AddThis Academy

An ever-growing library of resources to help you become a better online marketer.

7 Best Practices to Improve Your Google Ads Quality Score

Did you know that pay-per-click (PPC) ads provide one of the quickest and most effective ways of driving business revenue? 

A report on lead capture shows that PPC ads are the third most popular form of lead generation (17%), only behind on-page conversions (24%) and email marketing (18%). 

Despite advertisers spending millions of dollars on Google ad campaigns, only those who keep track of their ad quality score stand a chance of running profitable PPC campaigns.

In this post, you’ll learn how to improve your Google ads quality score. But before diving into the specific tactics, here’s a quick refresher on Google ads quality score.

The quality score is a measure of the relevance, quality, and performance of your Google ads. Just like how organic search results are ranked, ads with better quality scores rank higher. This score, which is reported on a scale of 1 to 10, depends on three main factors:

  • Ad relevance
  • Expected click-through rate
  • Landing page experience

Your Google quality score affects the position of your ads as well as the cost per action, which means it has a significant impact on the profitability and performance of your PPC campaigns. 

Given its importance, we’ve put together these seven practices to help you boost your score.

1. Perform extensive keyword research 

Performing keyword research is the foundation of your PPC advertising campaign. Without the right keywords, your Google ads will barely receive clicks. 

For this reason, researching commonly used search keywords should be the starting point of your campaign. Your web analytics data can be a great source of data for building your PPC keyword list. 

This data will give you an insight into the actual phrases that users use when searching for a specific product or service on the web. Additionally, the data will provide an accurate picture of keywords with the highest search volume and those that drive most conversions. With these, it will be easier to create ads that will drive traffic.

2. Organize keywords into ad-specific groups

Using keywords that are too broad in your campaign will only get your ad lost among many others that use the same phrase. 

To increase the visibility of your ad, you should avoid using broad ad-groups and keywords. The best approach for running a more targeted campaign would be creating multiple ad-groups and adding relevant keywords.

For instance, let’s say your agency offers digital marketing services. If you create generic advertisements for digital marketing services, you’ll end up with ads that use a very competitive keyword. 

Instead, you can create targeted ads and landing pages for every service you offer. This would mean creating ad groups and keywords for SEO, PPC advertising, content marketing, etc.

When setting up your ad campaign, every ad group should focus on a single service or product. Additionally, all keywords used in an ad group should be related in some way. This will enhance the relevancy of your ad and improve your quality score.

3. Add target keywords into your ad headlines, ad copy, and web content

To improve your Google ads quality score, you must create high-quality and enticing ads. Your ad copy should be descriptive and feature the target keywords. By including the target keywords in your ad headlines and copy, you’re demonstrating to users that the ad is highly relevant to their search.

The best way to include keywords in your ad is having two or three keywords that directly relate to your landing page and ad group. For instance, if you supply cookies, targeting the keywords “cookie gift basket” or “cookie gift package” would be more effective than just cookies or ”gifts.”

Another thing to keep in mind when creating ads is including a strong call-to-action that encourages viewers to click on your ad. 

The call-to-action should accurately describe what users should do once they land on your website. This improves your click-through rate and ad quality score. Here’s an example ad with a clear call-to-action:

This Upwork ad is perfect because it starts with a great call-to-action in the headline: Hire The Best. As you can see, the ad description goes into more detail about their platform and highlights some benefits of working on Upwork. Additionally, it provides links to some of the most important pages of their website.

4. Publish high-quality content that matches search intent

High converting content is the lynchpin of every online marketing strategy. This is no exception when it comes to creating Google ads. Even if including the right keywords in your ad will increase the quality score, you need to back it up with relevant content that matches user intent.

For instance, when a user clicks on an ad that reads “Best superhero costumes for your little prince,” they expect to land on a page with superhero costumes and not any other clothing items for kids. 

So, to keep traffic flowing in and increase conversions, your content must match the user’s needs. Otherwise, your ad will be irrelevant, leading to a lower quality score over time.

5. Create negative keyword lists

Building a list of negative keywords is a strategic way of ensuring your ad does not show up in irrelevant searches. But you might wonder, how does this affect your Google quality score? 

Using negative keywords ensures that audiences who are not in your target group are not finding your ad. The aim is to ensure people click on your ad because they find it relevant. By adding negative keywords, you eliminate irrelevant clicks since the ad only appears to a specific audience. This will eventually increase your click-through rate, conversion rate, and Google quality score.

Another benefit of monitoring negative keywords is that it saves you a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on wasted ad clicks.

6. Optimize landing pages for better user experience

Your landing pages are key to user satisfaction. That’s because even with eye-catching headlines, amazing ad copy, and a great click-through rate, irrelevant landing pages will still push users away. 

The goal in every ad campaign is to enhance conversion. If you’re not giving users the best experience on your landing page, people will bounce off your website, which in turn hurts your Google ads quality score. So, what makes a landing page effective? 

Here are a few pointers:

  • Ad relevancy – The content of your landing page should correspond with the ad. For example, if you have a kid’s costume ad, it should redirect users to the kid’s costume page rather than a page with general clothing items, as mentioned above.
  • Smooth navigation – Users should easily navigate across your website and find the information they’re looking for without trouble.
  • Mobile-friendliness – Optimizing your landing page for mobile viewing will boost your quality score.
  • High-quality content – The page content needs to align with search intent. Besides this, it should be properly optimized for the target keywords.
  • Great design – The landing page should be visually appealing and intuitive.

7. Improve your website’s speed

You can identify the best keywords to target and create compelling ads for your campaign, but if your website takes ten seconds to load, all your efforts will be fruitless. 

No one wants to stick around a slow-loading website, so the speed at which your pages load could mean the difference between a lost conversion and a sale. Additionally, the loading speed of your landing pages has a direct impact on your ads’ quality score.

For the best results, take care of elements that lead to slow load speed including multiple redirects, slow redirects, meta-refreshes, interstitial pages, large page size, and slow servers. 

An ideal starting point would be using tools like Webmaster Tools, GTMetrix, and Page Speed Insights to get an indication of how fast your website and hosting environment load. 

Below is the performance index of the Wishpond blog on Google Page Speed Insights.

The good thing about these tools is that they suggest actionable steps that you can take to boost your site speed s shown below:

Finally, remember to review the performance of your ad campaign regularly. Watching how your ads perform and tweaking those that do not deliver the desired click-through rate and conversions is an excellent way of improving your overall PPC campaign. As an example, if the call-to-action in your ad does not elicit responses from the target audience, remove it and try something else.


Your Google ads quality score is an important health and performance metrics for your ads. So, if you’re using Google ads to generate traction for your business, you must focus on obtaining a higher-quality score. 

Increasing your quality score usually revolves around good keyword targeting and creating well-structured landing pages, but there’s a lot more that goes into it. By following the above tips, you can boost your quality score and enhance the performance of your ad campaign.

Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Last modified:  November 18th, 2020