10 Steps to improving Landing page experience.

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Are you fed up of seeing “landing page experience below average”?

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In this article I’m going to be explaining just how heavily weighted landing page experience is, in the quality score algorithm, with the aid of big data case studies from Wordstream, Adobe and AdAlysis.

I’m also going to be walking you step by step through 10 critical factors that you need to have to achieve an above average landing page experience.

Where does landing page experience fit into Quality Score

Landing page experience plays an important part within the quality score algorithm. A former Googler, Fredrick Vallaeys  drew this diagram explaining how the different factors are weighted towards overall Quality Score.

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In a recent study of AdAlysis data which analyzed a significant amount of data from a number of different industries, concluded that the exact weighting of landing page experience was 39% of the overall Quality Score equation.

However research by Wordstream and Adobe suggested that on a grand scale there is a direct correlation between CTR and Quality score, which would suggest that landing page experience may play less of a part within Quality Score than the study by AdAlysis suggested.

This may however be due to a few possible reasons.

  • The studies by Wordstream and Adobe were conducted over 3 years ago and Google may be placing more weight on landing page experience, which is the opinion of many thought leaders in the area. This rising importance of landing page experience, and declining weight on CTR would be in line with Google’s overall plan to provide a good user experience, on the SERP but also post click when they arrive at a landing page.
  • The Quality Score that you see in AdWords [That AdAlysis based their data on] is based on a pass fail test and there may be a sliding scale behind the scenes that Google uses to determine Quality Score. So there may be very little correlation between the 3 Quality Score indicators and the numerical Quality Score displayed within AdWords.
  • The correlation may be explained by the fact that people who have high CTR are likely to have a good understanding of landing page experience, because they already understand how to display and write highly relevant adverts, and therefore are likely to know how to create high quality landing pages that provide a good user experience.

Although there is some difference in option as to how much weight that landing page experience, there is no question that it is important factor within the Quality Score Algorithm and may results in an increase in Quality Score of a 1 -2 points, which could reduce your overall cost per click by 28.6% (LINK – http://www.wordstream.com/quality-scorewordsteram)

What factors influence landing page experience.

Broadly there are 4 main categories that determine your landing page experience according to Google.

  1. Relevant, useful, original content
  2. Transparency and trustworthiness
  3. Ease of Navigation
  4. Speed at which the site loads

Lets look at each of these elements individually to see what can be done to optimise them.

Perfecting you Advert to landing page match

Step 1. To ensure that your Adverts are relevant to your adverts, make sure that the headline of your advert matches the headline of the landing page.

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This is to ensure that users fine exactly what they are looking for when they reach your website. Online you have 5.59 seconds to capture the users attention, so don’t make them look around, otherwise they will be hitting the back button and going to your competitors where they can find what they are looking for right away.

Its also worth including relevant keywords within your page and following SEO on page best practices, which you can learn more about here (link – .

Step 2. Provide all the information that a user needs to complete a conversion on the landing page. This is going to vary widely depending on the website and what you are selling and there are various methods of determining this including surveying your customers, reviewing live chat scripts for commonly asked questions and talking to your sales people.

Step 3. Get rid of any duplicate content on your landing pages and website in general. To locate duplicate content you can use tools such as this Duplicate content checker. Once you’ve found it you need to replace it with your own unique content.

Improving your Transparency and trustworthiness

This is all about showing that your website is authentic and that there is a real company behind it.

Step 1. Ensure that your contact details are easy to find and the companies registered address is placed on the website and there is a link to it on every page of your website.

Step 2. If you request information from website visitors then ensure that you have a page outlining your privacy policy page, and that you link to it from every page of your website in the footer. If your not very legally minded then don’t worry there are several companies that will generate one for you online for free.

Step 3. Ensure that your website has an about us page that shares information about the purpose of your business.

Ease of Navigation

Step 1. Make it easy for people to enquire about your service or order your product. Take people directly to the product or service that was talked about in your Advert. Include call to action buttons that allow users to purchase your product if they are landing on a product page, or make it easy for users to find out more information about individual products if they land on category pages.

If you are using Adwords to generate leads for your service, I would suggest including either a call to action button, leading to your contact us page, on the page that customers land on, or including an enquiry form on the landing page itself like Market Makers below.

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Step 2. Ensure that users can find out all that they need about the advertised product or service. This first and foremost starts with a good description of the product, but should extend further to including other relevant information. For example a clothes retailer may want to highlight their returns policy, if something does not fit. Or a size guide to help you choose the right size for you.

Load speed

Load speed has also been factored into the Quality Score algorithm, as keeping people waiting while your website is loading constitutes a poor experience.

Its especially important for mobile devices, that account for over 50% of Google searches. As the internet connection tends to be slower on average.

Step 1. Determine your landing page load speed using this free tool.

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Step 2. If your landing page load time is slow, then use Google page load insights tool that makes suggestions on improving your landing page speed that you can use here, for both mobile and desktop devices.

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Conclusion

It is clear that landing page experience plays an important part in the Quality Score algorithm and you should take positive steps to maximize users experience on your landing pages, to get the best ROI from your paid search campaigns.

By following the 10 steps that I’ve set out in this guide will get you well on your way to improving your overall Quality Score and seeing “landing page experience above average” more often.

 

This is a Guest Post by Wesley Parker.

WesleyParkerWesley is a an expert paid search marketer with over 5 years experience. He regally contributes to the Clicteq blog and is available to hire, to manage your paid search campaigns.
 

 

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