Quality Score And What To Do About It

What is Quality Score?

In the world of Pay-Per-Click marketing, you might develop a multifaceted consideration of what defines “success.” Achieving high clickthrough rates, low cost-per-conversion, and meeting your target spending goals all may constitute successful PPC. One tangible way to measure the performance of your campaign is by monitoring the Google Quality Scores that your keywords earn. So what exactly is Quality Score?Quality Score is a Google term used to define the search engine’s evaluation of your keywords and how relevant your offerings are to related searches. Google Defines Quality Score as, “[…] an aggregated estimate of how well a keyword has performed overall in past ad auctions.”So what does that mean for you?In simple terms, it is Google’s way of rewarding ads that display a positive user experience and filtering out ads that display a negative user experience.When an ad displays a positive user experience, customers will engage with high clickthrough rates, high conversion rates, and other factors that let Google know that your site is what searchers are looking for. When your ads achieve these results, Google gives you a high Quality Score.If your ad engagement is negative (such as with low clickthrough rates or high bounce rates), Google will likely lower your Quality Score for those keywords. This often suggests that you are providing a poor user experience or trying to rank for keywords unrelated to your product, business, or service.Google records this data and uses it to impact PPC bidding and rates.

How Is Quality Score Measured?

So how is Quality Score measured? Quality Score is made up of three parts that Google explicitly clarifies at a keyword level: expected CTR (clickthrough rate), landing page user experience, and ad relevance.

  • Expected clickthrough rate: “The likelihood that your ad will be clicked when shown.” When your ad is presented to searchers of your keywords, do they click on them? If so, this affirms to Google that your ads are what users are looking for. High clickthrough rates positively impact your Quality Score.

  • Landing page user experience: “How relevant and useful your landing page is to people who click your ad.” When a user clicks on your ad, does it link to an engaging, responsive landing page with the information they are looking for? Google uses engagement patterns to determine the caliber of your landing page user experience, which is reflected in your Quality Score.

  • Ad relevance: “How closely your ad matches the intent behind a user’s search.” Are your ads targeting keywords relevant to your products or services? If your ads consistently prove to be pertinent to users, you will see this positively impact your Quality Score.


Quality Score ranges are listed on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest possible score and 10 being the highest possible score.

Benefits of Having a High Quality Score

  1. Top ad spots:


    Having a high Quality Score means that Google thinks your ad is relevant. When multiple companies are bidding for the same keywords, the highest quality score will be awarded the top spot. This can help your site gain traffic and brand awareness.

  2. Money-saving discounts

    : High Quality Scores are rewarded with a lower Cost Per Click. This can help your business expand its paid search scope or save money on PPC spending.

Is my Quality Score Good?

A “good” Quality Score is generally considered a 7 or above, as this is when Google begins to provide discounts on your Cost Per Click. However, the industry you are working within can impact what is considered a “good” score.


In a highly competitive market, your Quality Score might take hits when bidding against popular brands and big industry names. In such a market, a Quality Score of 3-6 might be considered good, even if the number itself is lower. This is especially true if you are a lesser-known company. If these keywords are effective in gaining your business brand awareness, high-quality leads, and conversions, they might still be worth investing in—even if they cost a little more.

The keywords you are targeting can also affect what you might consider a “good” Quality Score. For instance, if you are targeting competitor branded keywords or those less central to your business model, they might not score well. However, they can still provide brand awareness and leads. In this case, you might also consider a Quality Score of 3-6 to be worth the investment.

How To Improve Quality Score

The top way you can boost Quality Score is to refine your PPC strategy for an optimized user experience. Successful PPC management requires constant attention. Update your copy, alter your keywords, and work to provide an integrated and well-thought-out user experience.User interactions on the site after clicking on the ad also impact Quality Score. Website issues can encourage users to click away from your page, which increases your bounce rate and lowers your Quality Score. Are there any needed site improvements that you or someone on your team can complete? Common issues include:

  • Incorrect, incomplete, or misleading information

  • Slow page load speeds

  • A poor user interface or site bugs

  • Broken links and navigation issues

Working with your web team to make improvements to these areas of the site can help you boost your Quality Score.If you need help managing your PPC, contact us to see how we can help.

Jeff Cooper

Founder & President, Saltbox Solutions

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