How Quality Score Reacts to Micro-Relevance

Quality Score is a difficult beast to tame, if you’re not armed with the right tools. But if you’re a Digital Manager or Search Engine Professional, you understand it’s power when diagnosing areas in Adwords that are leaking money.  Or more likely, GUSHING money.  Research shows that Cost per click (CPC) increases a whopping 400% when Quality Score is ‘Poor’ (compared to ‘Average’).*

And, according to Adam Lundquist, CEO of Nerds Do It Better. “One of the most common reasons for accounts with low quality scores is a lack of proper segmentation.”  Think about it – if Quality Score (QS) is a measure of how relevant your ad and content is for the keyword, and you’re treating all your keywords with a relatively small set of ads and landing pages in a mix-n-match fashion, your relevance for each keyword is softened, and your QS will show it.

So, how do we improve relevance?  By making sure every single aspect of every single keyword is optimized for every single location and every single search scenario.  In a word, this is called Micro-relevance.

Breaking Down Micro-relevance

There are 3 primary factors:

-Geographic relevance: Every single ad is served in the most relevant geo, down to the zip code or radius level.

-Message relevance: Each ad is tailored to be highly relevant to the query itself and the landing page.

-Daypart relevance: Time zones and ad schedules are automatically assigned based on location. This requires each location to have it’s own Adwords Account.

Does this sound complicated? It is, and best handled with technology. But, it’s oh so worth it……just check out what one of Balihoo’s users accomplished when implementing a Micro-relevance strategy.


You can see the correlation between click-though-rate and QS.  In the end, this user saw CPC drop from $6.02 to $3.20 in four weeks. This drop in cost allowed them to get more leads to each location, and ultimately shave dollars off the program at the same time.

Here’s what it breaks down to: Micro-relevance -> Higher Quality Scores -> Lower Cost per Click and Higher Click through Rates -> More Leads at a Lower Cost per Lead.

Using location data and principles of micro-relevance, Balihoo drives paid search results quickly and efficiently.

*Bruce Clay