If your advertising on Bing or Google, then you need to be familiar with Quality Score. Neither platform uses simple bidding to determine where an ad shows. Instead they use algorithms which are designed to show ads that will have the most success. At the heart of this is Quality Score. For an advertiser, the main thing to know about Quality Score is that the better your number, the lower your potential cost per click.

To succeed with Microsoft Ads you have to be aware of Quality Score
Microsoft Ads also have a Quality Score

It was nearly a decade ago that Google revealed that Quality Score was an integral part of AdWords.

Instead of the number 1 ad going to the highest bidder, Google wanted to reward the ad that received the most clicks. It makes sense.

It doesn’t matter how much an advertiser bids if no one clicks on the ad. Google and Bing don’t make money from that. Instead they want an ad that people will click.

While you may be already familiar with Quality Score with Google AdWords, you may have little knowledge of how it pertains to Bing.

Perhaps you assume the same elements are involved. While there are definitely similarities between the two, there are a couple differences that you need to be aware of.

Google uses Quality Score as part of their Ad Rank but for Bing the number is meant more to be a diagnostic tool. While it’s evaluation of how good your campaign is or how relevant your ad is in Bing, it’s Ad Rank which determines your position. Ad Rank is your max cost per click times your predicted click through rate. The assumption is that if you have a high Quality Score then our predicted click through rate should be high as well.

If you have a low score, then they’re trying to tell you that you need to do more to get your campaign to succeed. No matter how you define Quality Score, it’s something you need to be aware of and improve on.

What the Quality Score Numbers Mean

Like Google, the number is based on three elements – ad relevance, landing page experience, and most importantly, expected click through rate. For each of these categories your given a sub-score of Above Average, Average, and Below Average

Bing is also a little more transparent in how to interpret the numbers. If you’re overall Quality Score is from 1-5 then the keyword is underperforming, 6 is average, no better or no worse than competitors. 7-10 is better than average and what you should strive for.

If your number is low, then you need to determine which element is lowering your score and then address it.

The Differences Between Google Ads and Bing Quality Scores

In addition to a different emphasis on Quality Score there are other differences with Google.

For Google, Quality Score is found at the Keyword level, while with Bing it is found not just there, but at the ad group and campaign level. This is more all-encompassing. It means poor performing keywords could impact other keywords being targeted. So with Bing you have to look at the overall picture more.

According to their guidelines “Bing Ads provides quality scores at the ad group and campaign level by aggregating the quality scores of the keywords, which have received impressions in the last 30 days, associated with those ad groups and campaigns.”

Often it’s best to focus on the ad group and keyword level for the score. If it’s at the ad group level it could mean that certain words in the ad group don’t fit in well with the other words. That they’re too dissimilar. Pulling lower performing words out and into their own ad groups with their own specific ads might improve results.

Another difference, that I like, is that you can see historical data on your Quality Score in Bing. You can see if you’re score has improved over time or unfortunately gone down. To view the historical data, click Reports at the top of the page and follow this by clicking Keywords. Then click the drop down by Attributes and find Historic Quality Score, which you then can add to the report you will then run.

Breaking Down The Elements of Quality Score for Bing And How To Improve It

1. Ad Relevance - This is fairly obvious. Your ad should relate to the keyword being targeted. As mentioned, having similar but slightly different keywords in ad groups can affect this. Try to incorporate the keyword in the ad and make sure the copy relates to that word.

There are three elements to Quality Score in Microsoft
Elements of Quality Score on Microsoft

1. Landing Page Experience – There are a number of criteria here, from how fast the page loads to how the content on the page relates to the offer or promise made in the ad. Is it easy to navigate and is the page transparent in explaining the offer?

2. Expected Click Through Rate – this is the most important element for Bing, and for Google. It’s based on your ad position and what is the typical click through rate for that position. If your ad appears at the number 2 position, it’s assumed it will have a higher click through rate than one that appears at 3. So the obvious goal here is to have a better click through rate than what others ads have had at a particular position.

Since click through rate is so important I want to go into a little more detail on how to improve it. Ad relevance is one major factor. The more that your ad stands out from the competition the better. In addition to the copy on the ad, use site links, locations extensions, and any other extensions you can use to further make your ad stand out.

Also since click through rate is based on your clicks out of the number of impressions you receive, do what you can to lower impressions. One way to do this is to eliminate too many broad words. And use negative keywords to keep your ad from showing for irrelevant phrases.

Finally, constantly be testing. I recommend having at least 4 ads running in each ad group. Once you have enough impressions for each, pause the lower performing ad and test a new one. The goal is to constantly be improving your click through rate.

According to Bing, Quality Score for them is assigned within 36 hours of an ad starting. Then it’s updated every day. So when you notice you are having problems with a Quality Score, look to see what you can do to improve it. The sooner you improve on it, the more likely you’ll start to see better results out of your ad campaign.

If you’re struggling with your Bing campaign and decided you need help, then consider bringing in a consultant that is certified yearly by Bing Ads. Contact me today to learn more.