5 Ways To Improve Your Google Ads Quality Score

20 November, 2018

The Quality Score of your keywords can make an enormous difference to the performance of your campaigns as a whole. Despite being one of the most important metrics for success, however, there isn’t a guaranteed formula to achieve the elusive 10/10 Quality Score.

Why is Quality Score so important?

Google has managed to maintain such a dominant market share in search thanks, in large part, to its commitment to delivering consistent and relevant search results. With regards to advertising, this means striking a balance between encouraging as many advertisers as possible to bid on as many searches as they can and delivering a positive user experience.

A higher Quality Score is important because it has enormous influence over the cost of running your ads, as well as your ad rank.

If there are two advertisers competing for clicks on the same keyword, the advertiser with the greater Quality Score will usually rank higher than the other when bids are the same. The advertiser with the inferior Quality Score will therefore have to bid more to maintain a strong ad rank.

What influences Quality Score?

There is no exact formula for improving Quality Score; it is influenced by a number of account factors, including: 

  • Landing page relevance and quality
  • Click-through-rate of your ads
  • Historical account performance
  • Relevance and accuracy of ad text
  • Relevance of your keywords

Nobody outside of Google actually knows which of these is most important or has the most weight in the Quality Score algorithm, so the smart course of action is to optimise your account for all of them.

How to increase your Quality Score

For this guide, we will break Quality Score down by its various influencing factors and offer tried and tested methods of giving your keywords the best chance of gaining a strong Quality Score. This guide will cover the following areas:

  1. Optimise your landing pages
  2. Optimise your ads for click-through rate
  3. Ensure your keywords and ads are relevant
  4. Build up historical performance data
  5. Structure your campaigns and ad groups well

1.   Optimise your Landing Pages

You can improve your Quality Score by ensuring your landing page is an accurate and relevant continuation of the statements or promises made in your ad, as well as the initial search query. 

If a user searches for “Size 9 Batman Trainers”, they are clearly a fan of the caped crusader; more importantly, though, they are making a very specific product query.

For such a query, a higher Quality Score is likely to be given to advertisers whose ads reflect this and reference this query directly (e.g. “Batman Trainers”), and whose landing page delivers on the promise of the ad.

If your landing page shows the users exactly what they are looking for, you can expect a positive Quality Score impact. If your landing page is only loosely related to the initial search, or not relevant at all, you can expect to be penalised.

Try to avoid landing pages that are too generic for specific or long tail search queries. 

Improving your landing page loading times can also have a positive impact.

2.   Optimise your Ads for Click-through-rate

You can also improve your Quality Score by improving the click-through-rate of your ads. A robust and statistically significant ad testing strategy is crucial here. You should always be testing a minimum of 2 ads for each ad group and be rotating as regularly as your data allows. As you gradually optimise your ads for clicks, your Quality Score will benefit. 

Important: A strong click-through-rate is important, but do not over-promise, spam or make outrageous claims to try and entice users in. Remember, your landing page is also a big factor. If you make promises in your ad that are not delivered on your site, you will be penalised, even if the CTR is high. 

Google encourages use of automated settings to prioritise the best performing ads. This can work effectively, but we also recommend ensuring that all ads get a fair chance to perform before being paused. 

3.   Ensure your keywords & ads are relevant

Your Quality Score will benefit from a relevant and user-friendly combination of keyword and ad. Consider the following examples. The whole ad would normally be included here, but for an example we will look at headline 1.

Once again, let’s look at a customer search for “Size 9 Batman Trainers”

KeywordHeadline 1Relevance?
superhero trainers (broad)Superhero TrainersSemi-relevant
“batman trainers” (phrase)Batman Clothing & AccessoriesRelevant, but still lacking information
“size 9 trainers” (phrase)Size 9 Trainers, Boots & ShoesRelevant, but still lacking information
trainers (broad)Trainers, Shows & AccessoriesFar too broad – no specifics of the query are answered
“batman trainers” (phrase)Batman Trainers – Sizes 6-10Relevant, both in design and in size range

You get the idea – the more your keywords and ads are to the user’s specific query, the more likely you are to be rewarded with a high CTR and improved Quality Score.

Across an entire account, this can be an unrealistic amount of work, especially for long tail, lower volume searches. There are, however, some great tricks to use to produce super-relevant ads.

  • Try using Dynamic Keyword Insertion to make your headline reflect the search term more closely
  • Check your search query reports and prioritise the long-tail keywords that have search volume for more granular ad copy.

Again, make sure your landing page is also as relevant as possible.

4.   Build up historical performance data

Google rewards advertisers with steady and consistent results in their accounts. An advertiser with a whole year of performance data, and historical Quality Scores, is likely to enjoy some Quality Score benefits for this.

There is no short-cut to be taken here, but maintaining good performance through regular optimisation and good account management will certainly help here. 

5.   Structure your campaigns and ad groups well

Your campaigns should be structured in smaller, targeted ad groups. Try to ensure each ad group is as specific as possible – by doing this, you will increase the relevancy between search query and your ads. 

Don’t cram loosely related keywords into the same ad group – if their meanings differ, even slightly, try giving them their own ad group and a specific and relevant ad. This can take time to plan and implement, especially if you have a lot of keywords, but it is certainly worth it.

A well organised account can improve your Quality Score and increase your click-through-rates, because your ads will be well focused and highly relevant to the searches of your customers.


There is no guaranteed way to achieve a 10/10 Quality Score for every keyword or ad. However, the factors outlined in this guide should go some way towards helping you reach the top.

If you have any other tricks to improving Google Ads Quality Scores that you would like to share, please feel free to comment below.



Written by Tom

Tom cites his key strengths as communication, writing and presenting. He enjoys working in digital due to the way it satisfies both the creative and logical sides of the brain.

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