How to Improve Your Quality Score: Ad Relevancy & Expected CTR

Marc Berolo
By Marc Berolo Sr. Account Manager (SEM)

Quality score plays a pivotal role in every AdWords account. Let’s start out with some stats so you can see how much of an impact quality score has on your account. When dealing with your CPC (Cost Per Click) Google will increase your CPC by 400% if you have a quality score of 1, 150% increase for a score of 2, 67.3% increase for a score of 3, 25% increase for a score of 4, and a 16.7% increase for a quality score of 5-6. Now, you will receive a discount of 28.6% if your quality score is a 7, a discount of 37.5% for a score of 8, 44.2% discount for a score of 9, and a discount of 50% for a quality score of 10. As you can see the higher your quality score, the more of a discount you will get on your CPCs. This will result in better positioning and efficiency throughout your account. You will now be able to achieve higher positioning, while still paying less. Therefore, you must ensure you are doing everything possible to increase your quality score account wide.

There are three factors that determine your quality score from Google. The two that we are going to discuss in this article are, 1. Ad Relevancy and 2. Expected CTR (Expected Clickthrough Rate). Ad Relevancy is simply how relevant your ad is compared to the keyword or search term. Expected CTR is how likely is it that your ads will get clicked when shown for that keyword. As you can see they are very closely related and must work together to ensure a high score on both ends. Let’s take a look at what you can do to ensure your ad relevancy and expected ctr are both above average.

In order to ensure your ad relevancy is above average you are going to want to start at the keyword and ad group level. You must ensure that your ad group is as close as possible to the keyword as you can make it. For example, if the keyword is “free credit card processor” you are going to want to make your ad group, “Free Credit Card Processor”. Now when you create your ad for your ad group, “Free Credit Card Processor” you are going to want to make your Headline 1: Free Credit Card Processor. Feel free to get creative, but relevant in your Headline 2, Description Line, and Paths. Since your ad is super relevant to the keyword, Google should award you with an Above Average score for Ad Relevancy.

Now here are some tricks and insights to boost up your Expected CTR rating. Changing the bids on the keyword can impact your score. For example, if you increase your bid from $2 to $4, Google will understand that you are promoting your ads to first page of search results. So Google, will estimate the expected CTR for this particular page, and depending on your ad copy you may receive a low or high rating. Also, make sure you do not have too many ad copies in ad groups. If there isn’t enough traffic for these keywords/ads, the traffic gets divided up and it takes longer for ads to get enough viable traffic, which can result in a low score for expected CTR. Also, make sure to keep up with negative keywords and add them to the account, so your ads are not showing up for irrelevant search terms.

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