When people begin optimising their campaigns, especially their search marketing, landing page experience is often one of the last things optimised. And there’s a good reason for this. Not many people really understand which attributes describe a good landing page experience - at least not the way that Google ranks it.
In most PPC advertising, landing page experience is a measure of how useful and relevant your landing page will be to the user who clicks on one of your ads.
The status, which in Adwords is measured as ‘average’, ‘above average’ or ‘below average’ describes whether users are likely to find what they’re looking for, and have a good experience on your landing page.
To create a good landing page experience, make sure that each landing page is relevant to the keywords and ads you’re using to direct people to it, and that the page itself is useful to visitors.
Be transparent in your dealings with visitors, and make sure they know exactly what you need from them, and what they’ll get from you. These factors all play a role in your landing page experience status.
You can use this status to identify any landing pages which may be hurting your conversion rate.
Landing page experience is also just one of the factors which go into calculating your Quality Score.
In a nutshell, Quality Score is the way Google rates both the relevance and quality of your keywords and ads in PPC campaigns. This score is used to determine your cost per click (CPC), in combination with your maximum bid.
To determine CPC and ad rank in the ad auction process, AdWords multiplies your specified bid by your quality score.
Unfortunately, no one outside of Google knows exactly how Quality Score is calculated, but we do know that it depends on multiple factors:
Your click-through rate (CTR)
Keyword relevance to each ad group
Landing page relevance and quality
Ad text relevance
Historical performance of your Google Ads account
While these factors make up the core of your Quality Score, we still have no idea how each factor is weighted in the algorithm - except for click-through rate, which we know is the most important component.
This is understandable - the more people who see your ad and click on it, the stronger the indication that your ads are relevant and helpful to users.
And why is a good Quality Score important?
A high-quality score means higher ad rankings, and lower costs.
There’s a difference between a good landing page experience and a good landing page experience.
The first type of good landing page experience means an ‘above average’ score for landing page experience on Google Adwords. The second type of good landing page experience just means ensuring that your landing pages are well-optimised for users and conversions. Though they are similar, they are not the same.
Today, we’ll be discussing the first type of good landing page experience.
Obviously, all landing pages should be relevant. You can’t write an ad about weight loss and direct users to a landing page about toasters. You also shouldn’t hide anything from your audience, such as pretending that your product only costs $10 when it actually only costs $10 for the first week.
Make sure that your page is easy to navigate - even if you don’t include actual navigation. Make use of a big call to action button. If they want to leave your page, make it easy for them. If they want to convert, make sure that is easy too.
If you’re trying to create a good landing page experience, make sure that your content is relevant and original.
Ensure that your page is directly related to keywords and ad text.
Be specific when users are looking for a particular thing. If your keywords are related to women’s white tennis shoes, don’t direct users to a landing page that focuses on all types of shoes.
Be general if they want options. If a user is looking to compare laptop models or is searching for laptops in general, don’t direct them to a landing page that features only one specific laptop model.
Provide useful information about the product or service you’re advertising.
Try to speak about things that make your product or service unique, such as unique features.
When measuring relevance, make sure the first thing you measure is the relevance of your landing page to your keywords and your keywords to your ads. Ideally, make sure that as many of the keywords in your ad group as possible make it into your ads and onto your different landing pages. This is also why you should ideally have one landing page per ad group.
You can achieve this by defining your Ad groups into SKAGs (Single keyword per Ad Group). Using a SKAG structure will allow you to link unique landing pages to your ad groups.
Your landing page should directly reflect the keywords, and more importantly, the search query that led users to your page. In fact, having the exact search query, or parts of it, within your landing page can be highly effective for improving relevance.
Make sure that there is a direct link between what the user is looking for, and where they land after clicking on an ad.
Because landing page experience is an important factor in quality score, directing users to a relevant and useful landing page has a direct impact on the performance of your Adwords account, and your campaign in general.
While relevance is easy to ensure, by making sure that you craft your titles, headlines and copy with your keywords in mind, originality is slightly more difficult.
I would recommend adding keywords semantically in the page title, description, h1, paragraph and alt images. And with the help of a tool like seo web page analyzer examine specific pages on how well they are optimized for their target keywords.
Try to ensure that each of your landing pages is original, and not plagiarised from other places on the web. Your landing page originality is measured and compared to similar advertisers, along with their offerings.
Make sure your page is well-organised and designed in a clear manner so that users don’t have to search your page for the information they’re looking for.
Make sure that it is simple and quick for people to convert.
Don’t utilise any annoying features, such as full-screen popups, which could interfere with a user’s navigation of your landing page.
Help visitors find what they’re looking for by prioritising the content that is above the fold.
Although a landing page shouldn’t have links to other pages, I recommend adding anchor links that link to the section on the page.
Once a user lands on your page, you should ensure that they can easily navigate their way around the page. Even if you choose not to include main navigation, you should still make sure that it’s easy for them to find the offer which brought them to the landing page.
To this end, do not confuse your users by offering multiple links to multiple offers and different sections of your site.
Similarly, avoid distractions to ensure a good landing page experience. Distractions are anything that could prevent a user from completing the desired conversion action and diverting them instead to another action.
Make sure to minimise all possible distractions, such as external links and any irrelevant menus or sidebars.
Additionally, make sure that all features on your site work correctly, and that the information is arranged in an easy-to-understand manner.
Clearly state what your company does, and openly share any relevant information with your users.
Clearly explain your services or products before asking users to give you their details.
Make sure your contact details are easy to find. Include your company address in the footer and ideally your phone number in the header.
If you request information from your users, make sure it’s clear what you need the information for and what you’ll do with it.
Users want to work with businesses that are legal and above-board. Make sure that you are transparent in your approach so that users can begin to trust you. Also, ensure that your contact information is easily available.
To improve trustworthiness and transparency, it is recommended that you add both an email address and phone number, as well as a physical address and social media links. The more you make yourself available to your prospective customers, the more they will begin to trust you.
Also, ensure that you are transparent about what information you are collecting from users. That includes any cookies and info collected from forms. Let them know why you are collecting information, what you will be using it for and where it will be stored.
Ensure that your page loads quickly once a user clicks on your ad.
Make sure that your page performs well on both mobile and computer.
Considering converting your page into an Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP).
There is nothing worse than a website that spends forever loading. Think about all the times you visited a website that took too long to load. Did you wait around, or did you just bounce away?
Most users don’t want to wait around for your landing page to eventually finish loading. If it takes too long, they’ll often just hit the back button and click on another link.
There’s no point in perfecting your landing page copy and images if it takes too long to load, and the users don’t even get a chance to experience it. Additionally, Google penalises websites that have long load times. This has a negative effect on your landing page experience status, and therefore, your Quality Score.
You can use tools such as the Page Insights Tool to evaluate the loading speed of your landing page and identify areas for improvement.
Landing page experience is more than just how well your landing page works. There are certain attributes that will define how your landing page is ranked. These attributes also play a role in determining your Quality Score, which affects your ad costs and placements.
To achieve a good landing page experience, make sure your landing page design features relevant and original content, are easy to navigate, promote transparency and load quickly.
By keeping these attributes in mind, you can create a good landing page experience which positively contributes to your Quality Score. Contact us today!
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