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Ad Quality Score Impacts Cost, Clicks and Impressions

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The ad quality score of pay-per-click advertising on Bing and Google has a major impact on the cost, click rates and impression level for keywords.

Advertisers who buy ads on both search engines will have keywords ranked by their relevance with a score of 1 through 10. The higher the number, the greater the relevance.

Bing and Google have a good reason to provide the ad quality score, and it’s not because both companies are being nice. They want their advertisers to use available impression inventory in the most efficient way. The score is their way of telling advertisers if they are doing a good or bad job on the quality of their ad campaigns.

They use rewards and punishments to back up their scoring system. Keywords with low scores will:

  • Cost more
  • Appear less often, if at all
  • Appear in lower positions

The reverse is true of keywords with high scores, They will cost less, appear more often and get better display in search results.

A high score isn’t the most important consideration for an advertiser who builds and maintains ad campaigns. But it’s a great way to look for keywords that have problems and improve on them.

So it benefits advertisers to keep optimizing their campaigns to increase the score.

How to Improve Quality Score

Quality score reflects relevance, and relevance is the result of three essential parts of a campaign. They are:

  • The landing page where visitors arrive after clicking on the ad.
  • The title and description of the ad.
  • Keywords associated with the ad.

The above order is not random. Advertisers will increase relevance by starting with an analysis of the content of the landing page. They next should use keywords or synonyms from that page in the title and description of their ads. Finally, they should choose keywords in the ad platform that best match the ad title and description as well as the landing page.

Each of the three parts is tightly aligned with the other two. Together they create high relevance for pay-per-click advertising.

Look at it from the searcher’s point of view. Someone who searches on Bing or Google for “blue Ford mustang” may see an ad with that phrase. They click on the ad, but the landing page is about white Ford mustangs.

The searcher is frustrated and goes elsewhere because of a poor experience. The landing page was not relevant to the keyword or ad.

Similarly, a searcher enters “blue Ford mustang” in the search box and sees ads about white Ford mustangs. The impressions are wasted on the searcher because the ads are not relevant. Bing or Google don’t make money from the ad impressions because the searcher doesn’t click on them. Wasted inventory means lost revenue.

It’s for these reasons that Bing and Google do the quality score and reward or punish the advertiser for relevance in their campaigns.

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