Yesterday, I helped one of our Marketing Breakthrough members clean up his AdWords account.  Together, we ran some reports and quickly saw that some of the keywords had low Quality Scores.  It didn’t take us long to see what the problem was by looking at the Keyword Status and within 24-hours we improved many keywords from a 5/10 to a 7/10 Quality Score.

Want to know how we did this?  It was only about 15-minutes of work and is sure to have a big impact on the campaign performance the rest of the month.

First, let’s get up to speed on Quality Score…


What is the AdWords Quality Score

The best way to think about the AdWords Quality Score is that it’s Google’s grade for your ad campaign.  If Google thinks your ads are not set up properly, then you’ll get a low grade of 1-3 out of 10.  If your ads are above average, then you’ll get a grade of 7, 8, 9, or even a perfect 10/10.

Your grade is then multiplied by your bid to determine your Ad Rank.  So a higher Quality Score leads to a higher Ad Rank, which means you’ll be ranked higher on the page.  If you do the math, you can also see that you don’t need to bid as high as your competitors to outrank them if you have a higher quality score.  For example, if you have a 10/10 quality score while bidding $2, and your competitor has a 5/10 quality score bidding $3, then you’ll outrank your competitor.

(10 QS) x ($2 bid) = 20 Ad Rank
(5 QS) x ($3 bid) = 15 Ad Rank

Again, the higher the Ad Rank, the better ad position you’ll have in the search results.  So in this example, a $2 bid would outrank a $3 bid.  Clearly, quality score is a huge leverage point in any AdWords campaign and that’s why it was the focus of my call yesterday.


How to Check Your Quality Scores

To check your current keyword quality scores, go to the Keywords tab in your AdWords account.  Under the “Status” column, you’ll most likely see “Eligible” along with an icon that looks like a speech bubble.  Click on the speech bubble and you’ll see your quality score, along with information about your expected click through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience.  All three of those factors are ranked as “average,” “above average,” or the dreaded “below average.”

You can also check quality scores by adding the Quality Score Column to your AdWords report, but you won’t see the grades for the three factors above.


How We Improved Quality Scores in 24-Hours

When I reviewed the keyword quality score information with my client, we noticed some of the keywords had below average ad relevance. The click through rate and landing page experience were both average, but the ad relevance was dragging us down.

Ah ha! We identify an easy problem to fix.

If you find yourself in this situation, then navigate over to the Ads tab in your account to draft new ads.  In the new ads, include the keyword you’re targeting in the ad group.  Now, if your ad group has many different phrases, then you have another problem on your hands.  I recommend you restructure your account so only similar phrased keywords are in a single ad group.  That will allow you to match the ads precisely to the keywords.

As I mentioned earlier, by simply drafting ads that included the keyword, we were able to improve our keyword quality scores overnight!  Take a look at your keyword quality scores and follow these steps if you also have below average ad relevance.