How a Quality Score Affects Advertising

by Erin McNamara

Google is the center of online advertising. The capabilities across AdWords and Analytics are door-openers in the world of digital marketing. With every search comes an opportunity that should not be missed, the chance for a marketer to reach a customer. As an Apprentice at Potratz I am lucky to have the chance to become Google AdWords certified. In the past few weeks, I started my training in AdWords Fundamentals, learning the basics of the AdWords systems. The AdWords world is unfamiliar territory. Almost everything I’ve learned up to this point has been entirely new. Despite all the readings, tests, and modules so far, I’ve found one piece of AdWords that has interested me most, and that is the Quality Score.

What Is A Quality Score?
The Quality Score is a number from 1-10 determined by 3 factors. The overall relevance of an ad, combined with the landing page experience and expected clickthrough rate, come together to determine where advertisements fall on a scale from 1 to 10. The higher the quality score, the more likely you are to see your ads fall into better ad positions, and to pay lower prices.

How It Works
Google considers the content of your ad and how relevant it is to the keywords searched by users online. It also considers the landing pages that are connected to the ads. For example if an ad is offering a discount on shoes but lands on a page offering discounted t-shirts, the page is not relevant to what the user clicked on and is likely going to lower the Quality Score. Conversely, a more relevant landing page will result in a higher score, meaning that advertisement is likely to be shown more often, with a higher placement on the results page, and the advertiser will most likely not have to spend as much money to get their ad placed.

Every advertiser wants their ad to be the first one on the top of the page, and so if the placement was solely based on whoever paid the most money the ads could be completely unrelated to the search. Google takes into consideration an ads Quality Score, as well as the bid (how much the advertiser is willing to pay for the ad), and the likelihood the ad is going to be clicked, when determining the ad positioning. The Quality Score essentially says to advertisers that you can’t just buy your way onto customer’s screens. This is something, that as a consumer who gets served advertisements all the time, I appreciate.

Why It Matters
I think I’ve found interest in the Quality Score because it shows a change in advertising. Aside from the clear benefits, such as being more measurable and targeted, digital advertising holds advertisers accountable for what they’re putting out there into the world while simultaneously creating a more even playing field amongst smaller businesses and budgets versus corporate giants.

When the Digital Performance Managers at Potratz are creating search and display ads, adding keywords, and directing to landing pages, they are always paying attention to the details. They know what kinds of words and symbols lower the score, and they triple check to make sure that they’re sending ad clicks to the landing pages that make the most sense. At the end of the day, the larger goal is to drive the sales of a client, but it’s the smaller details, like a 10 out of 10 Quality Score that makes all the difference in a campaigns success.


How a Quality Score Affects Advertising

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