Transcript: The Untold Truth Behind Quality Score vs Optimization Score
[00:00:00] As a user of Google Ads, you’ll be aware there are a couple of scores to be aware of when it comes to your account performance. One of them is your quality score and the other one is your optimization score. But hold on a second. Why are Google giving us two scores to look at? Because quality score has been around since the beginning of Google Ads and then some years back recently.
Google bought in optimization score. Now, why would you want to optimize towards two scores? Because ultimately a score should be the overall picture of your account and how well you are doing in terms of what Google is looking for. So why the confusion? Why two scores? Well, I’m gonna break down exactly why quality score and optimization score are both important, but in the long term.
Optimization score is going to be the future of Google Ads. Let’s understand what these two scores actually are. Well, of course, quality score, as I say, has been around since the beginning of Google Ads, and it essentially gives all of the keywords within your recount a score. Up to 10, 10 being the highest and one [00:01:00] being the lowest.
To ensure you get a good quality score, it’s important to make sure your ads and your keywords are highly relevant to the user’s search term. And of course, they get a strong landing page experience. Are they gonna find the information they need easily? And how navigable and simple is your site in order for the user to get what they want?
This is a very simple score, and I think when the keywords in your recount are scored between one and 10, You kind of know where you stand, and those three factors don’t just help Google in terms of rewarding your campaign with cheaper clicks because a strong quality score gives you a good ad rank, but it’s also just best practice.
Why wouldn’t you want your landing page, your keywords, and everything else in your campaign to be highly relevant to the user’s score? Why wouldn’t you want to give a good landing page experience? Quality score simply put, is a score that just makes sense. But on the other hand, you have optimization score, which is a score as a percentage out of a hundred, a hundred percent being the highest score, and [00:02:00] 0% of course being the lowest score.
Now, optimization score is a bit different to quality score because optimization score is essentially a score that determines how many. Of Google’s best practices and recommendations you are using in your account, some of which are really positive and others are kind of negligible, safer argument’s sake, you are running a campaign using manual CPC without enhanced cpc or even with enhanced ccpc.
Well, Google will actually mark your score down because you’re not using a fully automated bid strategy like Target ROAS or maximize conversions. All of these kind of strategies that are automated, Google wants you to use. Therefore, if you don’t use them, they will mark down your optimization score. And that’s where this becomes a little bit tricky because if you are running a good campaign, maybe a very small, low volume campaign, and it’s working perfectly with a manual C P C strategy.
Then you don’t want to move to an automated strategy, especially when you’re not getting enough [00:03:00] conversions for Google to learn what’s going to work or what’s not going to work, or particularly if your campaign isn’t that diverse where you don’t actually need to think about all of those different things In terms of bidding strategies.
When you got very simplified campaign structure, hold on, sorry for interrupting this video. Just a very quick message. If you are looking for a digital marketing consultant to help you with your campaigns, then hit me up below as darren hyphen taylor.com and let’s have a chat and see how we can work together to improve your campaign performance.
So here’s the conundrum. You know your quality score is going to have a positive impact on your campaign if you optimize it, because you’re going to get rewarded with a better ad rank. Now on the other side of the coin, If you have a low optimization score, then it’s not really going to impact your performance directly.
But some of the best practices Google suggests are actually pretty good. If your campaign is getting loads of data and you’re still using manual cpc, it is time to try a new bidding strategy using something more automated where Google can use all of their [00:04:00] data points in their automated bidding to get better results for your campaign.
If you’re not testing that and you’re running a campaign that’s getting loads of leads, At the moment and you want to get more improvements and actually better the campaign, then you are missing something and you do need to listen to that optimization score and that recommendation. In particular, I actually had a call from a Google representative.
Now, this isn’t the normal representative call you get where they just want you to spend more budget. This was actually a call from a dedicated account manager for a long standing. High spending account, and this account manager was based in Dublin at the European hq. So this wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill account manager.
And they told me directly that quality score isn’t actually that important in the long term. That’s directly from Google. And for this rep to be able to say that to me, it means there’s something in the works here that they are actually looking at. With regards to quality score versus optimization score, and when you think about the direction of travel Google is going, then [00:05:00] it kind of makes sense because if everything’s all about automation and making sure that you are picking up not just the actual keyword someone’s typing in, but the behavior of the user, first and foremost, the signals that they’re giving off when they go to Google.
To make sure they are aligned with potentially converting and Google is using those signals. Then all of those relevancy factors in quality score matter a lot less. For example, if I’m in the market for a new car and I start typing in a specific brand of car that my campaign is bidding on, so say it’s BMW and I’m bidding on BMW keywords, and that person is really looking for a B M bmw, but then they actually go and look somewhere else and type something in along the lines of, I don’t know, Lexus.
They type in new Lexus dealers and then my ads come up again. Now, you might think to yourself, actually, why would I want to show in front of that person typing in Lexus? But Google knows historically they’ve done 25 searches for B BMW before that. So if they did click your ad from that search, It’s not necessarily a bad [00:06:00] thing because they are clearly in your market and the messaging on your website might just tip them over the edge, and Google has these signals and it means that quality score is indeed becoming less important.
So what do you do as an advertiser? You’ve got these two conflicting scores and yes, they can be conflicting, as I’ve explained, especially when it comes to keyword match types, where your optimization score can increase by using broad match as opposed to more targeted match types. That is a direct. Comp competition between your structure you’ve got right now using optimization towards your quality score versus the optimization score.
So what do you do? My simple advice is this optimize towards your quality score as normal, because this does have a tangible effect on your ad rank at the time of auction. Even taking Google’s signals into consideration, it’s no bad thing to be highly relevant and to have a great landing page experience, but.
Be aware of your optimization score as well, because this score, if done right, and using the [00:07:00] suggestions Google is making can actually improve performance. But you have to be sensible with this. You can’t just auto apply all recommendations and then if an uh, Google rep calls you weapon says to apply everything, you don’t want to do this.
Use the recommendations slowly and very considered, specifically based on the objectives of your campaign. And I’m gonna cover this in another video in terms of all the recommendations Google typically makes on an account and whether or not you should apply them in different use cases. So watch out for that video coming up on the channel.
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I’ll be more than happy to talk about that down there, like this video. If you like it, don’t forget to subscribe. Check out the other content across the channel. And if you need a PPC consultant, hit me up at darren-taylor.com for a dedicated PPC consultant. [00:08:00] Work with me today.