Are you paying too much for “clicks”? Possibly. Are you familiar with Quality Score or Quality Index?

If your answer is “No”, then you’re paying too much for your clicks… Up to 800% more than your competitor! Not to mention, you’re probably getting half the qualified leads.

Over the last several years, search engines, Google in particular, have focused on user experience (or UX). Yes, Google is a for profit company, but they learned that simply selling Adwords to the highest bidder was irritating users when a paid ad was taking them to websites that had nothing to do with the search query. Remember a decade ago when Google had ads at the top and additional ads down the right side of the platform? Ever click an ad on the right side? Not more than once. If you searched for “tacos” and an ad took you to, you’d be pretty annoyed, right? Of course, because our website has nothing to do with your search.

When it comes to your pay-per-click ads, Search Engines look at what keyword you want to buy. They compare those keywords to your website to see if your content is relevant. Then they weigh the structure of your ad. Are there keywords? Where does the ad “land” the user? Are the keywords all relevant? Is the user going to have a good experience – i.e. find relevant content? Once they run all these through their Quality Score algorithm, your ad is assigned a score on a scale of 1 to 10 based on what they determine the user experience will be. Then, they assess a cost verses the benchmark (average cost of click).


Quality Score rank:

1 – 400% Increase in cost

2 – 150% Increase in cost

3 – 67% Increase in cost

4 – 25% Increase

5 – Google’s benchmark for Adwords

6 – 17% Discount in ad cost

7 – 29% Discount

8 – 38% Discount

9 – 44% Discount

10 – 50% Discount


If the benchmark is $2 and your ad is a “5” you’ll pay $2 per click. If your ad is a “1” you’ll pay $8.


So… how do you improve your score?

“Now that I’ve been ‘assigned a score’ can I raise my Quality Score?” Yes! However, you can also lower your Quality Score! As well as be usurped by a competitor.

Now that you are running ads, you need to think like Google and get one step ahead of them. Start looking at your ads and consider the click through rate, the bounce rate and your landing page. (There are several other factors like Format Impact, Content Relevancy, Ad Relevancy, Navigability, Transparency and others.) While we don’t know the “secret formula” to the Quality Score algorithm, we do know the click through rate (CTR) is very high on the Quality Score list. (Clicks ÷ Impressions = CTR) The average CTR is about 1.9%, our average is around 2.4%, which we achieve through a LOT of A/B testing and behavior monitoring.

Next, look at your bounce rate. Don’t get hung up on the rate itself, depending on your website and what you are trying to accomplish, you can have a seemingly high bounce rate and still be “good”. You just need to determine your bounces and separate the good bounces from the bad bounces. Bad bounces equal low user experience. Don’t fret bad bounces, we all have them, you just need to do a little course correction from time to time.

Finally, we need to take notice of what does Google think of you. If you are buying a specific keyword and you don’t land in the first 5 or 10 pages in Google’s organic results, you’re probably going to have a low Quality Score because you either don’t have enough relevant content or your site is new and you haven’t done enough work to get Google’s attention when it comes to organic search results.

At Transformation Marketing, we are Google Ads Certified and have monthly calls with Google Reps to discuss changes in Google Ads and how to apply new techniques to our clients’ ads to help gain them exposure and increase their quality score. We are well versed in quality content, proper bidding techniques, and how to structure an ad. So, if you’re struggling to increase your quality score, or just don’t have time to deal with it, consider our team to be your in-house marketing team, because at Transformation Marketing, it all comes down to trust and results!

Contact The Bean Team