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 that 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 in forms sharing their own information) and
  • making it easy for customers to navigate your site (including on mobile sites).

Your landing page experience affects not only your Quality Score, but also your advertising costs and ad position.

Why landing page experience matters

Landing pages are kind of like cars – make sure that 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 that you want them to do on your website.

Improving your landing page quality

We use a combination of automated systems and human evaluation to determine landing page experience on your site. Your ads may show less often if they point to websites that offer a poor user experience. If you're trying to improve your landing page quality, 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 quality and get better performance out of your landing pages down the road.

  1. Relevant, useful and original content
    • Make sure that 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 that 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 quality, it could lead to higher Quality Scores over time. You might not see an immediate impact, but you may see results within days or weeks.

Excluding your landing pages from review

By default, the AdWords system reviews advertised landing pages to assess the 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 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 unless you significantly increase your maximum cost-per-click (in shorthand, your bid). Even with higher bids, however, it is unlikely that 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:

User-agent: AdsBot-Google
Disallow: /

  • 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_basket/”), add the following to your robots.txt file:

User-agent: AdsBot-Google
Disallow: /shopping_basket/

 

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 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.

Mobile visits to your landing page

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-optimised version of your site, we recommend that you configure your server to show the mobile-optimised site when the AdWords mobile User-Agent is detected.

Viewing your website's landing page experience

You can view 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 is 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 versus 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 "Poor" landing page quality 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 that you won't be able to advertise that suspended website until all policy violations have been resolved.