A quick, easy way to monitor quality score and minimum bid changes

So, am I the only one who thinks that Google needs to provide advertisers with a way to easily compare quality score and minimum bid changes via a convenient report within AdWords? I can’t be the ONLY one! I finally decided to do this myself and I’m so excited with the results, that I want to share them with you, my ones of fans.

This requires a bit more than just basic Excel skills, so I’ll wait why you get get the data geek in the room.

Okay, so here’s what I did.

    • Pulled February’s keyword report which includes quality score and minimum bid amounts and then pulled March’s keyword report
    • I then added columns into the March report so I could include February’s quality score and minimum bid amount. I went even further and added columns to show the difference of the quality score and minimum bid amounts.


  • I subtracted February from March’s minimum bid so I could see the difference in the new “difference” column I added.
  • If the minimum bid went up, I applied a rule to turn the cell red. If the bid went down, I applied a rule to turn the cell green. I did the same thing for Quality Score. This way I could easily see where I’m losing quality score and also where I have the opportunity to lower my bid.

Allow me to provide a visual representation of the above example.

quality score tracking
The above table tells me (at a glance) that I’ve lost quality on four of my keywords. The next things I’d look at are CTR, ad position and, in this case, conversion metrics. This will help me decide if I should raise the bids, kill the terms, or try to squeeze better quality out of the terms (particularly if they’re good converters) by breaking them into a new ad group and changing the ad copy, match types and negatives (in addition to raising bids, of course).

The table also tells me where I’ve gained quality compared with the previous month. In fact, two of my keywords jumped from a QS of 7 to a QS of 10 – one of these terms is a generic term and I’m bidding .60 for the term which now has a minimum bid of .02. YOU HEARD RIGHT – .02! This is why it’s so important to optimize your account for quality score. I just learned I can lower my bid to .02 and likely still remain in a decent position, but I’m not going to go that low. This term has a conversion rate of 14% and is fairly low volume. I’m going to lower it to about .30 and see where we stand next month.

The table ALSO shows some keywords where quality hasn’t changed, but bids are going down. I’m pretty sure this means the quality of the term is increasing, but for whatever reason (e.g., the quality is already at 10), this is not yet reflected in the actualy quality score number. The opposite is likely true – when the minimum bid goes up but the quality score doesn’t change, it likely means that I’ve lost quality for a given term but that loss has not yet been reflected in the actual quality score number.

And this concludes your quality score fun time for today!