AdWords Tips

How to Improve Low Google AdWords Quality Scores with WordStream

By Tom Demers May 08, 2012 Posted In: AdWords Tips Comments: 0

There is a lot of high-quality material available on how Quality Score works and on how to analyze it – for example, we created a Quality Score toolkit with a variety of content on the subject of Quality Score, and we talk frequently about how to better understand the metric, but as with anything else the most useful information on the subject of AdWords Quality Scores is how you can actually impact yours to generate more profits for your business. As a result, in this post we’ll walk through some specific methods you can leverage to actually improve on low Quality Scores.

Identifying Why Your Quality Scores Are Low

Before you can improve your Quality Scores, you need to better understand why they’re low and which knobs to turn to improve them. There might be a few specific things that could be weighing down your Quality Scores:

  • Low-Click Through Rates – This is the most likely culprit for low Quality Scores – the cause of your low click-through rates (CTRs) are often poorly structured ad groups and ad copy that doesn’t do an effective job of speaking to the keywords in your ad group.
  • Landing Pages – Generally this is only an issue with low Quality scores if you have dramatically misleading or poorly functioning landing pages.

To ensure your landing pages aren’t at issue, you may consider testing your page load time, but generally speaking the issue with landing pages would have to be egregious for it to negatively impact Quality Score, so most of the issues you’ll be facing will be around click-through rates and the relevance of your keywords to your ad text and to each other.

Determining Where Your Time Is Best Spent

Since Quality Score is mainly a function of how your ads are performing in combination with your keywords, a good place to start is to determine which ad groups have high volume (lots of spend, traffic and hopefully conversions) and low Quality Scores:

Average Quality Score

In this screenshot of WordStream’s ad group view, you see the key metrics for determining where to spend your time:

  • Cost/Conversion metrics
  • Average Quality Score at the ad group level
  • Number of active keywords

You want to identify the groups that drive a lot of your spend and traffic while also having lower average Quality Scores and lots of keywords. As we can see in the screenshot above the guitar group has the highest spend and the lowest average Quality Score, and while the other groups have more active keywords, this group still has a large number of active keywords, so there’s likely a great opportunity to create some better targeted segmentations, better and more relevant ads, and improved Quality Scores.

Making an Impact on Quality Score

From here you need to take action: create more relevant segmentations and write more compelling ads (that will get clicked on more often). We can address the relevance issue and position ourselves to be able to write more compelling ads by breaking the higher cost ad groups with lower Quality Scores into more specific segmentations:

Split Ad Groups

As you can see, the Split Ad Group tool is proactively making suggestions for how we can break up this ad group into multiple ad groups – it’s pretty obvious that we could write a better ad for searches around learning to play guitar if we can message to just that specific keyword group, than if we had to worry about writing ads for searchers whose intent is to buy a guitar, etc.

From there you’ll have new, better positioned segmentations to write ad copy for. With more tightly themed ad groups it’ll be much easier to understand the intent of the searcher and write great ads. For more ideas on how to actually create good ad copy and set up tests, you can check out the copywriting category on the WordStream blog where we feature a number of best practices and actual examples of ad copy tests including which ad was the actual eventual winner.

AdWords Performance Grader




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