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 on 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),
- 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 that your page loads quickly so that people who click on your ad don’t give up and leave your site prematurely).
Why landing page experience matters
Landing pages are a bit like cars – make sure that they're tuned-up properly, and you'll probably get better performance and savings out of them further 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 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, then it might be time to give your landing pages a tune-up. Try reviewing the general guidelines below to help you to 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 that your landing page is directly relevant to your ad text and keyword.
- Provide useful information about whatever you're advertising on your landing page.
- 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, then 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 that 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 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, then they're more likely to give up and leave your website. This unwelcome behaviour can signal to Google that your landing page experience is poor, which could impact on your Ad Rank negatively. That's why you want to make sure that your landing page load time is up to speed.Here are a few tips to help you to improve your load time:
- Make sure that your landing page loads quickly once someone has clicked on your ad, whether on a desktop or mobile device.
- Help customers to find what they’re looking for quickly, by prioritising 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 the landing page experience. If you don't want some of your landing pages to be reviewed, then you can follow the steps below to restrict the AdWords system from visiting those pages.
Important: Blocking the review of your web pages can have serious effects:
- Ads not showing: 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. Your ads may show far less often (or not at all) and you may need to significantly increase your maximum cost-per-click bids. Even with higher bids, however, it's unlikely that your ads would show very often and may not even show at all.
- Ads disapproved: If you restrict access to the Final URL of your ad's landing page, your ads can be disapproved according to our policy and won't show at all. Refer to the Google Webmaster Guidelines to make sure that your pages are still accessible to ads quality crawling.
- Site suspended: Your site can be suspended if you restrict access to your entire site or to so many of your landing pages that it's difficult for the AdWords system to meaningfully review your account.
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
- Some parts 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
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-optimised version of your site, then 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 an estimate of the landing page experience for any one 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 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 (such as a virus), then it'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, such as malware or illegal products, then 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.