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How to maximise your Quality Score with new Adwords Campaigns

How to maximise your Quality Score with new Adwords Campaigns

by Philip Armstrong1st December 2014

So, we’ve launched our brand new Adwords campaign. We’ve got an awesome, lightning-fast-loading fully-responsive landing page setup; compelling Ad Text that’s going to knock the socks off your target audience; and a full set of campaign extensions locked and loaded and ready to fire on all cylinders.

All sounds very good! But hold on… why aren’t we getting any clicks?

We’re bidding competitively, but our Ads seem to be struggling to make it to the first page.

This is a typical problem that advertisers face when they first start a campaign, and it quite often it comes down to a low quality score.

Like in the example below – Google may gauge our keywords as having an above average landing page experience, but our expected click-through rate is below average.


Below average? Are our Ad Text that bad? Most probably not.

Quality Score Is Determined Largely By Click-Through Rate


When initially launching a new Adwords campaign, attributes such as landing page experience and Ad relevance can be determined relatively quickly – whereas our click-through rate is treated with a bit more suspicion by Google. It is therefore necessary to prove over a large sample of impressions that our Ads are capable of generating a high click-through rate.

Furthermore – our CTR contributes more to our Quality Score (QS) than anything else in our campaign.


Take a look at the chart displaying CTR vs QS above. What can clearly be discerned is that as your CTR increases, so does your QS.

But wait? Since our Ad position is currently very low, does that mean we will get a low CTR, and thus be stuck with a low QS?

The simple answer is no. Here’s why:

Quality Score Is Standardised According to Ad Position

Quality score is normalised according to Ad position, and therefore an Ad with a low Ad position is expected to have a lower CTR than it would in a high Ad position. The important question is, does our Ad have a higher CTR than the other Ads in similar Ad positions?

To illustrate this – let’s look at CTR vs QS, segmented according to average position:


Notice how quality score tends to increase as click-through-rate increases, but achieving a high quality score in Position 4 does not require as high a CTR as would be required in position 2.

We Are Competing With Other Advertisers!

For each keyword in our campaign, we are competing with other advertisers who are also (or at least they should be) striving to maximise their CTR. For this reason, we could have a CTR of as much as 20%, but still have a low Quality Score if our competitors have CTRs as high as 25% or 30%.

It’s a competition, and the advertiser with the most attractive Ad text with the highest CTR wins the lowest CPC!

It’s not hard to imagine why this is, since Google generate its revenue through clicks – it reserves the highest positions on the results page for the Ads that generate them the highest revenue. It’s therefore up to us to earn a high Ad-Rank, and high position in the results by achieving high CTRs.


How Long Do We Need to Wait For Our Quaity Score to Improve?

Unfortunately there is highly variable, and depending on how many clicks our Ads are getting per day, it could take weeks, or even months! Google needs a large sample of clicks to confirm that our Ads have a high CTR for the keywords which we are bidding on.

Does this mean we should start off bidding high in order to generate those clicks quickly? If we can do this while staying within our target Cost Per Acquisition, then this may be an option. Otherwise – the best option is to simply write great Ads and wait patiently.

The Way Forward

Our goal when setting up a new Adwords campaign should to be write compelling Ad Text which is going to generate a higher CTR than our competitors, while promoting our products and/or services to our target audience.

Depending on the keywords we are targeting, this can be easier said than done, as if our competitors are at all competent, they will also be striving to maximise their Ads CTR.

For information on how to maximise your CTR – see this article

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About The Author
Philip Armstrong
Philip Armstrong is a content writer for the Just SEO newsroom. Having served as an Adword's manager for a number of paid search campaigns, he is an expert in spending money to make money, and regularly contributes in-depth articles on the latest news and updates on pay-per-click (PPC) matters.

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