PPC Myth Busting! Myth 6: Quality Score is All About CTR

By Amanda West-Bookwalter | @Amanda_WestBook | Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

Our next myth is about quality score. I think there are a lot of myths about quality score out there because it’s sort of a mysterious algorithm that Google doesn’t readily share with us. The one I hear most often is that click-through rate is what Quality Score is all about, and that’s the only thing you really need to focus on when trying to fix it. This just isn’t true, so let’s get to bustin’!

You can click the little speech bubbles by your keywords to get more information about its quality score and what comprises it.

You can see CTR plays a part, but so does ad relevance and landing page experience. Not on this little snapshot, however, is the campaign and account quality scores as well as any quality score limitations set on your industry, all of which also influence a particular keyword’s quality score.

Since this myth is based on people focusing on CTR to fix quality score, I won’t go into that, but ad relevance can be manipulated through using keywords in your ads and having super tightly themed ad groups. This allows you to write ads that all keywords in the ad group are highly relevant to. For instance, if you write an ad about purple coffee mugs, but you have keywords about purple coffee cups, that keywords isn’t super relevant to the ad anymore. Google might give it a lower quality score.

The landing page experience looks at the site’s load time (which you can look into in Analytics), keywords found on the page through Google’s web crawling spiders, and bounce rates (which you can also look into in Analytics). You basically want to have a fast loading site that uses the keywords you’re bidding on and people seem to like.

Having a lot of crappy quality score keywords in the same campaign will cause Google to lower your campaign quality score, which will make new keywords in that campaign start with lower quality scores. The same logic applies to the account as a whole. If you have loads of low quality score keywords in the account, the account wide quality score will look bad. Any new keyword, even if you break out a new campaign in efforts to break out more relevant ad groups and increase quality scores, will start out crappy. And further more, some industries have been given a crappy quality score to start with. Google is Zoidbergin’ it like “Your industry is bad and you should feel bad”. I know that I have a client in pharmaceuticals and have spoken with others who have clients in that industry, and we’re all suffering from super low quality scores despite having all of our other quality score ducks in a row.

So, you can see, there’s a LOT more than just CTR that goes into quality score, and you have to work on all of it to see increases in your quality scores!

See our own ULTIMATE guide to quality score here.

See Brad Geddes show you how to use pivot tables to analyze quality score in your account and find out exactly how it’s affecting your account here.

Looking to bust more PPC Myths? Check out Myths 1-5!

Analytics is complicated to use

Display is really expensive

Display is terrible for direct response

adCenter isn’t worth my time

Broad Match isn’t worth pursuing