8 Tips to Improve Quality Scores

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Quality score is Google’s way of calculating each of your keywords importance to what you’re doing. It measures how relevant your keyword is to your ad text, to a users search query, your landing page, how fast your website loads, what keywords are on your landing page and a variety of other factors. The following are 8 tips to help you improve your quality scores and get more conversions. If you would like to know more about PPC, check out all our articles here.

Check Your Quality Scores

My number one and most important tip to improve quality scores it to know what they are. You need to know if you are bidding on a keyword that has a quality score of one out of ten. You need to know what’s going on with your account. Below is how you find them:

  1. Sign into your Adwords account.
  2. Select the campaign that you’re working on.
  3. Click the Keywords tab.
  4. Click on Columns in the toolbar right below the Keywords tab that you just clicked.
  5. Click Customize columns.
  6. Select the Qual. score box, you will see a little check mark after you have checked it.
  7. Click Save when you’re done. Now you should see the quality score.

Make AdGroups Tightly Themed

Having all your keywords in tightly organized keywords will help you to get much better quality scores. I personally like to only have 2-5 different keywords in each AdGroup as to not have too many keywords per group of ads. If one of your keywords doesn’t match the other keywords in the AdGroup you should create another AdGroup for that specific keyword. I have had several keywords in their own AdGroup before due to the fact that they didn’t match any other keyword in any other group. This isn’t a bad thing, it just means that you’re being more organized. This will significantly help boost up your quality score.

Place Misspelled Keywords into their own AdGroups

When you are putting together your tightly themed groups make sure to create a separate group for your misspelled keywords. I have found that when I do this it helps not destroy the reputation of an AdGroup with all good words and one misspelled keyword. By doing this you will keep the overall quality of the AdGroup up and get better quality scores out of both groups. It will also allow you to put up and write ads with the misspelled keywords. Though your landing page won’t be misspelled, you will have better quality scores with the misspelled keywords because of the ads you write.

Target Specific Ad Copy for Each AdGroup

Each group should have different ad copy. You should organize each AdGroup with 2 different ads that are targeted and written specifically for that one AdGroup. By doing this and keeping the keywords per AdGroup low you will help the overall quality score of all the keywords in the group. Your ads will match all the keywords in the group. If one of your keywords doesn’t match the specific ad, create a new AdGroup for that specific keyword.

Landing Pages for Specific AdGroups

Every AdGroup should have a specific landing page. Keep in mind that each one doesn’t have to be a new page, it can be an existing page that you have on the site. But it should be specifically about what keywords you’re bidding on and contain the keywords on the page that you’re bidding on.

Always Have Two Ads Running

You should always be testing everything that you’re doing. Having two different ads running at the same time will help you to know which ad is converting better and allow you to convert better. This will allow you to spend more money. When you have more money, can create better and more targeted landing pages which will help get better quality scores!

Place Keywords on Landing Pages

If you are sending everyone to your main page of your website you need to stop. You should have specific landing pages on your site that are setup specifically for the keywords and AdGroups that you’re working on. By doing this it will not only improve your quality score but it will improve your conversions, bounce rate, time on site, and all other aspects that you should be tracking. One thing to keep in mind when you are putting together the page is not to keyword stack the page. You don’t want 100 different keywords that you’re going after on the same page. Keep it to 5-10 on a pretty decent, content rich page. If you can keep it in the 3-5 keyword phrases per landing page.

If Something Doesn’t Look Right, Call Google

I’ve had several times where a clients keywords are getting low quality score because they match a trending subject or popular band. In this case if all your quality scores are down, get Google on the phone and explain your problem to them. They will tell you that there is really nothing that you can do but the’ll look into it. Magically, every time I have done that my quality scores have gone up in the next 5-10 days.

Improving your quality scores isn’t brain science. If you follow the tips above you will be able to improve your overall quality of your account, along with quality scores in a matter of a couple hours. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below and I would love to answer any questions that you may have.

John Rampton
John Rampton is an entrepreneur, full-time computer nerd, and PPC expert. Founder at payments company Due.com. I enjoy helping people and am always online to... Read Full Bio
John Rampton
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  • Ricardo

    I liked the subject john. I’m from Brazil and my name is Ricardo. I would like to talk about the quality index of a single word or redtail (Example: car) that usually has a bad index. You can improve it by putting the word with other words with good quality index. Thank you!

  • I’m not sure how I feel about targeting misspelled keywords on purpose, no matter how they group them. Misspelled keywords like “morgage” (should be mortgage) might get a lot of traffic, but do you really want to rank well for a misspelling? Even if your landing page has the proper spelling I think it send a bad message to your target audience.

    • I think you should target misspellings. If a searcher mistypes their keyword, they probably won’t realise, so seamlessly taking them to your ad and landing page is expected. No one ever needs to know for sure which words you’re advertising on :O)

    • Namita Patel

      Hi Nick,
      I couldn’t agree with you more. I have lots of anecdotal evidence from people like me who make judgment calls about the quality and credibility of an advertiser who can’t seem to get the spelling of a “core” phrase right. Perhaps the cure is to spell the ad correctly, but make sure misspelled keywords are tagged on the landing page.

      • Ya, people often mispell I think not because they are uneducated, but because they are poor typists. I wouldn’t risk showing an ad with spelling errors. I’d rather pay more to display an ad that is spelled correctly then risk showing our company can’t even spell and QA their own ads.

        I’m also not sure this has much benefit. If I search on “cpa websties”, Google shows the correctly spelled word “website” in bold. Therefore Google is considering the mispelled word a match for the correctly spelled word.

        I’m all for bidding on common misspelled words, and watching your Show Search Phrases tool in Adwords, but I wouldn’t go to the extreme of making their own ad group.

        There is also something more to quality score then all these great tips that even Google suggests will improve quality score. I’ve matched ad groups with keywords with ad copy with landing page titles, H1’s keyword density, page description, image alt tags, etc, and yet my quality score of 2 didn’t budget.

      • George

        Can I just clarify – I wasn’t suggesting that you use misspellings anywhere on your ad copy or on your landing page – that would indeed make you look incompetent! I was just saying that we use common misspellings within our keywords – a class being “worls” instead of “world” (S is so close to D on the keyboard).

        In AdWords, go to your Keywords tab and click on “See Search Terms > All” which is where you see exactly which phrases are causing your adverts to display. If people frequently misspell a word, you can include it on your keyword list, which means they have a greater chance of seeing your (correctly spelled!) ad, which otherwise might not display, and you would lose a potential interested clicker…

  • Hi John,

    Thanks for a good post about improving quality score.
    Sometimes it’s necessary to target misspelled words to get the best conversions and not opening the market for competitors.

    Keep up the good work John!

  • Great article John, thanks for all the advice.

  • I think targeting misspelled words might be a waste of time if
    the words are not commonly misspelled

  • Cant say Im too hot on using misspelled keywords but hey thanks for the info John.
    Maybe someday I’ll try it out.

  • Good advice in this article. I’ve gone through all of these tips recently with our AdWords account and seen clicks double on some of our campaigns. I also revamped the copy on our landing pages (and the ad copy) so they matched on keywords, and instantly the Quality Score of my ads went up to 9/10 or better – it definitely works!

    I agree, there is no rocket science behind it, you just need to be tightly focused and relevant.

  • Never actually thought of the misspelled keywords issue before this but thanks for bringing it to light. That shall be taken into account in the future.

  • Alex A

    thanks for the good post. I always thought that landing page quality either hurts or doesn’t affect your QS, but then recently google announced that they now put more weight on the quality of the landing page, I guess that also presupposes optimized text.
    In your opinion, how important is it to use keywords you bid on in the text on the landing page?

  • Question for yoyu folks:

    Misspelled words are less sought for? Less bidding for? Is that right?
    This equalling to less cost per click?

    Also what is average cost I should consider in bidding on a keyword?

    I find 0.50 cent the highest I would pay. With 1000 visitor at 0.5 % buy that makes 5 sales for 500$ spent.
    I’m predicting this since my addword campaign is a first. Some say good is 2 % return.

    Cheers all.

  • Ross


    Your CPC should be based on your EPC (earning per click). It’s never good to predict like you are, as you are most likely setting yourself up for failure. Just test and optimize.

  • Thanks for publishing this article. Simply reading this article saved me a ton of money, no joke.

  • These are the tips I’ve been looking for thanks! Question: What if the client refuses to add content to their landing pages? Is their any other tips? I can really only edit the meta data…

  • Hi John,
    Thanks for these tips. I do agree with you. Running two to three ads simultaneously gives you an idea regarding the type of ads which are capable of giving high conversion.