The Effect of Keyword Quality Score on Paid Search

How keyword quality affects paid search

What is Paid Search?

Paid search, also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, is a digital marketing strategy that allows companies to pay search engines to place their ads higher on relevant search engine results pages (SERPs) to drive traffic to their site.

Paid search allows advertisers to display their ads to users actively searching for products, services, or information related to their business.

When users search those keywords on search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, the ads appear at the SERP's top (or bottom).

It offers precise targeting options, detailed tracking and analytics, and the ability to adjust campaigns in real-time based on performance metrics, making paid search is a highly effective way to drive targeted traffic to websites, generate leads, and increase sales.

How does keyword quality affect paid search?

A higher quality score means your ad and landing page are more relevant/useful to someone searching for your keyword than other advertisers and will appear higher on the search page.

This will result in an increase in website traffic, which will benefit your brand as more visitors to your page will lead to an increase in sales and revenue.  

What Is Quality Score?

Quality score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords, it gives you a sense of how well your ad quality is compared to other advertisers.

This score is measured on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being poor and 10 being great, and it influences how much you have to spend on a keyword and how high in the SERP your ad will land.

You can use the Quality Score diagnostic tool to identify areas for improvement in your ads, landing pages, and keyword selection.

How to check Keyword Quality

Once you are in your Google Ads account

  • Click the ‘Campaigns’ icon
  • Click the ‘Audiences, keywords and content’ drop-down in the section menu
  • Click ‘Search keywords’
  • Click the columns icon
  • Under ‘Modify columns for keywords, ’ open the Quality Score section
  • Add to your statistics table
  • Click ‘Apply’

How is keyword quality calculated?

Quality score is calculated based on the performance of these three components:

  • Expected click-through rate (CTR): The likelihood of your ad being clicked on when shown.
  • Ad relevance: How closely your ad matches the intent behind a user’s search
  • Landing page experience: How relevant and useful your landing page is to people who click your ad.

Each category is evaluated and rated as ‘Above average’, ‘Average’, or ‘Below average’, comparing it with other advertisers whose ads appeared for the same keyword in the past 90 days.

Even if a broad match keyword hasn’t generated impressions, it can still have a Quality Score if there’s a corresponding exact match keyword with impressions in the last 90 days.

If they are also in the same ad group, both keywords Quality Score report will be the same.

What does QS affect?

A higher Quality Score means that your ad and landing page are more relevant and useful to someone searching for your keyword than other advertisers.

This will result in your costs decreasing because your ad is more likely to show in higher ad placements, meaning your site will get more clicks, which means more opportunity for conversions / leads / sales.

Why does Quality Score matter?

Quality Score affects the cost and effectiveness of your Google Search ad campaigns.

It Influences Ad Performance

Your Quality Score provides insights into the quality and relevance of your ads, landing pages, and keywords concerning what users are asking Google.

If you receive a ‘Below average’ rating on any of your components, your ad may appear less frequently on the SERP.

However, if they receive an ‘Above average’ rating, your ad has a higher chance of appearing on the SERP.

It determines your Ad Rank

Your ad rank scoring determines the position of your ad on the SERP. A strong Quality Score can boost your Ad Rank, making your ad appear higher on the SERP.

It can lower your Cost-per-click

Cost-per-click (CPC) is your price when someone clicks on your ad.

When your Quality Score is high, you CPC is lower simply due to the fact that your ads are shown in the best positions, increasing the likelihood of clicks.

Other benefits of a high Google Quality score include:

  • Higher ad visibility
  • Better budget management
  • Lower cost per conversion
  • Higher ROI

Ways to improve your Quality Score

If any of the three components has a status of ‘Below average’ or Average’, this indicates an opportunity to make improvements.

A lower Quality Score usually indicates a disconnect between keywords, ad groups, ad text, and landing page content.

Here are some ways you can improve your Quality Score and increase performance.

Review your Quality Score Components!

These components of your Quality Score give you an indication of what needs improving based on their rating. Improving the areas with a lower rating will increase your Quality Score.

Find Relevant Keywords


 Ad relevance indicates your ads' relevance to the keywords they are targeting. If you have a low score on this component, you can ensure…

  • The language of your ad correlates to user search terms
  • Split ad groups with diverse keywords into more targeted segments for better ad relevance
  • Group keywords into themes to increase relevance.

Improve your CTR

Your expected click-through rate indicates how likely people are to click on your ad. If this component has a low rating, you can try to improve it by

  • Editing ad text to make your offer more captivating to your target audience.
  • Ensure details in your ad match the intent of your keywords.

Optimise your landing page!

If your landing page is difficult to use, the user will likely leave before purchasing or using your product or service. Ensure your loading page…

  • Has clear and relevant content
  • Easy to navigate
  • Fast loading speed
  • Mobile-friendly design
  • All text is legible
  • Clear call-to-action (guide users on the next step)

Other factors related to ad quality

Quality score is not the only factor related to ad quality; others include…

  • Devices used in search
  • Location of user
  • Time of day

In summary

Keyword quality directly influences the effectiveness of Google Ads campaigns. A higher Quality Score indicates that the ad and landing page are more useful and relevant to searchers, leading to higher placement in SERPs.

Advertisers can improve their Quality Score and overall campaign performance by addressing areas with below-average ratings and focusing on relevance.

Are you struggling with your PPC advertising? It might have to do with your keyword quality score!

Contact us today; we are a certified Google Partner who can support you with your PPC advertising!

Wednesday 3rd April 2024

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