Why is my Quality Score so low?

The short answer is – Who knows?

I believe, the real question should be – Why is quality score of so much more concern to small business advertisers than the return on ad spend from your PPC marketing channels? I can’t help but lay the majority of blame at the feet of Google, and their apparent insistence that quality score is not only all their is to adwords, but that it’s all their is to life. Let me assure you, that is simply not true.

Try this: Disable your quality score columns for every level of your account, and manage your account without any indication of quality score for a week. With no quality score, how do you measure the effectiveness and performance of your AdWords advertising? If you don’t concern yourself with what Google considers “relevant”, then you are free to focus on what really matters. Whether or not your customers find your ads, and website relevant enough to convert.

Yes CTR is a good indication of the effectiveness of the ad, and yes historical CTR (as far as anyone can confirm from Google) is the primary factor is a keywords quality score. In theory, improving the CTR of the ads will improve quality score. However, how often in life does practice actually reflect theory?

If your CTR goes up, and your quality score goes down, try not to get frustrated about it. You are doing the right thing – Writing more engaging ads, and getting more potential customers to your site. Work on improving the conversion rate of the landing page, and you will earn a higher ROAS. Isn’t the bottom line what’s most “relevant” to your advertising efforts?

Having a “low” quality score for the top revenue generating exact match search query term should not stop you from advertising on that term. The key, as always, is identifying a value model which allows you to know (not think, but know) what your top revenue generating keyword term is. Quality score can go up and down over time, no matter what you do. If you stop advertising on that term because of a quality score “drop”, you will leave money on the table.

Following the same logic, a quality score of 10 does not mean that the exact term has ever, or will ever generate a single cent of revenue. Why use any portion of your limited (no one has unlimited funds) budget to advertise on that term if there is no return? Why is it more “relevant”, and how does it create “A better user experience”  for a user to click on an ad which seems to be exactly what they are looking for, only to land on a site that does not engage them enough to convert?

The process of optimizing an account for a positive ROAS, can absolutely improve quality score at the same time. Maybe… possibly. There is no guarantee that anything you do will improve your quality score, and if your quality score “drops”, there is no guarantee it is because of anything you did or didn’t do.

Quality score can go up and down, and ultimately is outside of your control. You can put all your effort and energy into try to please the quality score gods, and hope that improves the bottom line of your business. Or, you can put your effort and energy into identifying where your revenue is coming form, and maximizing your return from those channels. You can accomplish both goals at the same time, but not if you focus only on quality score. It’s not all their is to adwords, and certainly not all there is to life. 🙂