Quick question! Do you want your ads to be strong or weak? Strong, right? Who wouldn’t prefer that their ads be as strong as possible? The issue is that Ad Strength may not mean exactly what you think it means. So, if you look at your Google Ads campaign and notice your ads have low Ad Strength, don’t panic. First, you need to understand how Ad Strength works and why it probably doesn’t mean what you think it does.
What is Ad Strength?
According to Google, Ad Strength is a metric that “measures the relevance, quality, and diversity of your ad copy.” Launched in 2018, this tool shows how well your ad follows Google’s best practices, ranking it on the following scale:
Ad Strength can change over time due to various factors. It’s not entirely static. For example, if you change the keywords of your ad group, you might influence the ads’ Ad Strength. It also includes a specific step that you can take to improve the ad’s effectiveness. For example, Google may recommend that you add more headlines or descriptions, write unique headlines and descriptions, unpin assets, include more keywords, etc.
Google encourages you to aim for a higher Ad Strength ranking and use the provided “actionable feedback” to maximize your ad’s performance and success rate. In addition, Google notes that it’s best to write at least one responsive search ad with either a “good” or “excellent” Ad Strength in each of your ad groups.
How important is Ad Strength?
First, remember that Ad Strength is not based on your ad’s performance. Instead, it’s based on best practices, using a machine-learning model to seek out ad attributes that tend to produce successful ads. The metric is designed to help your ad make a good first impression on consumers, but it isn’t customized to your ad campaign, website, or goals. It simply focuses on factors that have worked well for most advertisers. And it isn’t always a great predictor of future success. In fact, you might find that an ad labeled “poor” in Ad Strength is your top performer. And despite performing well, it will continue to be labeled “poor” in Ad Strength.
Although looking at Ad Strength can help you learn the basics of strong Google Ads, it shouldn’t be relied upon as though it’s the sole determiner of great ad copy. Because Ad Strength focuses on looking backward, judging your ads by what’s worked in the past for other advertisers, it may motivate you to make only “safe” choices. If you dare to experiment, on the other hand, your creative, innovative new copy could lead to an incredibly successful campaign. Don’t be afraid to go against Ad Strength’s prediction and experiment with your ad copy. As you gain experience, you can trust your intuition regarding what will and won’t pay off with your target audience.
What other metrics should you consider?
Although first impressions are valuable, you might find it more helpful to put your focus on metrics that gauge your ad’s long-term performance. For example, you may wish to use the following metrics:
- Conversions: A conversion occurs when a visitor to your website completes a specific, desired goal. You decide what counts as a conversion, whether that’s making a purchase, filling out a contact form, or signing up for an email list. Conversions provide an excellent way to judge your ads’ effectiveness. Set up conversion tracking, and monitor the data frequently.
- Quality Score: The Quality Score, which has been around since 2005 (nearly two decades!), is designed to tell you how your ad’s quality compares to those of other advertisers. It incorporates three components: (1) how likely it is that someone will click on your ad, (2) how relevant your ad is to the user’s search intent, and (3) how relevant and useful your landing page is to those who click on the ad. As Google gains information about a keyword, an ad’s Quality Score can change. The higher the Quality Score, the lower the cost-per-click you must pay to keep your position in the auction. Pay attention to your Quality Score and try to get it as high as possible. To learn more about the importance of your ad’s Quality Score, check out our blog post What Does a High Quality Score Indicate?
- Optimization Score: The Optimization Score is “an estimate of how well your Google Ads account is set to perform,” ranging from 0 to 100 percent. If your Optimization Score is near 100 percent, your account is predicted to perform at its full potential. If it’s relatively low, on the other hand, Google’s algorithm believes that your account has untapped potential. To avoid leaving potential conversions on the table, use the recommendations provided by Google to improve your Optimization Score. Keep in mind that, like all predictions, it may not always be entirely accurate.
Ultimately, you should focus on the metrics that are most important to you, and monitor them closely. You can also use methodical experimentation to test out creative new ideas.
Does Ad Strength impact how often your ad will be served?
No, Ad Strength doesn’t affect an ad’s serving eligibility. Google doesn’t deprioritize poor-scoring ads in auctions. Your well-scoring ads won’t be served any more often than your poor-scoring ads.
That said, maybe your ad really is terrible! If that’s the case, it will also have a low Quality Score, and a low Quality Score will lead to lower ad rank in auctions.
While looking at Ad Strength can be helpful and informative, a higher score doesn’t necessarily indicate that the ad will have a better click-through rate, produce more conversions, or boast a higher Quality Score. If you’re a beginner in the world of pay-per-click advertising, view it as a piece of advice. If you’re more advanced, trust your intuition when it comes to writing ads. Write ads that you believe will resonate with your specific audience, always review the Quality Score and Optimization Score, and evaluate your ads’ long-term performance by tracking and monitoring conversions. Don’t let a low Ad Strength score shake your confidence.
If you’re hoping to build a beautiful, effective website that will rank on Google, contact 417 Marketing for help. Our team of knowledgeable, creative, and passionate professionals specializes in SEO, web design and maintenance, and Google Ads, and we have successfully completed over 700 websites since our inception in 2010. Contact us and learn more about what we can do for your company.