google Ads campaign tailored to every product, service or initiative, and worded for your target market (in a style that matches your landing pages), you don’t need to harp on quality score so much. Bottom line: before you do too much for your Google Ads, ask yourself: are my Google Ads helping me meet my business goals?

[Need help with Google Ads? Start here.]

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