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How does Quality Score work? How do you improve your score?

Back to all resources

How does Quality Score work? How do you improve your score?

Key take-aways

Want to run a successful online advertising campaign? To do this, you need to ensure that:

  • You are choosing the best possible keywords for your ad campaigns
  • Google will display your ad when someone searches for what you have to offer
  • Your ad appears in the best possible position on the search engine results page (SERP)
  • You are looking for ways to lower your cost-per-click

You can address all of these issues by improving the Quality Score of your keywords. Read on to learn more about the Quality Score, and how it works.

1. What is Quality Score?

2. Improving the expected Click-Through Rate (CTR)

3. Improving the relevance of your ad

4. Improving the landing page experience

5. Grouping your keywords to improve Quality Score

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is an advertising service by Google that allows businesses to display ads on Google search results and its advertising network.

Try Google Ads now

Want to get more results without increasing your budget? Improving your Quality Score is the way to go.

1. What is Quality Score?

The Quality Score is Google’s rating of the overall user experience that your ads and landing pages provide when users search for your keyword(s). This is represented on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. You may check your Quality Score by looking at your keywords report.

In essence, the Quality Score is an indication of whether your ads and landing pages are useful to your consumers. There are three factors that affect your Quality Score, including:

Expected Click-Through Rate (CTR): How likely is someone to click your ad when Google shows your ad for the keyword they search for?

Ad Relevance: Is the ad relevant to your keywords? Does it make sense for the ad to appear when someone searches for a particular keyword?

Landing Page Experience: Does the information on the landing page correspond to what the ad is offering, and vice versa?

How to Improve Quality Score

To get a higher Quality Score, fine-tune your ads and landing pages to improve your expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience. In the following section, we’ll discuss how to do this.

What is Click-Through Rate (CTR)?

Click-Through Rate is a ratio showing how often people who see your ad end up clicking it. CTR can be used to gauge how well your keywords and ads are performing.

2. Improving the expected Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The expected CTR is an estimate of how likely someone will click your ad when it appears for one of your chosen keywords. It assumes that the search term will match your preferred keyword exactly, and doesn’t take into consideration other factors such as type of device.

There are three different statuses that you may get here:

  • "Average" or "Above Average" – This means there are no significant problems with your keyword’s expected CTR
  • "Below Average" – This means your keyword is expected to perform poorly in terms of CTR

If you receive a “Below Average” status on any one of your keywords, you might want to change the ad copy associated with the keyword to include more mentions of the keyword within your ad.

For example, say you own an online store selling socks, and your potential customer searches for "socks with polka dots". Your ad group might contain the following keywords: socks with polka dots, polka dotted socks, decorative socks, fashion socks, colourful socks, causing your ad to appear for your customer’s search query. Here, a poorly written ad might say:

Bob’s Sock Factory

Ad - Visit Our Site Today to Explore a Wide Variety of Socks. Get 50% Off!

Note that this does not contain any of the relevant keywords, which means that the searcher is unlikely to click it.

Here’s what a more appealing ad might look like:

Bob’s Sock Factory - Decorative Socks Online

Ad – Visit Our Site Today to Find Socks with Polka Dots. Learn More!

Explore Bob’s Sock Factory for Colorful Socks Today. Get 50% Off!

This is where crafting two or more ads per ad group comes in handy. You can incorporate more than one of your preferred keywords into each ad to improve your expected CTR.

Aside from working on your ad copy, you may also fine-tune your keywords in order to improve your expected CTR. Consider removing keywords that people don’t really search for, or add a wider variety of keywords to your ad groups by running a keyword diagnosis.

3. Improving the relevance of your ad

Another way to improve your Quality Score is considering ad relevance. This refers to how well a keyword matches the message in your ads. Again, there are three possible statuses when it comes to ad relevance: Average, Above Average, or Below Average.

Let’s revisit the keywords for Bob’s Sock Factory: socks with polka dots, polka dotted socks, decorative socks, fashion socks, colourful socks. With these in mind, an ad with “Below Average” status might say:

Bob’s Sock Factory

Ad – Shop Our Store Today to Find Things to Put on Your Feet.

This ad isn’t as relevant as it could be, because it doesn’t incorporate any of the keywords that you’re bidding on. To improve the relevance of this ad, simply reword it to add in these keywords.

Writing Successful Ads

A good ad tells your potential customers what value your business brings to them. Include a compelling call to action message that appeals to users across devices.

Read More

4. Improving the landing page experience

When you’re trying to improve the Quality Score of your keywords, you should compare them to the copy, or words, on your chosen landing page, as well as the landing page’s overall user experience.

Here are some useful questions to ask yourself:

  • How useful is your landing page to someone who clicks on the ad?
  • Is your landing page well-organised?
  • Does your landing page have text that relates to someone’s search terms?
  • Is your landing page clear in its directions?

Returning to the example of Bob’s Sock Factory, we can consider one of the improved ads from above:

Bob’s Sock Factory

Ad – Visit Our Site Today to Find Socks with Polka Dots. Learn More!

Say someone searches for "socks with polka dots", looks at your ad, and clicks your ad... only to be redirected to a landing page showcasing striped socks and plain white socks. The page doesn’t match this person's search term, which means it’s not useful to them.

Alternatively, say someone clicks your ad which matches their search term, but they’re bombarded with pop-ups, or the page takes too long to load. These factors are likely to affect their user experience, and cause them to exit your landing page.

With this in mind, make sure your landing page is well-organised and has everything that your searcher needs. You’ll want to include helpful information, related links, a clear view of a shopping basket (if applicable) and contact information on your landing page.

5. Grouping your keywords to improve Quality Score

When you set up your ads and keywords, you’ll be creating ad groups for them to sit in.

It’s a good idea to utilise multiple ad groups instead of housing all your keywords in one single ad group. Group your keywords into similar categories, then create ads that are relevant to each category. For example:

Ad group: socks Ad group: hosiery Ad group: other foot care
Socks Hosiery Foot care
Socks with polka dots Nylons Shoe insoles
Polka dotted socks Panty hose Blister care
Decorative socks Control top panty hose Foot band aids
Fashion socks Knee high nylons Memory foam insoles
Colorful socks Tights Shoe laces


Improving your Quality Score helps you to maximise your ad budget, and achieve more results with less spend. To do this, pay attention to the three factors that affect Quality Score - expected click-through rate (CTR), ad relevance, and landing page experience.

Sign up for Google Ads today

  • 1. Create an account
  • 2. Set your budget
  • 3. Write your first ad and decide where it's going to appear