If you run ads on Google Ads you are probably familiar with metrics such as quality score or optimisation score, however, Responsive Search Ads have their own scoring metric called Ad Strength. In this blog, we’ll explain what that metric is and how much it matters when optimising your Google Ads account.
What is Ad Strength?
Google defines Ad Strength as:
“Ad strength provides you with feedback to help you focus on providing the right messages to your customers. Ranging from ‘Incomplete’, ‘Poor’, ‘Average’, ‘Good’ to ‘Excellent’, this metric measures the relevance, quality and diversity of your ad copy. Ad Strength shows you how well an ad creative follows Google’s best practices for optimal performance. A higher Ad Strength will also help you to maximise your ad’s performance. Combined with actionable feedback, Ad Strength makes it easier for you to improve the effectiveness of your ads.”
It is the newest scoring metric that advertisers see in their Ads accounts and it’s associated with Responsive Search Ads.
Is a Good Ad Strength Important?
Google states that ad score is based on best practices and is intended to help advertisers make a good first impression. This means that it is not actually based on your ad performance, and while making a good first impression is important, there are plenty of longer terms and more significant metrics to gauge ads by (namely, conversions!).
The ad strength metric uses a machine learning model that looks at which ad attributes tend to produce better outcomes for advertisers, for example, 12 different ad headline variations tend to produce better results that 5 or fewer headline variations.
It’s important to remember that this Ad Strength simply reflects what has worked well for most, and suggests things that may well work for you but it doesn’t look specifically at your campaign, ad account or business objectives. An ad that has been labelled as “poor” may perform well and start to produce results – but it will still be labelled as poor. To reiterate, the ad strength metric doesn’t change based on your performance.
So, if you have created an ad that you think is good, and it’s producing results it doesn’t really matter if Google has labelled it as poor. What’s most important is that you closely monitor your ad performance and test different ads to make sure you’re running the best possible ad for your ad group/campaign or business objective. Ad strength can cause some problems. When it tells us what we should do because of what has worked in the past, it is disincentivising experimentation that can create new and even more successful campaign ads. This may well lead to less creativity and innovation in the ad copy.
Does Poor Ad Strength Affect Ad Serving?
Have you ever wondered if a poor ad strength metric means that your ad will be served less often than “better” ads? Rest assured that it does not impact ad rank or quality score. So if you have a “poor” ad strength score Google won’t be deprioritising your ads in the auction. It is important to remember that a low-quality score will affect your ad ranking which means your ad will be served less often.
Quality Score is the original scoring metric in Google Ads. It’s been around for nearly 20 years and its purpose is to predict the likelihood that an ad will be relevant enough to be clicked. Remember that the higher the quality score the lower the cost-per-click!
To Sum Up
A higher ad strength doesn’t mean a better CTR or a better conversion rate or a better quality score. If you’re new to Google Ads or don’t know what’s going to work, consider this a piece of guidance. However, if you’re an experienced advertiser, go ahead and do what you do best. Create the ad you believe will resonate well with your target audience and keep the focus on ad performance (based on the metrics that are most important to you). Don’t just be blinded by ad strength.
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