The old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” doesn’t apply to Google’s analysis of your AdWords landing page. Google uses your landing page as a major factor in determining the quality and ranking of your ad, summing it up in what it calls the “landing page experience.” Thus, landing page quality is integral to your page’s performance.
Why Landing Page Quality is Important
In Google’s AdWords world, the landing page is the first page your visitors come to when they click on your AdWords ad. It’s the first page that your viewers see, and Google wants to make sure that it has the most relevant, trustworthy and user-friendly content possible.
A bad landing page — one that is confusing, misleading or broken — is a sign of a poor-quality ad, and it’ll hurt your AdWords rank. The same goes for your search ranking on regular Google searches — pages that Google does not recognize as legitimate or trustworthy won’t be ranked as high as pages with a good landing page experience.
Practices to Avoid On Your Landing Pages
Google is looking for your landing page experience to be simple, trustworthy and to the point. One of the negative ranking factors is making viewers do too many things to access your content. If your landing page requires that visitors sign up for information before the page explains exactly what they’ll get after signing up and what you’ll do with their information, it may negatively impact your landing page quality score.
As with most of Google’s analyses, quality content is a key factor in your quality score and ad ranking. Landing pages with duplicate, weak or misinforming content will suffer.
Slow load times are also a landing page killer. If you have large video files, bulky plugins or other heavy-load items on your landing page, chances are you’ll lose your viewers before they see your fully loaded page. Users want to get right into your landing page the moment they click your ad, and long load times can cripple your landing page quality ranking.
Tips to Improve Landing Page Quality
The structure of your page should be clean, easy to navigate and prominently display all the important information. Your landing page should clearly express what your site is about, how to contact you and what you want the visitor to accomplish on your page (buy a product, submit contact information, etc.).
De-clutter your website from annoying pop-ups or slide-ins that obstruct browsing. Avoid anything that distracts the user from your page’s intent. You want only the most useful, relevant content and features on your landing pages.
Honesty is the best policy with landing pages. If you’re selling a product or service, be up front about it. Don’t ask for personal information without disclosing why you’re requesting it and for what you will use it. Google awards transparency and trustworthiness when evaluating the landing page experience, and it’ll benefit your ranking both on AdWords and regular search.
Determining Your Landing Page Experience
Google makes it easy to check your landing page quality score in your AdWords dashboard by clicking on your Keywords tab. There, you can hover your cursor over any keyword you’re tracking and see the status. Scores of above average or average are good, while a below average score is a sign that you should review your landing page and improve the quality of the content or navigation.
Building quality landing pages takes great content, logical organization and user-friendly design. At We Do Web Content, we create our landing pages with the user in mind and strive to get them in the door and directly to your call to action without missing a beat. Contact us today to speak with our sales manager about optimizing your landing pages to give your visitors (and Google) the best landing page experience! Call us at 888-521-3880.