Understanding Google Ads Quality Scores and CTR

Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins

CEO - Shout Agency
[email protected]

Pay-per-click is one of the best marketing techniques to get access to quick, targeted traffic. Google Ads (formerly known as Adwords) is among the most revered PPC platform, simply because it works. Google Economic Impact Report states that, on average,  businesses make $2 in revenue for every $1 spent on Google Ads.  Also, a survey conducted by Clutch marketing agency found that 63% of the respondents would click on a Google ad.

But to gain the most from Google Ads, you really have to know the nitty-gritty of the platform. In this article, we will cover the two most important elements–Click-Through Rate (CTR) and Quality Scores –that can help you use Google Ads to gain maximum benefits in a cost-effective way. 

What is Click-Through Rate?

Click-Through Rate refers to the percentage of impressions that resulted in clicks; i.e. how often people who viewed your ad ended up clicking it. A high CTR means that the users are finding your ad very relevant; a low CTR points to a non-relevant ad. A compelling advantage of a good CTR is that it lowers your cost per click. Why? Because  Google Ads incentivizes high relevancy by offering discounts on ads. This savings can really add up once you start getting a lot of clicks.

Factors that affect CTR in Google Ads

Click-through rate can help determine the success of your ad, and it’s influenced by a few very important elements.

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  • Ad position- When a user searches a query on Google search engine, the results page will come back with at least three ads on top of the page  along with a series of normal search results containing different websites. The number one position gets the most click for obvious reasons. This is why companies bid so much to get their ads placed first. 
  • The ad copy- Predictably, the content of the ads-the headline and the copy- influence whether or not people will click on your ad. Make your ad elements stand out with an eye-catching headline and solid information about what your business offers.
  • Ad relevance- Make sure that the ad copy is relevant to the search query. Don’t forget to use the keywords within the headline and copy itself.

That said, when it comes to PPC, achieving a high CTR shouldn’t be your only goal. You see, a good CTR means that people are clicking on your ad and ending up on your landing page. But if they don’t buy your product, want your service, or sign-up to your email list, then you will essentially just be paying for a lot of clicks without getting any ROI. And this is how so many people quickly burn through their marketing budget.

But don’t mindlessly bid on highly competitive keywords that come with a huge price tag. Opt for keywords that are reasonably priced because if a keyword is too expensive, then it may not bring back enough profit to cover the amount spent for each click. 

What is Quality Score?

Quality Score, in Google Ads, is a number given to each of your targeted keyword. It can range between 1 and 10. Quality Score signifies the relevancy between your keywords, PPC ad and the landing page URL. This metric can have a significant impact on the cost-per-click. 

There are several factors that can impact your Quality scores. Here are the main ones:

  • Click-Through Rate
  • Ad text relevance
  • Landing page quality- Some of the things Google looks for when grading a landing page is ease of navigation, transparency, and relevancy and usefulness of content. 
  • Relevance of every keyword in relation to its ad group
  • Historical Click-Through Rate- Google takes into account your competitor’s bids for the same keyword to determine your quality score for that keyword.
  • Your Google Ads Account History

Your Quality Score is used to determine how much you will pay for each click. High score brings lower costs– both on a cost per click and cost per conversion level. Having a QS of 10 can give you a discount of 50%.  Even a QS of 6 will bring you not-too-shabby 17% savings.

By boosting your CTR, your quality score will increase by proxy. The main goal of Google, just like your business, is to give their customers the best experience. And they do it by connecting them with the most relevant and valuable content. So don’t forget to keep your ad copy and landing page relevant and aligned with each other and with the users’ search intent. This is the easiest way to boost your Quality Score and get a stunningly low cost-per-click.

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