How to Improve Your Quality Score

Google Ads, explained

Hello to every unicorn in the galaxy.

If you advertise on paid search (Google Ads, Bing etc.) then surely you’ve heard of quality score.

Today we’re going to break down what it is, why it’s important and how to improve it.

What is Quality Score?

Quality score is a key metric that all Google Ads advertisers should be aware of.

Quality Score is a rating from 1-10 that Google assigns to assess how relevant and useful your ads, keywords, and landing pages are to searchers.

The higher your Quality Score, the better ad position and lower cost-per-click you can achieve.

Quality Score is based on three main factors:

  1. Expected clickthrough rate (CTR) - This measures how likely a searcher is to click on your ad when it's shown. Higher CTR signals to Google that your ad is appealing and relevant.

  2. Ad relevance - This looks at how closely the message in your ad matches the searcher's intent. Your ad should reflect what the searcher is querying to be deemed highly relevant.

  3. Landing page experience - Once a searcher clicks your ad, this measures how useful your landing page is. Metrics like load speed, content relevance, and bounce rate are assessed.

Optimizing these three components is key to improving Quality Score.

This involves everything from writing better ads to improving landing page user experience.

As Quality Score increases, you can gain more ad exposure and pay less per click to Google.

How to Improve Your Quality Score

Ad Copy Optimization

Include keywords from ad group in headline and description to increase ad relevance:

Your ads should contain words and phrases that match what the searcher is querying. Reflect search intent in your headline and description to boost ad relevance. Focus on your root ad group keywords or synonyms.

Write compelling ad copy focused on unique benefits to increase clickthrough rate:

Your ad messaging needs to catch attention and entice searchers to click, not just contain keywords. Highlight distinctive value propositions like special deals or key differentiators that motivate action. This results in higher CTR.

Test multiple ad variations to find highest performing copy:

You likely won't nail the optimal ad creative on the first try. Run A/B split tests with different ad copy while keeping other variables the same. Let performance data guide you toward the message resonating most. The champion ad then becomes your control against which you test new variants.

Landing Pages

Ensure landing pages are fast loading, mobile friendly:

A slow or clunky landing page equates to a poor user experience. Use page speed tools to catch issues and optimize load time, especially on mobile where tolerance is lower. Faster speeds keep visitors engaged.

Make landing pages relevant to ad copy and keywords to improve user experience:

Full cohesion is required across ad, keywords, and landing page to deliver optimal searcher journeys. Users expect continuity so ensure your post-click page remains tightly related and useful as promised.

Lower bounce rates by guiding users clearly to goals/conversions:

High site exit rates also signal poor user experience. Guided site navigation and prominent calls-to-action are table stakes so visitors quickly see next steps to complete meaningful actions. Reduce friction and page confusion.


Add negative keywords to reduce irrelevant traffic:

Matching irrelevant searches is wasteful as visitors will quickly bounce. Adding granular negative keywords keeps search traffic targeted and incremental, improving CTR and conversions over the long run.

Use exact and phrase match to increase relevancy:

By specifying match types, searches must match your terms more closely in keyword and/or sequence. This also helps block low relevancy traffic. Go beyond broad match to tighten alignment with your offering.

Organize tightly themed ad groups around specific products/services:

More ad groups with fewer, highly related keywords allows you to specialize ad creative and landing pages for each. This level of singularity in turn boosts your Quality Score via greater context personalization per ad group.

Campaign Structure

Create smaller, more focused ad groups (fewer keywords per group):

As above, overstuffed ad groups perform worse as you then try to solve more intent varieties with a one size fits all approach. Streamlining ad groups around specific products or services enhances outcomes.

Structure campaigns by user search intent:

Similarly, the campaign level allows you to organize ad groups by common user goal themes like research versus purchase. Intent driven campaign alignment improves the entire searcher experience.

Those are the basic, folks.

I hope that helps you in your growth journey.

-Brian 🦄