Pay Per Click advertising can be complicated and Google will spend your money really quickly on lots of traffic with few results if you let them. It’s not their fault after all. To get a handle on this, you first need to understand a few basic principles and ask one very direct question from your team.

What is the Quality Score?

How Does Google Paid Search Work?

Unlike SEO which is called organic results, Google allows you to pay for placement in search results. There is no correlation between your SEO and PPC no matter what anyone tells you. To keep this as simple as possible, you write a very short ad with a description, select a page (URL) on your site to drive the traffic to, pick the keywords you want to have your ad show up for and place the bid amount you are willing to pay for those keywords.

Now there is a lot more complexity that goes into this, but those are the basics. Just always keep in mind that Google wants relevancy and will reward you for managing a well run campaign. They will literally lower your cost per click if you do this.

It is All About the Quality Score

Similar to SEO, Google utilizes an algorithm for paid ads. No matter what people say about search engines, they have one priority and that is to make sure the users get the best possible answer and as long as they do, the user will return and continue using the same search engine for it’s reliability.

Even though you bid on keywords, it doesn’t mean that you have to pay more than your competitor for that first spot at the top of the page. Google uses a multiplication factor of your bid and the quality score.

This score has a few factors but it comes down to the ads matching the landing page that pulls up after you click. There are more factors such as click through rate and others, but what you should keep in mind is that it exists and can have a huge impact in how much you are paying for clicks.

Google Utilizes a Grading Level of One to Ten
9 is a very good quality score while 3 definitely is not. If while reviewing your campaign you determine many high cost keywords / ads are below 6 for their scores, then you should immediately review them to determine what needs to be improved. Most ads start out with a 5 and Google updates over time.

Google utilizes this score by multiplying it with your bid amount. This product will be the number they apply when comparing yours to a competitor. So in theory, you could actually be at the top of the page paying $5 while another company is in second position paying $10. (Yes, it actually works that way)

So the next time you are meeting with your in-house PPC team or your marketing agency, have them pull up the Google Ads Dashboard and ask them to review the Quality Scores associated with the ads. You might find a way to get more leads with the same spend.