When running a PPC campaign, you can actively check every day and still miss out on learning how to monitor your ‘quality scores’ to optimize your strategy.
That’s because if you look at the campaigns, the ad groups or indeed the ads, you can see the number of clicks and other important data like average cost per click (CPC), the number of impressions and the number of conversions but you have to dig a little deeper to see the quality scores that google assigns to each of your keywords.
How to check your PPC Quality Scores
When you are inside your PPC campaign, you must click on the ‘keywords’ tab. In the ‘status’ column there are rectangular white bubbles which reveal the quality score for each keyword as they are hovered over. The lowest value is 1/10 which indicates ‘below average’ performance in each of the following factors
- Expected clickthrough rate
- Ad relevance
- Landing page experience
At the opposite end of the scale, the best possible quality score is 10/10 where all of the factors record ‘above average’
The resulting box will also show if your ads are currently being shown right now. Even with a perfect quality score, your ad may still be not being shown currently. In this example ‘another creative in the ad group was selected over this one’. Quality score is a good guide and tool to help you manage your keywords but should not exclusively determine your actions.
My quality score is missing
It takes time for the campaign to gather enough data to assign a quality score to any keyword. Rather than assign an arbitrary 5/10 as a mid point, instead the quality score remains undetermined until it can be assessed. When hovering over the bubble in the keywords tab you may see this explanation:
Does a better quality score matter?
Yes! A higher quality score represents a ‘successful’ ad as measured by it’s history. The assumption is that if a click has performed well up to now, it will continue to do so and the system is set up to reward those interactions in which customers look for something, choose to click in and then find relevant material at the resulting webpage. A lower cost and a higher ad position can result.
How can you act on the information?
Make checking the quality scores a regular part of your PPC review strategy. Understand which keywords are seen to be performing well and see if they have something in common like particular wording or a specific landing page that is giving above average customer experience. Use that knowledge to help improve your keywords with poor quality scores or focus in on the best performing keywords by suspending some of the terms which are not performing well.
The bottom line
If you are measuring conversions in your campaign and they represent genuine leads then that rightly should take top priority in your strategy. Even if you are seeing a poor quality score, if a keyword is generating conversions then it makes sense to only make changes if your CPC is too high. A campaign with multiple keywords scoring 10/10 is not the goal – the goal is to connect with new customers. Quality score can guide your attention and efforts to improve the overall quality of your campaign but it is only one of the indicators you should be managing.