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your google quality score: what factors matter most?

When trying to master PPC, it’s important to have a grasp on Google’s Quality score – what it is, the factors that determine it and the impact it can have on your campaign’s performance.

An extremely important part of PPC, a higher Quality Score can lead to lower bids and better ad positions, meaning you get more out of your budget and your ads will appear in more searches. While your Quality Score is made up of many influencing factors, there are three core ones known to contribute the most. But are these made equal? We wanted to find out…

what is your quality score?

Google wants to provide users with the best possible online experience by serving the most relevant search results for their queries. To do this, it uses a Quality Score to determine which ad best fits the user’s search intent.

On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest), your Quality Score is Google’s method of rating the overall user experience that your PPC campaigns and landing pages provide. If you want to find out more about Google’s Quality Score, what it is and how you can improve it, we’ve written another blog that tells you all about it.

what factors influence your quality score?

The three core influencing factors that contribute to your Quality Score are:

  • landing page experience: How engaging and relevant your landing page is

  • expected conversion rate (CTR): How likely someone is to click your ad including competition, search query and, most importantly, your bid

  • ad relevance: How relevant your ad is to the search term

These are each graded ‘below average’, ‘average’, and ‘above average’. In the perfect scenario, all of these factors would be ‘above average’ - but that’s our job as your paid media agency to optimise your campaigns if they’re not. Digging into this further, we undertook analysis to really understand how each of these factors can impact your Quality Score and therefore, your PPC performance.

how did we do this analysis?

First things first, across all the PPC campaigns we manage on behalf of our clients, we have a whole load of account data available. Downloading all the keywords within individuals campaigns and removing any branded phrases, we graded the scoring from 1 > 3 in alignment with Google’s gradings mentioned above. In this case, 1 is ‘below average’ and 3 is ‘above average’.

Summarising each campaign with the ‘average’ and ‘above average’ scoring, we were able to understand what the impact of the Quality Score is on a campaign by campaign basis.

Taking it one step further, we created and ran a correlation formula across approximately 1,000 live campaigns and their accompanying Quality Scores. By considering each of the contributing factors, we could begin to see just how much each factor influences Quality Score on a mass scale.

what did we discover?

While there’s no doubting that each of these three core factors significantly affects your campaign performance, we found they are not equally important. In short, we found that there is a very a strong correlation between the Quality Score, landing page experience and expected CTR, but interestingly, less on ad relevance – just take a look at the results:

what does this tell us?

  1. You need an improved landing page experience in order to increase your Quality Score

  2. You need a higher CTR to be capable of not only bidding more but also increasing the bid to increase the expected CTR

This analysis highlights the need to concentrate on creating the very best landing page experience to get the most from your PPC campaigns, something that Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) can help you achieve. While CRO is already proven in improving paid media conversions, getting the maximum return from your PPC investment and traffic your campaigns are driving, this analysis highlights the impact your full landing page experience has on your Quality Score - before a user even visits your page - and how often your ads are shown to relevant searchers. Improving the user experience of your website and landing pages, through extensive testing, we can spot barriers to conversion and where the overall landing page experience can be improved such as page structure, colour changes, CTA positions or text improvements. Our findings have allowed us to unlock further insight into our clients’ campaigns and how to improve their Quality Score. If you want to learn more from our team of paid media specialists and how they can get your campaigns performing at their best, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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