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Why are quality scores low when i have high CTR and relevance?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have been testing the waters with AdWords. I set up a daily budget of only a dollar a day while i saw how it worked, what results i got, and as i also optimized my site. I have done this for two test periods during which i spent only $50 each time.

 

I have gotten miserable quality scores almost all the time. At first i paid little attention, i was still figuring it all out and i was getting the traffic i paid for so i let it go. Then i realized how much it was affecting placement, and i worried it might be affecting my assessment for search results as well. When i finally looked into it, i couldn't understand what on Earth would have resulted in my scores of 1 or 2 across most of my keywords, and top quality scores of only 5. 

 

Many of these keywords have CTRs of 2 to 7%. Google has judged an expected CTR of below average on a keyword with a CTR of 17%.

 

My website is a content site, it contains only articles. I am not trying to sell anything, i am just trying to get the word out that the site exists to get the ball rolling. It contains no ads. The keywords i have set up are completely to do with the content of my site, right on the money. It is a clear simple site, easy to navigate. 

 

Why aren't my quality scores high? Is it a distortion due to the small budgets? 

 

Maybe i should also mention that i tried asking AdWords Support about this, but gave up on that when i was automatically sent to the Latin American division, who said they could not transfer me to an English language support division. I live in Mexico, but my site is in English, my ads are in English, my entire Google account is in English, and the site is hosted in an English country (i think...). The Latin America support rather haplessly advised me to make ads designed for particular territories (my website is about space exploration, it is in no way for a local audience) and make ads in other languages (my campaign specifies it is for English users, and the site is English). They did this twice, once in Spanish, and once in English, and had nothing else to say. I have given up on them.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Why are quality scores low when i have high CTR and relevance?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi kim h,

"Many of these keywords have CTRs of 2 to 7%. Google has judged an expected CTR of below average on a keyword with a CTR of 17%."

That's an indication of the problem. Keyword relevancy really means CTR, it's whether the keyword is relevant to the user, not to your ad or landing page. If you are getting lower than the expected CTR, your QS will suffer.

Add the lost impression data to the keywords tab. That should help you see where you stand with your competition. Add bot "Lost IS due to rank" and "Lost IS due to budget".

$1.00 isn't much, and Google won't be able to show your ad very much at that level. Depending on your keywords, first page bid estimates on many space related keywords is anywhere from $.50 to $1.50 for first page. (I have a couple space related web sites we advertise).

Best of Luck!

Pete
petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Re: Why are quality scores low when i have high CTR and relevance?

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Pete

I don't understand your second paragraph. Are you saying that CTRs of even 2 % could be below the expected CTR, never mind the higher scores? I don't see how else to interpret that, but i can't see how that could be true.

The point about adding impression data was quite helpful, i didn't know about any of that. But there isn't any problem there. Placement is actually much better than i expected, i guess because my site is quite specialized.

After reflecting on your input it finally occurred to me what the best solution probably is - turn off display network advertising. My CTR there is about 0.2%. Which still doesn't strike me as bad at all, i can't believe that people generally click on more than 1 out of every 500 ads they see, there are so many of them.

Re: Why are quality scores low when i have high CTR and relevance?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Hi Kim,

That's pretty much what I'm saying. If you're getting a 2% CTR and your competitors are getting 5% CTR for the same keywords, you will have a low QS. QS is a comparative measure.

It's always a good idea to separate search and display campaigns. It makes it a little easier to understand the data and gives you better control over each campaign, especially the budget.

If your placement is good, your Lost Impression Share is low and your conversion rate good, I wouldn't obsess over quality score. Work on it a little at a time. Fix what you can and don't worry too much about the rest. Test multiple ad copies in each AdGroup. Review performance frequently and adjust your campaign(s) accordingly. You should see improvement.

I hope this helps with your campaign.

Pete
petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords