How to Improve Quality Score & Ad Rank7 min read

Lachlan Perry

Lachlan Perry

From a digital marketing and web hosting background, Lachlan is keen to provide all of his insight and knowledge learnt over the years working in the industry to those who want to see their business succeed. On weekends, you can find him enjoying good music and even better food.
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We all want to be the front page of Google – that’s something we all share in common.

The reality is some business’ Google Ads campaigns are just performing better, but that doesn’t mean you’re not able to join them and get a great return on investment (ROI).

This is especially true when you’re equipped with the knowledge of what a quality score is, and how to improve your visible ads so they’re not only appealing to viewers, but also extremely favourable by Google’s standards.

If you want to maximise your ROI out of your Google Ads campaign, keep reading and we’ll help you digest the proven tips to improve your Quality Score and Ad Rank.

Breaking Down What Defines Your Quality Score

A quality score is Google’s ranking indicator (from 1-10) on how well constructed your ad is.

It is an important metric because your score is a representation of how relevant and accurate your ad is in conjunction with the user’s search query.

The most important factors of a good quality score is:

  • Relevance of your ad text
  • Your expected click-through-rate (CTR)
  • Landing page quality and relevance to the ad in question

We’ll break these down in more detail so you can understand how they impact your quality score and how you can improve them for better ad positions.

Relevance of your ad text

The relevance of your ad text must directly relate to the user’s search query.

If your ad text doesn’t contain any of the most relevant keywords related to the user, it won’t be deemed relevant and will result in a lower quality score.

The ad also has to make sense for what they’re looking for and what their intent might be when searching.

Your expected click-through-rate (CTR)

Google analyse your ad text, such as your headline, description, URL, and any ad extensions to determine the likelihood of it being clicked by a user for that particular keyword.

It also takes into account the historical click-through rate of your ad for that keyword.

Your ad’s position and CTR are also subject to the ad auction which will be shown when a user searches for your specific keyword.

Google aims to provide your ad with a position that may be better or worse depending on the search term, device, location, and other auction terms.

Landing page quality and relevance to the ad in question

The URL your ad links to must be relevant to the searcher. The content on the page must directly relate to the user’s search query and the page must be easy for them to navigate in order to be considered relevant.

We’ll touch more on improving landing page quality later on in this post, but it’s mostly common sense. If your ad’s text will show for a user searching for ‘men’s leather shoes’, then make sure your landing page is a product page for leather shoes for men. Simple!

A break down diagram of how Google Adwords 'Quality Score' is explained.

Don’t fret newcomers, it’s a worthwhile investment into Google AdWords, who provide an average ROI (return on investment) of $2 for every $1 spent.

It’s important to care about your quality score, because Google rewards you with lower costs and higher ad positions. You don’t want to pay the same amount for your ads as your competitors, only to lose out in ad position because the quality of your ad is deemed not as superior.

The average benchmark score of an is 5/10. Sounds easy enough to achieve, but easy doesn’t always equate to success.

It is in your business’ best interest to achieve a score higher than 5 because as mentioned before, because you’re rewarded with a discount on your CPC (cost-per-click) and this will allow you to maximise your ROI.
Getting a score between 6-10 can see a decrease on your CPC ranging from 25-50%.

How do I improve my quality score and ad rank?

Consistency is the big key here – you want to make sure that all of your ads are performing well because as mentioned, Google takes into account your previous ads performance. You can focus on key areas below, to improve your overall quality score and ad rank.

  • Organise your keywords into groups

It makes it easier to tie these keywords to ad campaigns.

  • Do your keyword research.

Relevant keywords are always going to help, but look for new long-tail keywords too. Chances are, competition is hot for those short, memorable keywords, so branching off into long-tail keywords can help find untapped territory.

  • Add negative keywords to campaigns.

Without negative keywords, any extra words or phrases added to your keywords can be added and drive up your CPC like crazy and that’s unideal – especially if you’re on a budget. Research and identify irrelevant terms to your keywords and exclude them from your campaign. This makes your ad more relevant, and also lowers your CPC.

  • Landing pages are super important.

Where is your ad going to take your visitor once they have clicked on it? It should be going to a well-written, and optimised landing page relevant to the ad text and keyword. You’re only hurting your chances if you take them to an irrelevant page.

  • Optimise your ad text.

Your ad needs to be clearly defined, well written and contain your keyword(s). An easy to understand ad favours a higher CTR, and this improves your overall quality score.

It also helps to pay attention to your user experience (UX).

Any design flaws, navigation issues, poor page quality, loading time, and responsiveness problems make it difficult for your users to follow on after clicking on your ad.

What about my current ads?

If your current ads are falling under a score criteria that you’re not happy with, you’re in luck, because you can alter those ads and put the ball back in your court.
Go through and audit your current ads, and look for areas of improvement. They’ll only get better if you invest your time into improving them. These might include:

  • Website loading time.

Have you just moved to a slower host? Have you just put in a CDN that actually re-routes your traffic overseas? Keep in mind that every country will load your website at a different speed due to latency, so check your site using PageSpeed Insights to get a good idea of your loading time.

  • Make sure the landing page your ad sends them to is working.

A dead or broken link is a sure-fire way to tank your quality score, so avoid that at all costs.

  • Re-write text ads that have a low CTR.

Google determines that <1.5% is a low CTR, so re-write your ads to optimise your CTR.

  • If you’ve re-written your ads to no success, consider pausing them.

No shame in it, but you’re losing time and effort on ads with an extremely low CTR, despite your best efforts in reviving it.

  • Ensure the best keywords relevant to you are in your ad text.

This is one that needs to be regurgitated because it is far too important to mention once. Consider adding in broad match keywords as well.

The most important thing is to do your keyword research. Ads that are failing tend to lack proper keyword research regarding negative keywords and understanding how broad match works.

Removing too many keywords leaves you susceptible to missed opportunity and conversely, having too many keywords without proper optimisation can lead to a huge amount of money wasted.

We suggest understanding and reading about the marketing funnel (or the buyers journey), which can help bring to light the way people buy and how you can focus your ads campaigns around high commercial intent users.

The Wrap Up

If there’s one important metric Google have defined as important for your ads, it is definitely relevance. To ensure that your ads performance and quality score is great, you must ensure that you’re keeping things simple by organising keywords and doing your keyword research.

Organic SEO is just as important, but it’s no secret businesses are also focusing on paid advertising because of the potential it unlocks.

Don’t just join your competitors, be one step ahead of them.

We here at SEO Kings are your local Melbourne SEO company looking to maximise your ROI and push those visitors into paying customers. Contact us now – your effective, digital strategy is one click away.

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