If you’ve used Google Ads you’ll know how tricky it is to understand what it all does and how to make the most of it.

If you’ve ever wondered why your ad campaigns aren’t working the answer could be that your quality score is too low.

To master a good Google Ad campaign you need to understand what ad rank means, what the quality score is, and how to improve the quality score to optimise your ad campaign.

Google Ads quality score affects ad position

What is Ad Rank?

Every search result you’ve ever seen on Google has been affected by Google Ad ranks. They determine when, how and where search results appear and it’s a vital piece of information for any business using Google Ads.

Ad Rank

Your ad rank is the value Google has given your site to determine where your ad will appear.

Ad rank decides who to show your ad to and if it’s good enough to be shown in the best places.

Why do you want a good ad rank?

There are many reasons why you should be aiming for a good ad rank. The most obvious is that if your rank is high then your ad will appear in more and better searches as Google will “think” your ad is better and thus it deserves more clicks.

Having a high rank will also mean that you have a lower cost per click (cpc) which means that if you’re a smart entrepreneur you’ll want to get a high rank so that you spend less and earn more.

This means you’ll have a higher return on your investment, than if you have a low to average ad rank score.

Your google ads account quality score affects your cost per click

What is Quality Score?

Quality score is Google’s way of scoring your ad campaign and it’s this score that decides your ad ranking, so getting a high-quality score means improving your ad rank.

What makes a high quality score?

When Google says you have a high quality score, your ad is very relevant to the search term you’re focusing on.

It also means that your landing page, which is the site you’re linking to, is good and easy to navigate while being relevant to people who click on the ad. To determine if something is relevant to the people who clicked Google uses something called Click Through Rate, which is something you’ll have to know a lot to get a high quality score.

Google ads quality score is related to user experience

What determines the quality score?

5 main things will determine your quality score and these are the five things you’ll need to optimise your ad towards to ensure that you get that oh-so-important score quality.

These are the factors that determine how the quality score is calculated.

Click Through Rate

Your expected click through rate (CTR) is how many potential customers are expected to click on the ad through to the landing page (The landing page is the site you’re linking to.)

Having a high expected CTR means your page is better and relevant to a search term, this means Google’s algorithms know your page is good and useful to people who have clicked on it in the past. So it’s probably good for people searching now.

Keyword Relevance to Ad Groups

Ad groups are ways to group keywords related to ads. For example, if you’re using words like trainers, loafers, and sandals, your ad group would be shoes.

It may seem simple but many ad campaigns are hampered by lacklustre keywords which are either too broad or are completely different to the other keywords you’re focusing on.

Also, consider what keywords you’re focusing on as if you’re focusing on a keyword that doesn’t get many searches then your click through rate will take longer to impro

Ad relevance and landing page are important factors to the success of your google ads

Landing Page Experience

When a potential customer clicks on an ad and is directed to a site with a million pop-ups and an irrelevant subject, they’re not going to use it. They’ll click off and go to a better page, this is otherwise known as a bounce.

That would be a bad landing page. The best way to increase your ctr ad relevance is to make it so that the person who clicks on the ad uses the page, whether it be a blog, e-commerce or streaming site.

You’re paying for the advertisement to get people to click on it, why would you pay to just alienate your audience.

Make sure to make your landing pages as good to look at, practical and as relevant as possible to the user’s search that your keywords may appear in.

Ad Relevance

Having the best looking site ever doesn’t help if someones looking for cars and you’re selling soap. So it’s important to know exactly who and what you target.

Link people to your shoe page if they’re searching for shoes, casting a wide net often doesn’t help your quality score and can give you a low quality score as it may catch many people who simply aren’t interested. Focusing on a specific audience is an easy way to improve quality scores.

So make sure you’re highly relevant to the customers you desire.

Past user experience with your google ads campaign affects your quality scores

Historical performance

If you’ve had a low quality score for a while it means your future quality score will be impacted by this.

So if you’re looking to improve your quality scores now is the time to get to it as waiting only means it’ll take longer to improve it.

Remember that once you have optimised your ad it will take a while for your quality score to improve as the search engine needs time to calculate how your ads are being received.

How do Google Ads know what customer’s want?=

All of the factors that affect your quality score have a common feature. They are all dictated by the user/customer’s search, their intent and how relevant it is to them.

Several factors affect this.

  • The search term used
  • The location they search from
  • The time they searched
  • The device they use (Mobile or desktop)

If Google looks at all these things and decides your ad isn’t relevant it won’t show your ad. Having a high quality score will ensure it will be shown to users as it has been relevant in the past.

Google focus of user experience to determine if your campaign quality

How to check your quality score?

So now you know what quality score is and how it’s defined. The next step from here is finding out exactly what your score is and how much you still need to improve, if at all.

It’s very easy to check your quality score so just follow these simple steps.

  1. Sign in to your Google ads account
  2. In the left menu select keywords
  3. In the top right-hand corner of the table click the columns icon
  4. Under ‘modify columns for keywords’ open quality score sections
  5. Choose any of the following to add to your statistics table
  6. Quality score
  7. Landing page experience
  8. Expected CTR
  9. Ad Relevance
  10. To see past quality score stats for reporting period choose the history metrics
  11. Click apply

How long will it take to get better?

So how long does it take for your quality score to get better? Well, it takes time as the search engine needs to have results to test with to see your click through rate improve.

Your quality score updates with every new search so your score will improve faster or slower depending on your search volume.

Improve quality score by considering the nature of the search a customer could use.

How to improve your quality score?

Now that you know what defines a quality score and how it affects your rank you need to know how to improve the score to help bolster your website in the rankings and make the most out of your finances.

What to do

As we said in the previous paragraphs your main reason for a high, or low, quality score is your expected ctr.

So that’s the thing you have to focus on changing to make the most out of your ad and to see the wide-ranging benefits of a great Google Ad campaign.

Keyword research

It’s a no-brainer that the most important thing in an ad is what your keywords are. The keywords you pick will define the traffic towards you, your audience and ultimately it’s the reason why people will discover your ad at all.

So it’s very important to know how to select keywords.

You do this by simply researching what words come up with what results and by using online tools to discover what keywords are under or overused in ad spaces, which means if you pick a keyword that isn’t used too much then you’ll have less competition.

Not doing the research could be bad for you as you could select a keyword that has huge competition. For example ‘books’ will mean your ads will be next to Amazon ads, and you’re less likely to beat a major high authority company like them, whereas ‘antique books’ is an easier keyword to focus on.

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So make sure you pick your keywords wisely.

Finding the right keywords to focus on can ensure higher quality ad relevance

Keyword organisation

Another way to use keywords to improve your ad is to utilise ad groups.

This is harder to do on an already running ad campaign as it will reset your ad data, so it’s smarter to start a new one to do this with.

Here is a four-step approach to keyword groups.

Top-Level Ad Groups

The first step to good keyword groups is to decide what makes a good top-level keyword group.

A strong top-level keyword group is usually a one-term noun, which represents your business. e.g. products or services.

Second-level keyword groups

The second step is to create a second-level keyword group. These are usually modifiers, which means it’ll change the top-level word, e.g. if you’re top-level group is ‘cake’, ‘wedding’ could be a second-level keyword as it changes ‘cake’ into ‘wedding cake’

You can do this step on and on into third and fourth-level keyword groups to ensure maximum explicitness and to target a larger range.

On the latter level groups, you should add instructional words which relate to your business, such as ‘rent’ or ‘buy.’

Ad group organisation helps user experience and where you appear in search engine results


The third step to perfecting ad groups is to make your search terms perfect, this is a crucial part of the process which will impact your quality score as if your keywords are too vague or unspecific then your score will be lowered.

The way to optimise your keyword groups is simple and there are four main points to be aware of

  • Plurals and derivations – Don’t create a separate ad group for these, they should be included in their related group. E.g. ‘dancing’ is a derivation of ‘dance’ and should be included in the ‘dance’ group, not as a separate one.
  • Misspellings – Don’t try to create groups for common misspellings as the Google search engine is smart enough to understand misspellings and direct potential customers towards the correct keywords.
  • Synonyms – You should try to use synonyms as Google likes its ads to be as specific as possible. So try to catch as many potential relevant keywords as you can.
  • Duplicates – If you have a word that appears in multiple top-level keyword groups then there are several things you should do
  • Test it – Test what top-level keyword its ads perform best in
  • Create a separate top-level group.
Keep on doing it

The fourth step is very simple. Keep on doing it. Keep on looking up keywords and utilising ad groups as they change all the time and searches on Google will fluctuate which means you may need to update your grouping to catch new customers.

Ad Copy

Your Google quality score is also impacted by how your landing page reads. This means that if your Ad copy reads poorly it doesn’t matter how good your keyword organisation is because people won’t use the site, which will decrease your expected ctr.

So making sure your ad text is perfect is essential. Read through it over and over again and make sure there are no typos, then make sure it’s easy to read with its layout.

Landing page experience

Make sure the landing page experience is as enjoyable and easy to use as possible as landing pages are important for the customer and having a higher quality landing page helps the user’s experience.

You can make your landing page as enjoyable as possible by making sure it’s accurate to people’s searches, without spamming.

Don’t bombard the searcher with information as having a word-heavy complicated thesis will make people less likely to attempt to read it. Also, don’t use pop-ups.

Make sure that the page is easy to use and informative. Making the experience as positive as possible means people will use it more in the future, which helps increase your expected ctr.

Google Ad Quality Score Rank

Now that you know what ad rank is and how the quality score affects it you can utilise this information to propel your ad campaign ahead of your competitors.

If you refine your campaign and make sure to use keywords, and improve your landing pages, your quality score will shoot up and your expected click through rate (ctr) will increase.

This way you can make the most business-savvy decisions and exponentially grow your business by increasing your position in Google Ads.

If you need more help or tips on how to improve your ad rank contact us.