A useful diagnostic tool
Ad quality score is a diagnostic tool showing how your ads perform based on your competitors’ ads. Knowing this can help you improve your campaigns in two ways: by identifying high-performing keywords and changing them up to drive greater growth or to spot weak areas you can work on.
The tool gives out a score from one to ten. A score of 1 denotes how relevant your ad and landing page content are for the keyword searched by the individual. With this information, you can use it to improve your:
- Ad copy and collateral
- Landing page information
- Campaign keywords chosen
Google regularly computes ad scores on a 90-day interval. Each component is labeled either as “Average” or “Below Average” to help you determine which areas you need to work on. Here are the following values you can use to determine ad score:
Expected clickthrough rate
Here, the platform pre-calculates the likelihood of your ad being clicked by your audience based on the content and keywords used. Improving your clickthrough rates is achieved with copywriting. It depends on the objectives you might have and the audience you’re dealing with.
For example, promos and discounts on the ads can increase your clickthrough rates for price-conscious learners while highly specific and niche industry keywords can appeal to those looking for advanced courses. It’s a tricky thing to balance specificity for ads while also not leaving out a broader population of learners.
Knowing your strengths as an education provider can help you determine which direction you want your copy to be.
Ad relevance is all about whether your ad is in line with the individual’s search intent. For best practices, Google recommends that the copy you use for your ads should match search phrases that your audience types into the search engine.
For example, when individuals are looking for bootcamps but your ads are using general terms like online programs, you might lose out on portions of the search populace.
Optimize your campaigns so that ad groups that have multiple keywords are divided to match user intent better. Besides that, you can group keywords based on their themes. There are different ways in order to do so, and one of the most popular ones is by categorizing them into either products or services. A subscription-based course should have different keywords versus when marketing towards individuals only looking to take specific, one-time courses.
In short, in order to increase your ad relevance, be as specific and direct as possible.
Landing page experience
The landing page is like the storefront which lures customers in. Every aspect of it–whether that’s the copy or the elements you use such as photos, videos, etc. says a lot about your business. If you’ve structured your website in a way that makes learners interested, you can guarantee that they will want to visit again, increasing your chances of closing a sale down the line.
For the ad score, it determines the usefulness of your business’s landing page with the query searched. There are different technical ways to improve the landing page experience from reducing the loading time, providing high-quality materials, to ensuring mobile-friendly navigation.
On the other hand, content is just as important. If your ads say that you offer Graphic Design courses, it has to be visible on the landing page as well. There is nothing worse than combing through different pages just to find what you’re looking for. People aren’t that patient, especially when they have other competitor sites they’re checking out as well.
It’s all about giving great first impressions through a stellar website experience. If you can provide this, then you are closer to persuading customers that their learning experience will be just as good.
Learn more about Conversion Rate Optimization techniques here and in another article, we dive deep into effective landing page practices of top online education organizations.
Ad Score isn’t the be-all end-all
With all of this said, you have to remember that ad score isn’t a catch-all for all factors in a good-quality ad. For example, it fails to account for:
- Devices used
- Search location
- Time of search
- Ad extensions used
As such, use ad score alongside other metrics like site engagement and conversion rate in order to paint a complete picture of the performance of your ads and campaigns.