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PPC Basics: What is Quality Score?

Quality Score is one of those terms you’ll probably hear PPC professionals throwing around from time to time. It’s the cornerstone of PPC, so today we’re going to run through exactly what is a Quality Score and why it matters in your account.

The easiest way to understand Quality Score is to think of it as a grade out of 10 points total. After your account is set up and goes live, Google begins reviewing your account. This review continues throughout the life of your campaigns – as long as your account is live, you’ll have Quality Scores tied to that account.

What does the Quality Score do?

Quality Scores have a hand in determining your ad placement, the price of your clicks, whether or not a keyword is eligible to enter an auction, and the estimation of the first page bids you’ll need to appear on page 1.

So what makes up a Quality Score?

Google is kind enough to give us an idea of what goes into a Quality Score, but of course, a lot is still left to the imagination. The most important thing to remember is that Google rewards advertisers for relevancy. Things like account history, account performance, relevancy of your landing pages, and click-through-rate (ratio of clicks to impressions) have a large impact on your Quality Score. We’ll go into more detail on these topics in the weeks to follow.

You should also be made aware that Search and Display Network click-through-rates don’t help or harm each other. Click-through-rates on the Display Network are typically lower than Search, so don’t panic that these low CTRs will drag down your Quality Score.

How do you improve Quality Score?

Be as relevant as humanly possible. That means having tightly organized campaigns/adgroups that link to highly relevant landing pages. Also, work to improve your click-through-rates by split testing ads and monitoring your keyword list.

Optimizing for better Quality Scores can take a lot of time and energy, but it pays off in the long run as you start see your campaigns improve. Just remember to work toward higher relevancy and be persistent with testing new ad copy that will garner higher click-through-rates over time. If that all sounds too demanding, consider hiring a PPC management agency. After all, PPC is all we focus on.