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Google Ads: Quality Score

Online Advertising card with colorful background with defocused lightsWhat is a Quality Score in Google Ads?

Google assesses the overall quality and relevance of your keywords and ads, then assigns a Quality Score rating based on the following:

  • The relevance of the keyword and the ad to the search query
  • The relevance of the keyword to the ad
  • Historical click-through-rate (CTR)
  • Landing page quality

To better understand how the Quality Score works in relation to ad performance, you can compare it to the way a credit score works when applying for a loan. When purchasing a loan of any kind, your credit score determines what size loan you will be given, as well what interest rate you’ll receive on the loan. The better your credit score, the larger the loan, the lower the interest rate — and vice versa.

With Google Ads and your Quality Score, Google is comparing your ad to the searchers' query; the more relevant your ad (or keyword) is, the higher quality score it will have and the less you’ll end up paying-per-click.

What Does the “Rarely shown (low Quality Score)” error message mean in Google Ads?

What this error message means is that Google is not considering your ad relevant for the keyword/search term and therefore your ad is either not being shown OR, if it is being shown, you’re paying a much higher cost per click.

How can I fix my Google Ads Quality Score?

There are many things you can do to raise your Quality Score, depending on how much time and effort you put into it. Here are a few good, quick and easy ways to raise your Quality Score:

Create very small, keyword-specific ad groups.

The goal here is to make sure that your ads, keywords and landing pages all contain a common thread. The smaller the ad group, the easier it is to make sure the three aspects — ad, keyword and landing page — all tie together nicely.

Let’s say you’re selling wedding gowns, but you have locations in Houston, Austin and Dallas. Create ad groups for each city, like the below example for Houston. Make sure the highlighted keyword is included in your landing page and ad copy as well.

Ad Group Wedding Dresses Houston:

[Wedding Dresses Houston]

“Wedding Dresses Houston”

+Wedding +Dresses +Houston

Creating these super-small, keyword-saturated ad groups will make your ad more targeted and relevant, causing your Quality Score to go up and your ads to be shown more.

It would be too much work to do this for every single keyword, so we recommend that you choose your most important keywords that have a low quality score — 3 or lower — to try this trick on.

Build out expanded text ads

Since Google ads have a character limit, you don’t always have the room to communicate everything you’d like, but Google’s new[er] expanded text ad format allows you to create ads that are much more detailed and longer than the original format. Expanded ads let you add a third headline, add a second description and use up to 90 characters for each description.

So here’s what you need to do when you’re creating your expanded text ads:

Make sure you use your keyword in Headline 1.

In the Display URL path, use your keyword in the first field and a CTA in the second field. If your keyword is long, you can use both fields to spread out the keyword.

If you can, add your keyword (or partial keyword) in the description.

Add ad extensions.

Ad extensions are a fairly new feature that Google included to help searchers find your information quickly and more easily than before. There are multiple types of ad extensions you can set up, and each one is beneficial in its own way, depending on what kind of campaign you’re setting up.

Sitelinks: Link people directly to specific pages of your website. This could be used to link to a landing page for special offers or promotions, downloadable content pages, pages for specific products, contact us pages, etc. It’s important to make sure you have good, relevant titles for these extensions. Use your most popular keywords and take advantage of the extra description line on each one.

Location: Show your location, a call button, and a link to your business details page — which can include your hours, photos of your business, and directions to get there. This may be obvious, but these extensions will help boost your Quality Score for location-targeted campaigns.

You can read up on all the different kinds of ad extensions here: Google Ad Extensions

Evaluate the landing page content and user experience.

This one is kind of a no-brainer, yet we see this problem again and again … make sure your landing page is relevant. Make sure it’s easy to navigate. Make sure it contains some of your main keywords. Think of it like this: when someone clicks on your ad, they want to immediately see what they are looking for.

Need some help, let me know!