Quality score is like a report card for your keywords:
- 9’s and 10’s are A’s.
- 7’s and 8’s are B’s.
- 5’s and 6’s are C’s.
- Everything else is an F.
We need to make our clients and bosses happy with a perfect report card, and anything less than a 10 should cause deep shame.
Getting a perfect quality score starts with understanding the mechanics of quality score.
3 Core Components of Quality Score
Expected Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Google and Microsoft decide competitors to compare your click-through rate with.
They’ll assess your CTR, seeing if you have similar, better, or worse performance.
For example, Advertiser A is bidding on the keyword “office supplies for home office.” They have a CTR of 5.98% and a quality score of 7.
Advertiser B is bidding on the same keyword with a CTR of 5.75% and has a quality score of 5.
What causes the discrepancy?
Google/Microsoft decided Advertiser A is special and should be compared against Advertiser B.
Meanwhile Advertiser B was compared to a previously unmentioned Advertiser XYZ, who has double the budget and bids hyper-aggressively.
Advertiser B should feel shame for not being able to meet an unknown criteria.
If they were a good advertiser they’d have overcome all others and have the best CTR.
The best way to manage an account is to perfectly match the keywords you’re bidding on to the ad copy creative.
When you do that, you’re showing ad networks you’re a consistent and stable partner.
Perfect quality score is worth sacrificing engaging creative.
You’ll get bonus points if the exact keywords you’re bidding on and included in ads, are on your landing pages.
Who cares if the content becomes annoying to read/slips into passive voice – getting a stamp of approval from ad networks is far more important than sales.
For example, bidding on the term “dog trainer” means the ad better include the term at least three times, and 10+ times on the landing page.
It might be tempting to use a variant so the content reads better (trainer vs. training), but don’t give in!
Your perfect quality score depends on rigid robotic syntax – anything less is unacceptable.
Landing Page Experience
Ad networks expect us to be gracious hosts to traffic they send us – loading quickly, being easy to navigate, not hiding content in font choices, and other common sense experience standards.
Sometimes they will appreciate all the hard work we put into ensuring our conversion rate optimization (CRO) is on point.
Other times, nothing will be good enough.
An advertiser could be doing everything right:
- Allowing the Google Ad bot to crawl the site.
- Have healthy load times on mobile and desktop.
- Sporting a clean and easy to follow page/navigation.
- Rocking easy to process colors and fonts
…and still get an “average” on landing page experience because the ad network just doesn’t like the page.
Much like a passive-aggressive parent, you can feel the displeasure, but because they don’t voice the actual problem, all you can do is overcompensate your optimizations.
Sure, you’ll have no idea what’s actually working for you (meaning you’ll never escape hard work mode), but it’s all worth it to make Google and Microsoft happy.
With These 3 Components in Mind, Here Are 3 Tips to Get a Perfect Quality Score!
Tip #1: Spend Lots of Money on Single Keyword Ad Groups/Campaigns (SKAG/SKAC)
SKAGs, and their even more meticulous siblings, SKACs, have been getting a lot of flack.
However, on our quest for perfect quality score, we absolutely should embrace them.
SKAGs/SKACs are laser-focused on a single keyword as the hero.
This means ads will be grounded entirely in one keyword.
Landing pages will overflow with the keyword.
Sure, you’ll need to find extra budgets to support all these extra campaigns, but a perfect quality score means the individual click might be 5-10% cheaper!
You might try to saving money by lumping all your SKAGs into a single campaign.
That will doom some ad groups to obscurity (campaigns struggle to support more than 5-7 ad groups per campaign).
Saving a few cents per click is worth spending several hundred dollars more per month!
Tip #2: Pause All Low-Quality Score Keywords
One of the best ways to get rid of a problem is to hide it – and search ads are no different!
Rather than trying to understand the underlying cause of the lower quality score, you should just pause any keyword below a 7.
Keywords with conversions are fair game.
The brand new keyword you just added with a quality score of 10 is likely better suited to win for you than your 4-month-old top converting keyword.
If it really was a winner, it would have a better quality score than a 6.
By constantly adding new keywords and pausing them as soon as their quality score fails you, you ensure you’re working hard on the account so your client can’t fire you.
Sure it would be great if you were actually driving sales and leads, but those are straightforward.
Be sure to sell clients on getting perfect quality scores.
They’ll appreciate you spending time on what’s really important.
Tip #3: Drop Quality Score in Everyday Conversation
A big component of quality score is how Google and Microsoft assess you against your competitor’s CTR.
A recent anecdotal study found that by saying quality score out loud at least five times a day increased Google/Microsoft’s sentiment towards the advertiser.
This had no conclusive impact on quality scores. It did make advertisers feel like they were honoring Google/Microsoft’s wishes.
By honoring Google and Microsoft, advertisers can unlock new levels of connectivity with the algorithm, in theory leading to higher quality scores.
Another way to increase quality score is to do all the recommended actions, improving your optimization score.
Sure, your client might fire you over creative they didn’t approve, or applying a setting that they don’t qualify for (and subsequently get disapproved), but the perfect score is worth it.
The Perfect Score Is Worth It
This is an April Fool’s post. It is 100% satire.
The tips are not actually things I recommend you do.
However, I linked to resources throughout the post that actually can be helpful in optimizing and scaling your PPC success.
Quality scores are great health indicators and can help direct your optimization efforts.
Over-fixating on perfect quality score can cause you miss more profitable opportunities.
If you’re interested in leveraging quality score in a productive and profitable way, check out my previous post on the subject!