Understanding landing page experience
Landing page experience refers to how good we think someone's experience will be when they get to your landing page (the web page they end up on after clicking your ad). You can improve your landing page experience by:
- providing relevant, useful, and original content,
- promoting transparency and fostering trustworthiness on your site (for example, by explaining your products or services before asking visitors to fill out forms sharing their own information),
- making it easy for customers to navigate your site (including on mobile sites), and
- encouraging customers to spend time on your site (for example, by making sure your page loads quickly so people who click your ad don’t give up and leave your site prematurely).
Your landing page experience affects not only your Quality Score, but also your Ad Rank and advertising costs.
Why landing page experience matters
Landing pages are kind of like cars – make sure they're tuned-up properly, and you'll likely get better performance and savings out of them down the road. Get more mileage out of your landing page by making it easier for visitors to make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, or do other things you want them to do on your website.
Improving your landing page experience
We use a combination of automated systems and human evaluation to determine landing page experience on your site. Your ads may show less often (or not at all) if they point to websites that offer a poor user experience. If you're trying to improve your landing page experience, it might be time to give your landing pages a tune-up. Try reviewing the general guidelines below to help you think of ways to improve your landing page experience and get better performance out of your landing pages down the road.
- Relevant, useful and original content
- Make sure your landing page is directly relevant to your ad text and keyword.
- Provide useful information on your landing page about whatever you're advertising.
- Try to offer useful features or content that are unique to your site.
- Transparency and trustworthiness
- Make it easy for visitors to find your contact information.
- If you request personal information from customers, make it clear why you’re asking for it and what you’ll do with it.
- Distinguish sponsored links, like ads, from the rest of your site content.
- Openly share information about your business and clearly state what your business does.
- Ease of navigation
- Don't make people hunt around for the information they might need.
- Make it quick and easy for people to order the product mentioned in your ad.
- Don’t annoy customers with pop-ups or other features that interfere with their navigation on your site.
- Make sure people can easily find information to learn more about the advertised product.
The AdWords system visits and evaluates landing pages on a regular basis. If you've made significant changes to improve your landing page experience, it could lead to higher ad quality (and higher Ad Rank) over time. You might not see an immediate impact, but you may see results within days or weeks.
Your landing page loading time
If it takes too long for your website to load when someone clicks on your ad, they're more likely to give up and leave your website. This unwelcome behavior can signal to Google that your landing page experience is poor, which could negatively impact your Ad Rank. That's why you want to make sure your landing page load time is up to speed.Here are a few tips to help improve your load time:
- Make sure your landing page loads quickly once someone clicks on your ad, whether on a desktop or mobile device.
- Help customers quickly find what they’re looking for by prioritizing the content that’s visible above-the-fold.
- Learn how you or your webmaster can use PageSpeed Insights to measure the performance of your landing page.
By default, the AdWords system reviews advertised landing pages to assess landing page experience. If you don't want some of your landing pages to be reviewed, you can follow the steps below to restrict the AdWords system from visiting those pages. However, if you do this, you may end up with a significant drop in Quality Score and Ad Rank because we won't have as much information to determine your landing page experience and relevance. This means your ads may show far less often (or not at all) and you may need to significantly increase your maximum cost-per-click (in shorthand, your bid). Even with higher bids, however, it is unlikely your ads would show very often and may not even show at all. Also note that if you restrict access to your entire site, or if you restrict access to so many of your landing pages that it makes it difficult for the AdWords system to meaningfully review your account, your site will be suspended.
While we strongly recommend against restricting our system's automatic review of your landing pages, you can edit your site's robots.txt file as shown below to avoid a review.
- To prevent the AdWords system from accessing your entire site, add the following to your robots.txt file:
- Some portions of your site may not function as active landing pages for your advertisements, and you may have reasons to prevent the AdWords system from accessing them. To prevent the AdWords system from accessing certain parts of your site (for example, inside the directory named “/shopping_cart/”), add the following to your robots.txt file:
Note that these instructions apply only to AdsBot-Google. There are other Google-owned bots that review websites as well (googlebot, for example). In order to avoid decreasing Quality Scores and Ad Rank and increasing CPCs for advertisers who don't intend to restrict AdWords visits to their pages, the system will ignore blanket exclusions and wildcards (for example, User-agent: *) in robots.txt files.
The AdWords system will also visit your landing page to evaluate your site as viewed by iPhones and other mobile devices with full browsers.
Currently, we use the following HTTP User-Agent header to identify AdWords mobile visits:
AdsBot-Google-Mobile (+http://www.google.com/mobile/adsbot.html) Mozilla (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3 0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile Safari
If you have a distinct, mobile-optimized version of your site, we recommend you configure your server to show the mobile-optimized site when the AdWords mobile User-Agent is detected.
Viewing your website's landing page experience
You can view an estimate of the landing page experience for any of your destination sites by going into your Keywords tab and placing your cursor over the speech bubble next to the status of any keyword. The landing page experience could be:
- Above average or Average: If you see either of these two statuses, you're in good shape – your Quality Score won't be negatively affected by your landing page experience.
- Below average: This means that your landing page experience may be in need of improvement, and your Quality Score might be lower as a result. You might want to consider some changes to improve your website's landing page, using the factors discussed in this article as your guide.
Landing page experience vs. Site policies
When we review landing pages, we sometimes come across pages that don't follow our Advertising Policies. For example, if your landing page happens to contain malware (like a virus), that's a pretty bad landing page. Rather than giving you a "Below average" landing page experience status, you won't get a score at all. Instead, you'll see "Not applicable" as your landing page experience status, and any keywords or ads pointing to that website will get a "Site suspended" status. This status means that your website can't be advertised with AdWords because it doesn't follow one or more of our site policies.
Site policies refer to the Advertising Policies that must be followed on your landing pages and website in order to advertise on AdWords. If your landing page or website contains something that we don't allow, like malware or illegal products, we might suspend your website to protect our customers. When a website is suspended, that means you won't be able to advertise that suspended website until all policy violations have been resolved.