What Is Google Ads Quality Score and How to Improve It

June 3, 2020 PPC

Every advertiser has the goal of reaching their target audience with relevant, high-quality ads that result in more engagement, clicks, and conversions. Well, improving your Google Ads quality score will help you to do just that.

Quality Score can seem like a bit of a mystery to new search advertisers. The promise of search advertising is that ads will be shown for selected keywords, so long as the advertiser is willing to pay for the resulting clicks. But with thousands of advertisers vying for top rankings on the same keywords, there’s clearly more to it.

You can target the right keywords, create great ads and have a supreme call to action, but if you don’t have high-quality scores you’ll be paying through the roof for terms that shouldn’t be that expensive.

Low-quality scores can destroy your bottom line and produce subpar performances, while high AdWords quality scores will set yourself up for a higher return on investment (ROI).


What is Google Ads Quality Score

Quality Score is a form of measurement used by Google Ads to inform advertisers of the likelihood their campaign will perform well. From 1-10, Google grades campaigns in three areas: keywords, ads, and landing pages. With this estimate from Google, advertisers can work to improve areas of their campaign that may improve Ad Rank.

A number of factors have an impact on your Google Ads Quality Score, including:

  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • How relevant keywords are to ad groups
  • How relevant ad content is
  • Google Ads account performance history
  • Landing page relevance and quality

While only Google knows exactly how much influence each component has on their Quality Score algorithm, we do know that the CTR is the most important factor. The more people who view your ad and click it, the more relevant and useful they believe it is to all users.


Types of Google Ads Quality Score

Keyword Score

This metric represents the Quality Score that Google gives your keywords. Your keyword score is calculated based on the performance of search queries that exactly match your keyword.

It’s important to note that a keyword’s Quality Score is based on their historic performance on until they achieve a significant number of impressions in your account. This is known as the impression threshold and once achieved, you’ll be able to see all of the following data:

  • Quality Score – How relevant keywords, ads, and landing pages are to people who view them
  • Historic Quality Score – Your last quality score based on past performance
  • Ad Relevance – How closely related keywords are to your ad content
  • Historic Ad Relevance – Your last ad relevance rating based on past performance
  • Expected CTR – The chance your ad will be clicked by users based on past performance
  • Historic Expected CTR – Your last expected click-thru-rate in the reporting time frame
  • Landing page experience – How useful your landing page is to Google users who view it
  • Historic landing page experience – Your last landing page exp. score based on past performance

For campaigns whose keywords have received significant impressions, look to CTR as an indicator of performance.  If the keyword CTR is low and so is the ad CTR (less than 1.5%) then this is an indicator that users are not finding the ad relevant to their query, and the ad can be more specific to the ad group theme.

Ad Group Score

Your Ad Group Quality Score allows you to see which areas in any given campaign need attention. For example, if you happen to have a pretty low keyword score in one ad group (let’s say a 4), but your overall average is a 7, you’ll know exactly where you need to prioritize your focus.

Improving your lowest average Quality Score ad groups first helps gives you a better return on investment.

You’ll want to be careful to look for ads that aren’t converting despite a high CTR so that you aren’t ruining your ROI. You can pause poor performing ads without hurting your Quality Score, but editing an existing one will delete its history.

Landing Page Quality Score

Google always proclaims its big three landing page quality factors: relevant and original content, transparency, and navigability. Google wants to force advertisers into making quality websites that Google users will find useful and relevant, which is why they’re the top dog search engine.

Adhering to the guidelines for a good landing page is also more likely to help an advertiser turn visitors into customers and improve ROI.

Learn more about Landing Pages through this article.

Display Network Score

Your Google Ads Quality Score on the Display Network is based on a number of factors, including your ads’ historical keyword and landing page performance, as well as the bidding options you choose.

The Display Network has different bidding options, and the factors contributing to your DN Quality Score will depend on which one you choose. If your campaign uses a CPC bidding model, your ads’ historical click-through rate and landing page quality will be factored in. However, if you opt for a cost per mille (CPM) model, your score will be based solely on your landing page quality.

Mobile Score

Although the paid search platform says your Google Ads Quality Score is calculated the same way across devices, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to mobile advertising.

Google takes into account the distance between users and business locations when determining your mobile Quality Score by using device location and location extensions data.

Also, if your mobile score is low, it could have a significant negative impact on your mobile ad performance, which can hurt since so much traffic (especially for shopping campaigns) comes from smartphones.


How To Improve Quality Score

When Google calculates Quality Score, it takes into account three factors related to keywords, ads, and landing pages. These are known as:

  • Expected CTR
  • Ad Relevance
  • Landing Page Experience

This is where you should focus your efforts to improve the Quality Score.

Expected Click-through Rate

Expected CTR is a keyword-related factor that measures how likely it is someone will click your ad when searching for the keyword associated with it. Expected CTR does not take into account ad position, extensions, or other ad formats that may make your ad more or less visible.

What it does take into account is past keyword performance based on ad position. How well has this keyword performed in the past based on where the ad is shown? Ultimately Google wants to find out how likely your keyword will result in a click-through.

If your keyword is relevant, but this score is low, try writing a stronger ad that is more compelling by highlighting its relevance to the keyword or by including a stronger call-to-action or a unique value proposition.

Ad Relevance

Ad relevance, like expected CTR, is related to your keyword. In this case, though, it’s more about: Is your ad copy relevant to the keywords in your ad group?

This component measures how well the message in your ad matches the keyword. If this component is low, it may be because your ad groups cover too broad a range of themes.

If your ad relevance is below average, check to make sure your keyword groups aren’t too broad. The more relevant your ad is to your keyword groups, the more likely you are to have a high ad relevance.

Landing Page Experience

When Google measures your landing page experience, it’s measuring “how relevant and useful your website’s landing page will be to people who click your ad.” When searchers arrive on your landing page, are they happy they came, or do they turn right around and leave?

If this component is too low, make sure that the landing page is closely related to what the user searched for and delivers on the promise in the ad.

Here’s what makes a good landing page experience:


Your page should be created with landing page design best practices. That means keeping your conversion ratio to 1:1, using visual hierarchy to guide users to conversion, ensuring copy is minimal (on most pages) and skimmable, media is engaging and informational, and there is a clear way forward through a call-to-action.


Design is one thing, content is another. What did you promise in your ad? The content should be easy to consume (use infographics and get rid of jargon) and help people figure out if the offer you promised is worth claiming. Make sure your page includes everything they need to know about your offer to make a decision.


You should not be driving customers to a homepage or a product page or any page that is not designed specifically for your offer. The more relevant your page is, the more personalized it is to the visitor. And personalization is a powerful effector of buying decisions.

Page Speed

In today’s digital world, page loading speed can make the difference between a sale and a bounce. Your landing page should load quickly (in under 3 seconds), or it will negatively affect not only your SEO but your Google Ads quality score as well.

Mobile Responsiveness

If you want to deliver your message to your audience, you need to adapt it to the devices they use. Most people check their email regularly using a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Make sure they get the same user experience no matter the device they use. The responsive design of your landing page allows users to do whatever you ask them to do in your call to action. You can no longer afford to lose your mobile users.

Learn more about Landing Pages through this article.



Along with the bid, Quality Score is a major part of how Google decides which ads to show and how to rank them.

Continually improving your Google Ads Quality Score should be a big part of your efforts when building a PPC advertising strategy, since a higher quality score translates to a higher ad position and at a lower cost-per-click (CPC).

The problem is, achieving a higher Google Ads Quality Score is easier said than done, as many advertisers find out through lower positions and wasted ad dollars. If you’re in the same boat with them, contact our experts in Avamia to help you improve your Quality Score!

Tips for your Marketing Strategy

Sign up for Exclusive Traffic Tips!