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How Is Quality Score Calculated (part 2)

14 September 2018
Jake Gaw
PPC

As mentioned in the What Is Google Quality Score: All You Need To Know (part 1) article, quality score is Google’s method of grading your Google Ads account out of 10. This key performance indicator can give you quick insight into the success or failure of your campaigns.

Three key factors contributing to how quality score is calculated are:

  • Ad Relevance - Are my ads relevant to the users search query?
  • Expected Click Through Rate (Expected CTR) - Will people click on my ad?
  • Landing Page Experience - If people click on my ad will they enjoy the place I take them to?

These three key factors provide Google with an understanding of how you are interacting with your potential customers and how they’re interacting with you or your ads.

This article will explore more into the three key factors that contribute to how quality score is calculated.

1. Ad relevance

1.1. Ad relevance 101

Google Ads as a marketing tool provides us with a channel to promote our products and services to anybody in need of them at that point in time. Many businesses see it as a tool to promote their business, which in theory is correct but in reality your business is promoting your products or services to the relevant people who are searching for what you offer at a specific time.

Ad relevance, as defined by Google, is "a keyword status that measures how closely related your keyword is to your ads".

This means how well your keyword matches the message in your ads.

Ad relevance refers to your Google Ads:

  • Account structure
  • Chosen keywords for each ad group
  • The ad copy to be displayed when your ad is triggered

Let’s start with your account structure as this is the foundation of your account.

Your account structure should follow a similar outline to your business product or service categories.

For example if I run an electrical business, I will set up my account so that I have separate Google Ads campaigns for Air Conditioner Installs, Solar Panel Installations and General Domestic Work.

Why?

Because writing a generic ad for these three services although time saving is not relevant to your consumer.

If your advertising for your air conditioning service and a searcher uses “Air con installers” as their search term, which headline is more relevant:

Local Electrician | Book A Consultation Today
Air Conditioning Installation | Beat The Summer Heat

Of course the second ad is more relevant and eye catching as it specifically refers to the service the searcher was looking for.

1.2. Tips for above average ad relevance

Ad relevance all comes down to a few things:

  • Separating your product/service categories into different campaigns
  • Breaking those product or service categories further into specific ad groups and keywords
  • Writing specific ad copy to include each individual keyword so that your ad reads as specific to your target keyword as possible.

Ad relevance is a factor that affects your quality score and a factor that is directly controlled by the management of your account, therefore make your ads as relevant as possible.

Do not take shortcuts as the impact may result in minimal business growth and more money invested in Google Ads. If you do not have the time to structure your account in a specific hierarchy that will benefit your business, investing in an PPC agency may be the best option for your business.

2. Expected Click Through Rate (Expected CTR)

2.1. Expected CTR 101

Expected CTR can be likened to a player in a sporting team. If you haven’t been playing well recently then no one is expecting you to play.

For this analogy, think of Google as the coach of your team and it has to pick 4 players (ads) to play (be shown) for each game (search term).

Google looks at your past results and if you are not as good as your other team mates (competitors), Google is not going to pick you.

This is expected click through rate in a nutshell, and this is how much of an impact it can have on your quality score.

Thankfully there are other factors that affect quality score so a poor expected click through rate is not the be all and end all. However it is somewhat controllable.

2.2. Tips to increase your expected CTR

“The expected click-through rate (CTR) that Google Ads provides for a keyword in your account is an estimate based on the assumption that the search term will match that keyword exactly.”

What this means is you need to be selective and specific with your selected keywords in your account. The more specific your search term the higher your expected click through rate.

Google Ads also takes into account how well your keyword has performed in the past, based on your ad's position. User behaviour is not something you can directly impact, however writing appealing ad copy is the best solution to try to attract clicks to your ads, therefore improving your expected click through rate.

Expected click through rate is primarily based on user behaviour, but you can influence their behaviour by being as specific and appealing as possible with your selected keywords and appealing ad copy.

3. Landing Page Experience

3.1. Landing page experience 101

Google Ads landing page experience rates the destination page after searchers click on your ad.

In my previous blog What Is Quality Score, I described landing page experience as your own home. If I was prepared to spend money on advertising to bring people to my house, I would ensure my house is clean, I would ensure we have the quality food and drinks as well.

3.2. Tips to improve landing page experience score

To improve landing page experience everything on your landing page should be accessed:

  • Relevant onpage content: the title/information/content on this landing page must be relevant to the search term the searcher used and your ad they clicked on
  • Easy navigation: Once on the page, the user should be able to navigate the page with ease.
  • Page loading speed: Your landing page load speed is recommended to be under 3 seconds. You can test your page load speed using a free tool here.
  • Call to action (CTA): Your page should contain a clear CTA, so the user can get in contact with you and buy the product or enquire about the service.

In short these are just some of the factors that can impact your landing page experience and you have control over every single one of them. It is also important to make ongoing optimisation to improve landing page experience.

 

Topics: PPC

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