How are your PPC campaigns doing these days? Many marketers admit that they could be doing better and that’s OK. This means that there is room to grow. Earlier last year, Google AdWords improved quality score reporting to make it easier for PPC marketers to manage their campaigns. Some of these improvements included the option to export data, add quality score columns, and show historical data.

Google bases its quality score on three components: ad relevance, landing page experience, and expected CTR. Let’s take a closer look at the first component – ad relevance – and how to make your ads more relevant.

Ad Relevance: When Your Status is “Below Average”

When you begin optimizing your Google AdWords campaign, it’s possible to come across “below average” keyword statuses. This usually happens when your content and keywords are not a close match. If a user clicks on the keyword and the content isn’t related, it will negatively affect their experience. This is the reason for the low quality score.

Another reason for a “below average” status is because you have too many keywords in one ad group that aren’t closely related. Therefore, the ad won’t be as relevant. It’s also possible that whoever created the ad just doesn’t have a lot of experience with PPC.

Fortunately, there are ways to improve ad relevance and raise the bar for future campaigns. Let’s explore what these are.

  • Ads and keywords should be closely related. If your ad group is named “snow gear”, only snow-related gear and close variants should be included. Move keywords that don’t fit to a new or different ad group.

  • Create tightly-themed ad groups. Use between 5 and 20 closely related keywords in each group. If you have multiple products or services to sell, it’s recommended to have individual ad groups for each.

  • Use keywords in the text. When writing ad copy, include the main keyword in the title and description of the ad. Stick to the keywords in your ad group, even if they aren’t creative. Being fancy can hurt your score because the keywords won’t match.

  • Choose the right landing page. To be relevant, your ad’s content must agree with the landing page’s content. The best approach is to assign specific landing pages to each ad group. A strong landing page also prevents the ad from being rejected by Google.


If you end up with “below average” relevancy, hover over the speech bubble icon next to the keyword to determine the issue. Then, follow our tips above. Usually, the issue can be dealt with by removing the keyword and placing it into a different ad group. Also, be sure to utilize Google AdWords quality score reporting tools. This will tell you more about your campaigns and the overall experience provided to users.