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Why are my keywords quality score so low?

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# 1
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I had great results from posting a question on here before.  We've got some Adwords Guru's out there.

So about a week ago my Adwords campaign started getting clicks.  It is an ad for a small business so the budget is $2.00 a day, which usually gets us 2 clicks and about 3,500 impressions.  For what we're spending I'm happy with the results of the ad.  It's targeted to show to people within a 60 mile radius around the location of the store so the impressions alone are great.  However, I find the quality score of the keywords in both ads to be nothing short of intriguing.

When I first noticed that the majority of my keywords weren't "eligible", I promptly made a second ad in an attempt to see what works better.  I paid closer attention to the words I used in the ad text in correlation to the keywords.  Sometimes the keywords are exact text from the ad like "video games" for example.  What baffles me is the keyword "video games" also has gotten 3 clicks, has a CTR of .03, and made about 9,500 impressions. This keyword receives a quality score of 2/10 and put in the rarely shown catergory.  Another keyword in the list "comics store" has a quality score of 3/10.  This keyword, like all the other "eligible" keywords, has a word not used in the ad, 0 clicks, a CTR of 0, and under 100 impressions. 

So, what makes "comics store" a more appropriate keyword for my ad about a Vintage video game, comic book, and toy store, more so than "video games" the breadwinner of the pack?

1 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
September 2015

Re: Why are my keywords quality score so low?

Top Contributor Alumni
# 2
Top Contributor Alumni
It's hard to say exactly why both Keywords would have different Quality Scores, but I will say -
1. The difference between 2/10 and 3/10 doesn't seem to be that significant to me.

2. The CTR for the "video games" Keyword is extremely low. I'd focus on trying to improve the CTR for that keyword by maybe adding Negative Keywords, testing new Ad Copy, increasing your Ad Positioning, etc. CTR is the most important component of Quality Score and .03 is very low.

My opinion is to always focus on doing all you can to improve your Quality Scores, such as optimizing your Ads, vs worry why Quality Scores are low or are certain numbers. Focusing on providing the best user experience, both from pre- and post-click standpoint, should always pay off in the long run.

One final thought here, take a look at your Landing Pages and make sure they're relevant to your business and relevant to the Keywords that you're serving Ads for.

Hope this helps.

Add Negative Keywords-
Search Terms Report -
Understanding Search Terms Report -
Understanding Landing Page Experience -
Improving Ad Quality -
Check and Understand Quality Score -

Re: Why are my keywords quality score so low?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor
Out of interest, what are the match types on these keywords?

Re: Why are my keywords quality score so low?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
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The match types on all of my keywords are broad. Would switching to another type improve their QS?

Re: Why are my keywords quality score so low?

Top Contributor Alumni
# 5
Top Contributor Alumni
Yes, it could improve their Quality Score, but not guaranteed. Every Keyword and every Match Type are treated differently in the AdWords system and will have different Quality Scores. Often times you'll see that Exact Match will have better CTRs, but again, no guarantees that your Quality Scores will improve just by changing Match Type.
My main focus would be to add Negatives, and to update your Ad Copy - improving CTR that way will help bring your Quality Scores up.

Re: Why are my keywords quality score so low?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
I would avoid broad match in this case - and here's why....

As vkore suggests, the tighter the match type the better the CTR tends to be - and one thing we do know about QS is that CTR is an important factor over time.

You already mention that your keywords are getting 0.03% CTR - this is a downward spiral - your CTR is so low, so then your QS drops and your ad position gets worse, and so your CTR drops and so on...

Let's think about this... one of your broad match keywords is video games.... now, Google is getting better with broad match, but this keyword is really broad - just think about the number of search terms that could trigger your ads.... and this before we think about those search terms that might grab just one of the words such as - history of the olympic games -
you could have "sell my old video games" "second hand video games" "how to make a pirate copy of my video games" "favorite video games" "worst video games" "my child is addicted to video games" "single women who like video games".... you get the picture....

how many of these would you actually want to pay to visit your site - maybe one or two - maybe.... a big maybe.

But, I hear you thinking, my ad copy filters those out - it's obvious from my ad copy that none of these are relevant, so if they don't click it doesn't matter, does it?

Well, it does and it doesn't. Sure, you might not pay for a click - although you'd be surprised how many people click on ads without reading them... but you are not doing your CTR any favors - it just dropped further.

So take vkores advice and work on tightening up the match types - I've often seen QS improve quite a bit by changing from broad to phrase or even exact match - sometimes BMM can help. And add as many negative keywords as you can think of - take a look through your search query reports (under details in the keyword tab) to see what people are actually searching for when your ads are being triggered... sit down before you do this you could get a shock as to how much you might have paid for clicks that there's no way you would have wanted..... even for free!

Let us know what you find.