26 March, 2017

Keep Calm, Stay Relevant & Improve Your Quality Scores

Imagine a world without Quality Scores. A world where every keyword is equal to another and the only difference between them is how much the advertiser is willing to pay for someone to click on an ad. In this imaginable world, the poor will remain poor and the rich will control the entire AdWords kingdom.

Well, you’re in luck. Because in the real world, to be placed at the 1st ad position, you can’t just rely on your bid amount. Although it’s true that aggressive bidding can place you at top positions, if your quality scores are low or below average, you will lose budget and not survive for long.

Google’s search engine’s main target is to be as relevant as possible for users’ queries and, therefore, you must maintain a high relevance score for your Keyword-Ad-Landing Page combination. Among many other factors that affect the quality score of a keyword, this three-pronged relevance score is the most important one. Keeping your ad relevant to users’ search terms, while simultaneously directing them to a proper and relevant landing page will grant you a respectable and high-quality score – a kind of ‘pat on the back’ from Google AdWords.

Advertisers with a low-quality score who are trying to bid aggressively to conquer the 1st ad position will probably get ‘punished’ by Google – they will pay more per click, suffer from low ad rank and eventually either end up in bottom page positions or will rarely appear.

Sounds scary? It can be. But believe it or not, there are a few simple ways to increase your quality score.

First, let’s start with some facts.


A Quality Score is…

  • a numerical value between 1 and 10
  • the relevance index for your Keyword-Ad-LP combination
  • a good way to improve performance and save budget
  • calculated by the performance of search terms that exactly match your keywords, regardless of match types
  • based on the historic performance of a keyword on Once your ad gathers enough data and impressions, the keyword’s Quality Score will be a reflection of your ad’s performance and will stop taking historical performance into consideration.


Identify what negatively affects your quality score results

Prior to taking actions that will improve your quality score, look at your “Keywords” tab under the “Status” column to understand which parameter you need to make changes to: Expected click through rate, Ad relevance, or Landing page experience. “Average” and “Above average” are scores you could live with, but when it comes to “Below average”, you’ve got work to do.

quality score ad preview

Isolate the negative factors and optimize

After you identify the factors that negatively affect your quality score, it’s time for optimization.

Expected Click Through Rate Optimization

This parameter measures how likely your ad will get clicked on when shown for a keyword. A “Below average” status means that you will probably need to change your ad text to make it more related to your top keywords, or alternatively make it more attractive for users to click on. The best way to do this is to implement your top keywords in your ads (as long as your landing page includes those keywords as well, but we’ll get to that soon).

Ad Relevance Optimization

If you got “Below average” on this one, it means that your keyword/ad is not specific enough or that your ad group covers too many topics. Try to be more focused when filling your ad group with keywords. Do not launch an ad group with multiple keyword themes – it is better to implement multiple small ad groups, and to focus on several related keywords within each group. The very basic idea here is to make sure that each keyword that could activate your ad will be highly relevant to it, and that’s an iron rule.

Landing Page Experience Optimization

You need to take multiple steps here in order to get an “Average” or “Above average” score:

  • Make sure that your landing page content is relevant to your ads and keywords. Whether it is your website’s home page or your app’s Google Play page, fill it with the proper content that provides users with the information they searched for.
  • Check your site speed. Below average speed will negatively affect your quality score.
  • Make the landing page mobile compatible with easy navigation.

Keeping these three factors at “Average” or “Above average” will guarantee that, at least from Google’s point of view, your product is highly relevant for users’ search terms.


During the optimization process, many changes may be made to increase your quality score and improve performance. The best thing you could do is make sure you stay on top of every change – keep in mind which changes have been made so you can track them afterwards and understand their impact. For the advanced among you, there are many scripts that track your quality scores and automatically let you know which keywords get high-quality scores and which do not – so get yourself a nice tool that keeps it all organized and sheds light on needed changes.

May the Google’s Quality Score Police be with you and good luck!

Have any questions about Quality Scores or Google Ads in general? Contact us.

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