In the world of digital marketing and online customer conversion, marketers have become all too familiar with the term “quality score”. Google, and other search engines, use your quality score to measure your overall ad position in the auction processes.

The higher your quality score, the better your online visibility, and the lower your advertising costs. While this may seem simple in theory, many businesses struggle to make the necessary changes to their landing pages in order to optimise their quality score.

Understanding how quality score is calculated and used, allows business owners to improve their landing pages and make changes that will increase their online rank - stretching their advertising budgets further and helping them generate more conversions.

Let’s take a closer look at which elements influence quality score, and offer some advice on how to improve your landing pages.

What is a Quality Score?

A quality score is the system of measurement that search engines use in order to determine a business’s ad relevance and rank. These search engines use the given quality score to prioritise advertising and representative space - meaning, the higher your quality score, the higher up your ad will appear on the search engine results page.

Your quality score is vitally important, as it can dictate your return on investment in the long run.

  • Click Through Rate (CTR)
  • Ad Relevance
  • Landing Page Experience

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While many businesses place great emphasis on the first two, landing page experience is often neglected. This is a missed opportunity, as making changes to your landing page is an easy and effective way to increase your quality score.

How Do You Calculate Quality Score?

1. Generally, the quality score is taken as a number between 1 and 10, which determines your rank. Search engines use bots to scan your page for specific parameters that determine advertising relevance. It’s essential to understand which parameters need to be met in order to increase your rank.

2. As previously mentioned, your click through rate, landing page experience, and ad relevance are the three main factors considered by bots. They evaluate these factors and combine them to calculate your quality score.

3. Luckily, your quality score is not a fixed number and is reviewed each time a change or improvement is made. So, as soon as you start to implement changes to your landing page, the bots will begin to update your score.

There are three different levels regarding the status of your quality score, namely:

Above Average:

A quality score of 7 and above. This score indicates that you have achieved the highest possible rating.

Average:

A quality score of between 5 and 6. This score indicates that you have achieved a moderate rating.

Below Average:

A quality score of 4 or below. This score indicates that you have achieved a relatively poor rating and your landing page needs some work.

Understanding how your score is determined, and what factors are considered for your landing page quality, will help you to make any necessary changes.

What Factors Affect Landing Page Quality?

There are four main factors that determine your landing page quality score, in terms of user experience. These factors are:

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Relevant and Original Content:

Your customers should be inspired and motivated by the content on your page. Irrelevant content may make them lose interest.

Transparency:

Your business should be transparent and trustworthy with regards to its practices, particularly when sharing information on your landing page. If you build a trustworthy brand, customers will be more likely to return.

Loading Speed:

Your landing page’s loading speed is crucial to customer experience. Landing pages that take too long to load often see the result of customers clicking away.

Customers should be able to navigate your page easily. This will result in longer time spent on your page, and happier customers.

Search engines want your customers to have an engaging experience when dealing with your page, and these four factors can significantly impact this.

Tips to Improve Landing Page Quality Score

There are small changes that you can make to your landing page that will greatly impact your quality score. Here are a few tips to consider:

1) Provide Relevant and Original Content

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1. Firstly, your content should always be relevant to your keyword. This is an easy way to increase your quality score. Create a landing page that considers your keyword, and make sure that it is incorporated well. Use content on your landing page that enriches your customer’s experience, rather than distracting them from the ultimate goal.

2. Your landing page should depict and elaborate on the idea that was given in your ads. Furthermore, your landing page should clearly relate to what the end-user is searching for, providing an answer to their question, and justifying their choice to visit your site. Using the precise search query, or even including strategic parts of the search query, in the landing page will provide a better user experience.

3. There should be a clear connection between what the user is looking for and where you are directing them after they click on your ads. Sending visitors to a highly relevant landing page will result in the improvement of the performance of your account, and increase your quality score. Tailor your titles and headlines to match potential search queries.

4. Your content should also be original, as your landing page needs to have value. Google bots compare various landing pages and their offerings, and pages that are too similar will be ranked lower than pages that present a new solution to user questions.

2) Increase Landing Page Loading Speed

1. With the fast-paced nature of the digital world, the majority of customers are looking to work quickly and efficiently online. This hurry results in impatience for slow loading times. The slower the loading time, the more likely it is that a user will exit the page and search for another.

2. If you have gone to a lot of effort to create a landing page with relevant copy, high-quality images, and self-explanatory videos, you would not want slow loading speeds to negatively impact the user’s ability to interact with your content. Google penalises websites whose landing page loading speed is too slow, which further reduces your quality score.

3. As a general rule, you should ensure that your page loads within two to five seconds, as 47% of users expect desktop sites to load in 2 seconds or less. Test your page regularly with Google’s Page Insights Tool to see whether your site is loading fast enough.

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Utilising AMP pages can also help to improve quality score by decreasing page load times. A set of coded guidelines and components which build a ghost version of your original site, AMP is designed specifically for mobile devices and presents a stripped down version of the site for faster loading.

3) Make Your Page Easy to Navigate

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Once your visitors have landed on your page, you should ensure that they can easily navigate their way around, to find what they are looking for. Any actions they need to take should be clear and immediate.

Providing users with too many links and options can be confusing, and it’s better to provide a clear and uncomplicated navigational structure to limit the searching users have to do.

Endeavour to keep the user experience smooth and efficient by ensuring all relevant pages are linked logically in the navigation, as doing so will significantly impact conversion rates. Furthermore, you should ensure that your page is free from unnecessary distractions that may keep the user from their ultimate goal. By diverting a user, you are diverting a sale.

To make sure that your landing page is easy to navigate, group relevant information, such as offers and promotions, under one navigation tab. Avoid unnecessary product offers, and always include a call-to-action.

4) Always Aim for Transparency

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In order to build trust with your users,

1.You should be transparent in your approach to customer conversion, with no unexpected surprises during the process.

2.The information on your landing page, particularly contact information, should be readily available for any user to see. By providing contact information on your page, you increase the chance of the user engaging with your business for further information.

This makes your business more reliable and personal, leading to a greater conversion rate. Furthermore, by showing that your business is trustworthy, you increase brand reliability and authority.

3. It is advisable to include a phone number, physical address, email, and social media links. The more available and visible you are, the greater your chances of building a strong bond with your customers.

4.Another aspect of transparency is related to the information that you are collecting from your visitors. Inform the visitors of the reason behind the collection of data, and how you intend to use it. You should also reassure your visitors that the information that they provide will be carefully used and implemented.

5) Make Your Landing Page Mobile-Friendly

According to Statista, mobile devices are responsible for 49% percent of global website traffic. With this surge in mobile browsing, search engines have begun to prioritise mobile-friendly sites, and it is no longer feasible to have desktop-only landing pages.

Your layout should be designed in such a way that, when using a smaller device such as a smartphone or tablet, it is able to adapt for the smaller screen and function. In this sense, your page should be readable and functional on any sized device.

However, it is not as simple as creating one landing page layout for all devices. The layout needs to be responsive.

1.Tools such as Mobile-Friendly Test, BrowserStack, and Responsive Design Checker, can help you check the device compatibility of your landing pages. You need to optimise your landing pages for mobile compatibility, as well as desktop compatibility.

2. Your page should be easily readable when moving from one device to another, and the user should never have to zoom in to make sense of the page. Furthermore, you should make sure that your page links are easily accessible for mobile devices.

This is particularly true of your phone number, which should offer a clickable link for users to phone you directly from their device.

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Small Changes Make a Big Difference

By implementing small changes to your landing page, you have the opportunity to increase your quality score and your ad rank. Your PPC landing page is the first contact customers have with your business and what it offers, and while advertising entices them, your landing page is the tool that encourages conversion.

Visitors to your site should have a pleasant user experience, as this will greatly impact the amount of time they spend on your site.

In summary: make sure that your landing page is relevant, original, and transparent in its information. In order to keep visitors on your site, your landing page should load quickly, and be easy to navigate.

Avoid distractions and deterrents on your page, as these will lead visitors to click away, or to be distracted from their ultimate goal. Finally, to further cater to user-friendliness, make sure that your landing page is compatible with all devices, particularly mobile phones and tablets.

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About The Author

Waseem Bashir

Founder & CEO of Apexure, Waseem worked in London’s Financial Industry. He has worked on trading floors in BNP Paribas and Trafigura, developing complex business systems. Waseem loves working with Startups and combines data and design to create improved User Experiences.

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