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Understanding landing page experience

Landing page experience is AdWords’ measure of how well your website gives people who click your ads exactly what they’re looking for – quickly and effortlessly. Your landing page is the URL people arrive at after they click your ad, and the experience you offer affects your Ad Rank and therefore your CPC and position in the ad auction. Your ads may show less often (or not at all) if they point to websites that offer a poor user experience.

This article explains how you can improve your landing page experience. For specific instructions on how to optimise your website for mobile, see Principles of mobile site design and Create an effective mobile site.

Before you start

Keep in mind: Landing page experience is different from site policy violations. If your site violates AdWords policy, you receive no landing page experience rating at all, and your ads don’t run.

Instructions

You can improve your landing page experience by taking any or all of the following steps:

  1. Offer relevant, useful and original content
    • Make sure that your landing page is directly relevant to your ad text and keyword.

      • Be specific when the user wants a particular thing: If someone clicks on an ad for a sports car, they shouldn’t wind up on a general “all car models and makes” page
      • Be general when the user wants options: If someone’s looking to compare digital cameras, they probably don’t want to land on a specific model’s page
    • 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.
  2. Promote transparency and foster trustworthiness on your site
    • Openly share information about your business and clearly state what your business does
    • Explain your products or services before asking visitors to fill in forms
    • 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 website’s content
  3. Make mobile and computer navigation easy
    • Organise and design your page well, so people don’t have to hunt around for information.
    • 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 of your site.
    • Help customers quickly find what they’re looking for by prioritising the content that's visible above the fold
  4. Be fast – decrease your landing page loading time
    • Make sure your landing page loads quickly once someone clicks on your ad, whether on a computer or mobile device.
    • Learn how you or your webmaster can use PageSpeed Insights to measure the performance of your landing page.
  5. Make your site (even more) mobile-friendly

How to check your landing page experience

Choose the AdWords experience that you're using. Find out more.

What happens after I make improvements?

The AdWords system visits and evaluates landing pages and websites on a regular basis. If you make significant changes to improve your landing page experience, you may see 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.

Mobile

The AdWords system also visits your landing page to evaluate your mobile site (as viewed by mobile devices with full browsers, like Android devices and iPhones).

If you have a distinct, mobile-optimised version of your site, we recommend you configure your server to show the mobile-optimised site when the AdWords mobile User-Agent is detected crawling your site. Currently, we use two HTTP User-Agent header to identify AdWords mobile visits:

  • Android: Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 5.0; SM-G920A) AppleWebKit (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome Mobile Safari (compatible; AdsBot-Google-Mobile; +http://www.google.com/mobile/adsbot.html)
  • iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 9_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/601.1.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/9.0 Mobile/13B143 Safari/601.1 (compatible; AdsBot-Google-Mobile; +http://www.google.com/mobile/adsbot.html)

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.

More information

How to exclude your landing pages from review

Important: Blocking the review of even just one of your web pages can have serious effects:

  • Ads not showing: You may end up with a significant drop in 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 block all AdsBot crawls, disallow "AdsBot-Google"
  • To prevent AdWords from crawling your entire site, add the following to your robots.txt file:

    User agent: AdsBot-Google
    Disallow: /

  • To prevent AdWords from crawling your mobile site, add the following to your robots.txt file:

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

    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
    Disallow: /shopping_basket/

    Keep in mind, your non-mobile URLs will still be crawled.

These instructions apply only to AdsBot. There are other Google-owned bots that review websites as well (googlebot, for example). In order to avoid decreasing 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

Landing page experience versus site policies

A “below average” landing page experience is different from a website policy violation. Site policies refer to the advertising policies that must be followed on your landing pages and website in order to advertise on AdWords.

Pages that don't follow our advertising policies aren’t even allowed to participate in the auction. For example, say your landing page contains malware (like a virus). Rather than giving you a "Below average" landing page experience status, your ad won’t show and you won't get a landing page experience score at all.

So what happens?

Your site will be suspended to protect our users. 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. When a website is suspended, you won't be able to advertise that suspended website until all policy violations have been resolved.

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