adwords on budget: optimize low quality score keywords

Quality Scores of the keywords in your Google AdWords account is one of the most important factors in determining how much you pay for each click, or the CPC (Cost-per-Click) of the keyword. When you have a low quality score, you could potentially be paying more for each bid than you probably should.

There has been a lot written about low quality scores and its effects and also how it affects your AdWords campaigns. We are going to take a look at it from the overall budget perspective and how you can use this as one of the factors to optimize the cost of your AdWords campaigns and lower your overall budget.

Before you start with the quality score keywords, there are some questions you need to ask about the keyword itself…

Relevance to the Marketing Strategy: How important is the particular keyword to your campaign?

If the keyword is really important or vital to the business (or campaign) and is one of the most popular keyword that your customers use, then you probably should stick with it regardless of the quality score. You can work towards improving the quality score of the keyword in this case which is the best option.

Revenue from the Keyword: How much revenue does the current keyword with its current quality score generate?

If the keyword does bring in quite a bit of revenue then it should probably stay regardless of the quality score. The same holds true, if the profit margin or the return of investment for the keyword is high. The ultimate goal of the marketing is the bring in revenue or profit. This means you should stick with it if those values are high, you can however try to reduce the cost by bidding lower to reduce budget. Again, try to work on improving the quality score of these keywords.

Keyword Impression count: Has the keyword received enough impressions?

If the keyword has not had enough impressions, then the quality score as depicted might not be accurate. It is better to wait till you have received a fair share of impressions for the keyword before you try to optimize it. I usually go with the random number of 1000 impressions before trying to optimize it.


There are several different theories on what to do with keywords that have low quality scores. None of them hold true for all businesses and scenarios across the board. That does not mean it is all false either. What exactly the correct approach is, will depend very much on your own campaign and marketing strategy.

Many of these hold true, especially from the perspective of the quality score. But in this post, we are exploring the possibility of optimizing the campaign with respect to reducing the overall budget. So, the assumption is that you are already getting enough and more clicks that eats through your budget and you want to reduce the CPC (among other factors) to bring down the overall cost while still maintaining the overall return on investment.

Remember that the quality score is not the only factor that affect your budget and CPC, but just one of the many factors. So, this strategy works best when done with other optimizations for the account.

Improve Quality Score

First and foremost task is to see how you can improve the quality score of the keyword. This is especially true in the case of keywords that are vital and important to your campaign. If the keyword is not vital enough and the time and effort required to improve the quality score is high, then you might want to think about pausing or deleting the keyword.

Delete Keyword

If you cannot improve the quality score, then it might serve best to delete them as it is very likely that you might already be overpaying for them. Overpaying for a not so important keyword when you are already over budget is not a good thing.

Pause Ad-group or Keyword

You can pause the keyword instead of deleting it, especially if you think you will need to advertise for the keyword in the future. This gives you the ability to work on it at a later time or re-run them later. This also allows you to save the statistics of the keywords which might be useful when returning to advertise on them.


So to summarize, pausing or deleting your keywords with low quality score is a good idea if you want to reduce your daily budget. Moreover it allows you to divert that budget to better performing keywords. At a later time you can always increase the budget or re-invest in your paused keywords or campaigns.