The Circle of Life: Google Ads Quality Score
Like a wise lion named Mufasa once said, “Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance…..And so, we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.” Like the Pride Lands were ruled and protected by Mufasa and Simba, when it comes to ad ranking, positioning there are many things to consider.
First, you need to understand and respect the great connection and delicate balance of Google algorithms and rankings. A good Google Ads quality score is essential to the life cycle and the success of any campaign. What is google ads quality score? It is Google’s way of rating your keywords and ad copy from 1 – 10. Why is this important you may ask? Higher Google Ad ratings mean lower CPCs and better ad position in search results. As discussed in our blog, ‘From a digital ad agency’s perspective: make your digital ads stand out’, think about when you search for something on Google, do you go to the second or third page, or do you look at the top results and click on those links? How do you get those better positions? Having a high-quality score is one major factor in getting those premier positions. In many cases, a higher quality score is more important than a higher bid because Google focuses on user experience, and the higher your quality score, the better Google views the experience the user will get from you.
What Are the Parts of the Quality Score?
In the Lion King, Simba asks, “don’t we eat the antelope?” and Mufasa replies, “When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eats the grass. And so, we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.” Four key elements make up Google’s Circle of Life. Each component works together to create a delicate balance. They are:
- Expected Click Through Rate (CTR)
- Landing Page Experience
- Ad Relevance
- Historical Account Performance
Expected Click Through Rate (CTR)
Google measures the likelihood of an ad click occurring. The expected click-through rate (CTR) is based on how the keyword triggering your ad has performed historically. Google Ads does not take into account the position of the ad, available extensions, or other ad formats that can also affect the ads. So in more straightforward terms: how likely is the keyword to get a click on your ad?
The expected click-through rate includes three statuses: Average, Above Average, or Below Average. When Google is comprising your quality score it uses these ratings when determining the overall quality score.
- Average or Above Average: no real issues or problems with the keywords expected click-through rate when compared to other keywords.
- Below Average signals that the keyword and your ad copy are not very related. Consider changing the ad copy, so it is more relevant to your best-performing keywords.
Landing Page Experience
Google looks at how well your website and landing page(s) will provide potential customers with the information that they are seeking. The landing page experience is critical. It will either boost your chances of getting the sale/conversion or hurt your chances. Make sure that it will be useful to your customers, and the information is clear and easy to understand. An important tip? Make sure the keywords that you are targeting appear on your landing page.
Like the expected click-through rate, landing page experience includes three statuses: Average, Above Average, or Below Average. When Google is comprising your Google Ads quality score it uses these ratings when determining the overall quality score.
- Average or Above Average tells you that there are no real issues or problems with the keyword’s landing page experience when compared to other keywords.
- Below average says you should re-evaluate your landing page and consider making some changes to improve the content.
How relevant your keywords are to your ads? Your Google Ad relevance score hinges on the same three statuses: Average, Above Average, or Below Average. When Google is comprising your quality score it uses these ratings when determining the overall quality score.
- Average or Above Average tells you that there are no real issues or problems with the keyword’s ad relevance when compared to other keywords.
- Below average says that your ad or keyword may not be relevant enough, or your ad group is too broad and not tightly themed enough. Make sure your ads and ad groups are tightly themed so that your keywords and ads are relevant to the search performed.
Historical Account Performance
How has your account as a whole performed in the past. An account that has struggled in the past and underperformed will affect your current quality score and future account success. In the Google Ads Circle of Life, ad relevance, expected click-through rate, historical account performance, and landing page experience must all work in perfect harmony. If not, the lower Google Ad quality score will undermine your efforts. But don’t worry, this delicate balance can be corrected if it veers off the rails.
Google Ads Quality Score Report
While there isn’t an actual Google Ads Quality Score Report, you can view your quality scores in two different ways. You can make a custom report in the Google Ads account or add the columns in your keyword tabs. Either way works, but in my day to day work, I find just adding the columns is quicker and more comfortable for me.
How to Improve the Quality Score in Google Ads
One question you may want to know is, “How to improve quality score in Google Ads”, but before you start sweating the individual parts of your quality score, remember that even if you have a below-average rating on one of the elements, you can still have a high-quality score. Nevertheless, you will want to start optimizing and tweaking the individual parts to improve the quality score and grow your account.
Always take this Circle of Life process one step at a time. I recommend starting with your keywords. Each ad group should have between 10-15 tightly themed keywords in them. The tighter the theme, the easier it will be to achieve excellent ad relevance. Although the 10-15 keywords aren’t set in stone, I find the closer I stick to this guideline, the easier it is to have relevant keywords and ads. Once you have your ad groups broken out into tightly themed keywords, it’s time to write your ad copy using your keywords and themes.
Once your keywords and ads are taken care of, it’s time to look at the landing pages. Do the ads and keywords make sense for your landing page? Do you have the themed keywords on the landing pages that you are targeting? Take some time to look at the landing page from your customer’s eyes. Does it send the message you want? Would you buy or sign up on it? If not, it may be time to start modifying the landing page. For more tips and best practices on improving your quality score, click here.
So as you can see, just like the Circle of Life on the Pride Lands, Google Ads has a Circle of Life for the Quality Score. It’s a very delicate balance to get the best quality score possible, so follow the steps carefully. Even though one part may not wholly derail your Google Ads quality score, having everything working in balanced unison will help you and your account succeed to its fullest potential.
Still not sure what your next move should be? We can help! At Team Serendipit, we are masters of Marketing and we have the experience to back it up. Get in touch with us and we can create a strategy tailored to your specific needs.
Written by: Eric B, Paid Media Specialist