Improving ad relevance is crucial since it results in overall campaign improvement — better ad position, higher Quality Score, and lower cost-per-click.

Ads that are relevant get 3x the user attention.

Apart from better user attention, relevant ads can appear in higher positions, earn more clicks, and bring advertisers more success with their ad campaign.

But, what makes an ad relevant?

Besides a brief definition of what ad relevance is, this article will give an insight into why ad relevancy is important. We will also share ways to increase ad relevance to ensure better CPC.

Let’s dive right in:

Ad relevance definition

Simply put, ad relevance, aka keyword relevance, is defined as how closely an advertising campaign matches a user’s search determined by the correlation between keywords, ads, and post-click landing pages, as per Google.

The link between words and the ad ensures how promptly it will take the user to the page as per his intent. For example, searching for “A/B testing software” took the user to these three pages: 

The ad relevance is strong in the first search result of vwo’s ad, with keywords directly present in the headline and description, making it the most landed page with a high-quality score. Not only does it provide better ad visibility but also, with keywords repeated, it caters to users’ needs.

Point to be noted while understanding ad relevance:

  • Keywords must match the ad copy.
  • The ad copy should correspond to the post-click landing page.
  • Users’ search should match with keywords, ads, and landing pages.

Read more:
1. What is Advertising Management?

2. 5 Ad Engagement Strategies to Test Now

What makes an Ad Relevant?

Ad relevance differs on the advertising strategy used by the marketer – the chosen ad platform, target audience, ad network, ad type, and more. Most of all, ad relevancy depends on the platform / ad network chosen:

Search Network
On search network, an ad is relevancy when it closely matches the search query of the user.
Display Network
On Display network, ad relevancy can be ensured when you target to a user if they have already engaged with the brand in the past or visited a company’s website.
Social Media
On social media, relevance of ads is ensured by targeting users with an ad creative based on user activity, online behaviour, or the personal information shared online.

What makes an ad relevant?

Calculating the ad relevance:

As mention earlier, measuring ad relevance is crucial for the development of the overall business. 

Ad relevancy can be measured in three ways articulating its implications as well.

 Above average ad relevance

Above-average ad relevance implies a closer relationship between the keywords and the page without major discrepancies. It is also inferred that the higher the ad relevance, the better the page’s visibility. 

To cite an instance: 

The example, as mentioned earlier, had an above-average ad relevance, with exact keywords in the headline and description.

Average ad relevance

In average ad relevance, the keyword’s relation with the ad and page is relatively low but still can appear in the top searches. This usually happens when exact keywords are not in the description or a vague keyword extension might be present. 

For instance:

The former example shows that Playwire has average ad relevance with keywords just present in the headline or title, while no keyword is present in the description.

Below average ad relevancy

Below-average ad relevancy can be alarming for many sites as it keeps the page out of sight for the users. However, the principal reason affecting ad relevancy can be keywords not specific enough or covering too many topics. This case is usually the result of untailored keywords copied from one ad group to another.

For example: 

The website Ezoic fails to mention the keyword ‘adsense alternatives‘ in the description. Ad relevancy could have been better in this case.

Finding the right keywords relevant to ad copy can be quite a challenge. Low ad relevancy can impede as it results in a low Quality score and negligible ad viewability, eventually impacting the budget and business. Therefore, the importance of ad relevance cannot be undermined.

Ad relevance diagnostics:

There can be plenty of factors that indicate why your ad is not meeting the advertising objectives. In this case, a strategic review of ad relevancy should be welcomed.  Ad relevance diagnostics employees three metrics based on which the ad relevance score is calculated:

  • Quality ranking 
  • Conversion ranking
  • User engagement rate ranking

Understanding ad relevance score has the power to bring the publisher’s attention to the following adjustments to be made:

  • Ad layout and designs 
  • Post click landing page experience
  • Audience targetted

Why is ad relevance important?

  • Increased ROI 
  • Better ad visibility
  • Reduced CPC and Conversion rates
  • Improved Quality Score

Writing content is just not enough to drive traffic to the site. Having the keywords and ads aligned with the users’ behaviour can give a jump to the website’s viewability as Higher performance is linked to high relevance. Hence, optimising the keywords is necessary.

Ways to ensure ad relevancy

Crafting an ad relevant to the target audience can be a cakewalk if empowered with a few of the ways mentioned below:

  • Ad specificity: 

Being specific is one way to achieve ad relevancy. Crafting specific ad groups for websites rendering multiple services has more chances of registering click impressions.

  • Optimising keywords to ensure relevant ads

Optimising keywords per the users’ behaviour and the latest trends is another way to improve ad relevancy. However, as the game is mostly about keywords, selecting relevant keywords must be thorough and precise, with their insertion at the right time and place. 

  • Split testing for ad relevancy

A/B testing is a platform that offers publishers and marketers virtual experimentation of which ad will record a higher performance and drive the business metrics. Split testing is especially profitable in increasing eCPMs and user experience, all pointing toward higher ad relevance.

  • Assist with personalised CTA

Ad relevancy can be improved if the ad is embellished with a quick call to action, redirecting the user to the page. This act as adding an extension to the ad.

  • Keep the ads simple yet compelling.

Instead of being verbose, keeping the simple, crisp and precise will leave a long-lasting impact. 

Final words

Ad relevancy has taken priority in assisting the impact of ad campaigns, lowering budgets spent on making ads more viewable. Besides the ways mentioned earlier, partnering up with digital platforms that offer all-in-one digital solutions is also on the table.

We’d like to wrap the article with three key criteria we follow at Adpushup to ensure ad relevancy:

1. Focus on consumers’ intent (not just the demographics): For this you need to know why your customers are in the market, what exactly they are looking for, and what they need at that particular moment.

2. Customise creative at scale: Gone are the days when a single creative did all the heavy lifting. Today, if you want to engage your target audience, you must learn to tailor creative at scale to the audience.

3. Match your message to the particular moment:
Customers want different things at different time. Today they might be looking for information on what is ad relevancy, and tomorrow they might want to learn what makes an ad relevant.

Similarly, a week later, they might look for an ad tech vendor that ensures ad relevancy. Hence, it’s important to match your message according to what a customer may want at that particular moment.

At Adpushup, we help our publishers make most out of their ad spend by improving ad relevance. Book a demo with us to learn more.


How is the ad relevance score calculated?

Ad relevance is calculated with positive ad reviews against negative ad feedback. Better user interactions with the ads suggest a positive review, eventually leading to a better ad relevance score.

What is a quality score?

Quality score, according to Google, can be defined as the overall user experience corresponding to users’ search for keywords.

How do I improve my Google ad relevance?
You can ensure google ad relevance by:

1) Creating Tightly-Themed Ad Groups
2) Ensuring Ads are Related to your Keywords
3) Include main keyword in URL


Shubham is a digital marketer with rich experience working in the advertisement technology industry. He has vast experience in the programmatic industry, driving business strategy and scaling functions including but not limited to growth and marketing, Operations, process optimization, and Sales.

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