What is an AdWords Quality Score?

adwords-qualityOne of the biggest keys to AdWords success is Quality Score.

Quality Score is a rating of how well the experience associated with your ads meets the expectations and needs of your Web visitors. It’s expressed on a scale from 1-10. When your score high, it helps you save money by reducing the costs associated with better ad positions.

Quality Score can be low – causing costs to skyrocket!

Taking a Closer Look at Quality Score

Quality Score is made up of many factors:

  • Click-through rate of your ads;
  • Relevance of your keywords;
  • Quality of your landing page;
  • Relevance of your ad’s text;
  • Your historical AdWords performance.

The #1 factor is click-through rate, the percentage of people who click on your ad versus the total number who see it. Although nobody knows how the other factors are weighted, the inclusion of historical performance means early issues can snowball into long-term problems.

Higher Quality Score don’t just lead to lower cost per click: They’re also correlated with lower cost per conversion, the total cost of all the efforts that motivate a single lead to take the action you want. That might be signing up for a webinar, subscribing to a newsletter, or making a purchase.

Research by WordStream has clarified Quality Score’s bottom-line effect on cost per click. At optimal scores of 10, costs are discounted a phenomenal 50%! Even a score of 6, only slightly above average, offers a discount of 16.7%.

By contrast, the lowest possible Quality Score, 1, can lead to a massive 400% increase in costs!

Improving Quality Score for Your Campaign

Organization is crucial to Quality Score. Keywords should be organized into keyword groups, ad text should make sense in their ad groups, and the relationship between an ad and its landing page must be instantly recognizable.

Some important steps include:

Improve Keywords

Add new, relevant keywords – don’t overlook the power of laser-targeted “long-tail” keywords.

Organize Keywords

Split keywords into groups so each has a clear relationship with its associated ad campaign.

Sharpen Ad Copy

Raise clickthrough rates by testing out ad copy targeted directly to individual ad groups.

Optimize Landing Pages

Ensure all landing pages follow best practices and deliver on the promise of your ad copy.

Quality Score can be your worst enemy – but, managed effectively, it transforms into a powerful engine of success for your ads. The essential lesson: Create a customer-focused experience in every aspect of your campaign.