How to Quickly Improve Your Quality Scores

Here’s a nice visual step-by-step tutorial on how to quickly improve quality scores in your AdWords account. The new interface gives you the ability to add filters that instantly show you Big Trouble spots within your account, as well as Big Opportunities.

Like this sort of blog post? If so, let me know in comments and I’ll do more of them. Got more questions? Let me know those as well.

View All Ads


Click the Ads tab to view all ads in your account.

Filter Your Ads


Near the top right, click the Filter and views dropdown button and then select Filter ads.

Filter for Low CTR, High Impression Ads


1. From the dropdown menu, change the > ("greater than") sign to < ("less than"). Then enter the CTR percentage for the ads you want to see. All these ads will be below the CTR you set. In the example above, I’ve set the threshold CTR at 0.1%. That means only ads with 0.09% CTR or lower will survive this filter.

2. Click the + Add filter rule link to bring up another row for a rule. Change CTR to Impressions. The comparison should automatically change to >= ("greater than or equal to"). Select the threshold amount of impressions. In the example above, I’ve chosen 1000. So only ads that have received 1000 or more impressions will survive the filter.

3. Select the Save filter checkbox to bring up a text box for naming the filter. In the example above, I call it Low CTR, High Impr. I will now call upon this filter whenever I want to find the lowest CTR ads that are getting a lot of impressions.

Click Apply to save and activate the filter.


Find the Low CTR, High Impr. Ads


The ads that remain in the dashboard will be your worst performing ads with a significant number of impressions.

Go to the Ad Group with the Low CTR Ad


Click the ad group name to go to that ad group.

Check the Current Keywords


Click the Keywords tab to show all the keywords in the ad group of the low CTR ad.

Study the keywords, then either peel some keywords into a different ad group, pause or delete some keywords, or rewrite the ad to be more relevant to the keywords in the ad group.

Make Changes – Edit the ad


Return to the Ads tab.

Mouse over the text of an ad to bring up a pencil icon to the right of the ad. Click the icon to begin editing the ad. If you’re doing this for the first time, you’ll see the warning message shown above. Select Don’t show this message again by checking the box, then click Yes, I understand to reassure Google that you’re OK with your ad statistics being reset.

Edit and Save the New Ad


Change any of the five lines of your ad, then click the Save button.

By constantly targeting the lowest performing of your ads, you can systematically improve your quality scores across your account.

*Note: if you’re split testing ads in an ad group, then make sure you pay attention to the split tests before making changes to a single ad. Respect the test, and wait for a winner or a statistical dead heat before making changes.

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Let’s end with a joke:


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21 Comments. Leave a comment or send a Trackback.
  1. #1 • Elliot Waldman said on June 12 2009:


    Yup, this is the type of blogs I go for. Nice, simple, useful tutorial. Keep em coming.


  2. #2 • Scott Gerrish said on June 12 2009:

    This is good stuff. I will be taking over out web site to rebuild into a better sales generation product.

  3. #3 • said on June 12 2009:


    GREAT STUFF! Clear, concise, easy to follow…

    AND up to date using Google’s latest Interface.

    THANK YOU! And thanks for your book as well! It paid for itself immediately


  4. #4 • Margaret Hite said on June 12 2009:

    I am pending approval but when I learn to understand all that “stuff” I’m sure it will be helpful. I saved it all.

  5. #5 • Jessica said on June 12 2009:

    This is great, Howie. Crystal clear and easy to follow. Much obliged.

  6. #6 • Soji said on June 12 2009:

    Yes, Howie. I believe Oliver Twist said it best: “I want more”

  7. #7 • John Chancellor said on June 12 2009:

    Thanks… this was extremely helpful and easy to understand and follow.

  8. #8 • Michelle Bailey said on June 12 2009:

    Wonderful! Many thanks. This was very easy to follow and I understood all of it…I think. *grins*

  9. #9 • Garry said on June 12 2009:

    Thanks for your newsletters.
    I do some of these things already. Just finding the time to think logically is the hardest thing. Like most people with a start up business, I try to do it all to maintain my cash. Admittedly, I seem to be doing Adwords poorly at present. Your input keeps me interested.

  10. #10 • Rob Metras said on June 12 2009:

    Howie: Appreciate these nice simple to the point and cogent tips. See you in the Lava Lounge at

  11. #11 • Steven Seferi said on June 12 2009:

    Yes Howie, this is a great layout, short, to the point and helpful info, please keep it up.

  12. #12 • Tony said on June 13 2009:

    Nice and very clear tutorial, was able to implement this filter onto my campaigns easily. Thanks again :)

  13. #13 • Julie said on June 13 2009:

    As usual Howie, you’re spot on with this short tutorial. I’ve been using AdWords editor to identify poor QS keywords, I haven’t done much using the filter settings on the new interface yet, so thanks very much for highlighting this. Great blog btw, one of my favourites.

  14. #14 • terrance said on June 13 2009:

    A newbie, disabled learning a lot for your blog and I have the read the book as well. Thanks!!!!

  15. #15 • Sebastian said on June 14 2009:

    Very useful and easy to use. Thank you and: Please blog more in that way. :-)

  16. #16 • Libby said on June 14 2009:

    Very helpful.

  17. #17 • Cresty said on June 14 2009:

    Thanks for your experience sharing!

  18. #18 • stan said on June 14 2009:

    Google scares with QS.
    For a newbie, which search engine is better to start with:
    Google, Yahoo or MSN.

    For tracking, I am using prosper202. I am thinking of buying one of the two: affiliate prophet OR adtrackz.
    which one do you recommend?

  19. #19 • Roger Stanton said on June 15 2009:

    You’re shaping me into an expert AdWorder! Thank you Howie! -Roger Stanton, Charlotte, NC

  20. #20 • Lois Ardito said on June 16 2009:

    Thank you, thank you.

  21. #21 • Dan PPCPROZ said on June 23 2009:

    great tips for quickly finding low ctr kws, the most important component of quality score.