What to Do if AdWords Says Your Landing Page Experience Is Below Average


Having a poor performing AdWords landing page is bad news – not only will Google be less likely to show your ads, but you are probably missing out on valuable conversions.  It also negatively affects your Quality Scores, which means you end up paying more for each click.

In an effort to be more “transparent,” Google now makes an attempt to tell you why your Quality Score for a given keyword is low. One reason might be the quality of your landing page experience. If Google thinks your landing page experience is “below average,” it could hurt your Quality Score.

AdWords Landing Page Experience

According to Google, you should focus on three things if your landing page quality needs improvement:

  1. Relevant and original content
  2. Transparency
  3. Ease of navigation

If Google has deemed your landing pages to be “below average” in quality, you may be looking for more specific advice. Here are 10 tips on improving your landing page Quality Score.

  1. Check the relevancy of your landing page content to your ad. It’s of the utmost importance that your landing page content matches your ad text and the ad’s keywords. For example, if a user clicks an ad talking about high heels, don’t send them to a general shoe page, but instead to a specific page about the high heels offered. The more directly related the landing page is to the ad text, the better.
  2. Don’t overwhelm the visitor with links. Provide the necessities, like a link to make an order, contact info, and a link to the homepage, but not much else. More possible exits from the landing page increase the likelihood of the user leaving.
  3. Create a solid site architecture system. Use information architecture to design a site that enables you to create very detailed pages for specific AdWords ads further down in your site hierarchy.
  4. Call to action. Have a clear and powerful call to action that entices visitors. Try answering the question “I want to…” (getting into the mind of your visitor and what she wants). Calls to action in button form are best.
  5. High-quality, relevant images. Images provide a visual clue about the message of your landing page to users. Mixing in images with page text makes the page much more attractive.
  6. Write a powerful heading. The header is one of the first things visitors see on your landing page. Make sure it is relevant and attention-grabbing.
  7. Keep it short and to the point. Remember, your landing page isn’t a blog post. Too much information and text can easily overwhelm visitors, and these days with the quick scanning mentality of the interwebs, almost any text is too much text. Simply provide the essential key information and important points that you know will interest your audience – think benefits.
  8. Experiment with form length. If your conversion rate is low, consider shortening your form. If the quality of your leads is the main issue, try lengthening the form. Every minute shaved off (or added) to a user’s experience on your site can make a big difference.
  9. Add social buttons and trust signals. Adding social media buttons is smart because they make it easy for visitors to share your fantastic offer with friends around the world. Trust symbols and badges, like awards you’ve won, recognition, and your own logo, help reassure potential customers that your businesses is trustworthy and safe to make a purchase with.
  10. Keep in mind the need for speed. Sometimes something as simple as site speed can have a large impact on your landing page Quality Score. Test your landing page and make sure it is loading at a reasonable speed. If it’s too slow, check the size of your images and eliminate any extras that might be weighing the page down.

(Read more: How to Create the Best Landing Pages for Your Google AdWords Account)

Find out how you're REALLY doing in AdWords!

Watch the video below on our Free AdWords Grader:

Visit the AdWords Grader.


Annie Harrison
Sep 24, 2012

Hi, Just found you blog!  Great tips on adwords they will help me enormously, Thank you!

Megan Marrs
Nov 07, 2012

Thanks Annie, happy to help!

Dinesh Thakur
Sep 27, 2012

Hello Megan,Really some useful tips, I think page speed and contnet on the page are key factors. In addition to this i think page bounce rate some how or some what effect the quality score of keywords. Do you think meta tags (header and description) also help in improving the landing page experience. 

Megan Marrs
Nov 07, 2012

Hi Dinesh,Glad you enjoyed the post! Yes, bounce rate can affect things as well, but usually a high bounce rate usually comes as a result of other issues (lots of packed in text, confusing navigation, etc.)Meta tags can certainly add to an improved landing page experience - headers are great becaue they can help break up lengthy chunks of text and help visitors skim more easily.

Claudio @MD Marketing Digital
Oct 03, 2012

Hi Megan!Nice post, thanks!!Always runing behind the holy grial with our google friends. It looks like we must read small letters always.I believe relevancy is with a big R in the landing page theory, it must be the answer to the ad, and it must be clear enough that arriving to this page is part of the solution to the question you have googled.Also I believe its worth to pay atenttion to hot points. I always check where  I´m placing the "call to action" buttons?Thanks for sharing!Claudio @MD Marketing Digital / Argentina

Megan Marrs
Nov 07, 2012

Hey there Claudio - I agree, relevancy is HUGE for landing page optimization. No one has the time or patience to wander around a site these days!

Oct 11, 2012

This are some very good tips you shared here about adwords!I am currently running a new adwords campiagn for one of my site & this will definately help me a lot to tweak my landing page to make it Google friendly.

Megan Marrs
Nov 07, 2012

I'm so glad it's helping you Ahmed!

Dev Horn
Oct 11, 2012

Great article - nice job, Megan!

Megan Marrs
Nov 07, 2012

Thanks Dev, I appreciate the affirmation :)

Oct 11, 2012

Megan,This was timely information for me.Great tips and am looking forward to read the comments - some very nice advice there as well.

Megan Marrs
Nov 07, 2012

I'm happy it's been useful for you. Yes, I love that we have such knowledgeable readers who are happy to comment and share their additional insight. Go teamwork!

Troy Tanga
Oct 11, 2012

Received an adwords grade of 92% on my site. Last time it was about 68%your ideas and directions helped me achieve it. Will be adding Wordstream to our mix of offerings.

Megan Marrs
Nov 07, 2012

Congrats on the improvement Troy!

Nov 04, 2012

My biggest question is, how google check it that my site relevance is poor? Example, i have so good CTR (between 2,29 and and 5%) and i integrate even the Google conversion pixel, here i got CR at searchfrom 2,06% and display 8,24 total 5,81. So why my keywords get then a bad LP relevance? Can you help me? thank you very much in adcanced!best regardsAndy

Fer @ MediaBros Marketing Digital
May 16, 2013

Many times small business just dont understand the importance of the Relevance of the landing Page. They only focus con the campaign itself, but they are slow when referring to changing the website with their webmasters.Excelent Post ;)

Posicionamiento web
Aug 12, 2013

Hi, Just found you blog!  Great tips on adwords they will help me enormously, Thank you!

Apr 10, 2015

When I started my campaign, most of my keywords had quality scores of 7 and 8, with a "landing page experience" rating of average. Over time, the "landing page experience" began falling for each keyword, until every single one of my keywords had a "below average" rating. The quality scores for these keywords dropped into the 4-6 range.

I then started a new campaign, and the quality scores (for the same keywords with nearly identical ads) were back to 7 and 8. I was relieved at first, but then over time the user experience rating fell down in the exact same way for each keyword, along with their quality scores! Does anyone know what the heck is going on here?

Elisa Gabbert
Apr 10, 2015

Maybe Google gives you the benefit of the doubt with an assumed "average" experience to start, but once they've gathered enough data to see if your bounce rates are high, etc., you get the real score.

Apr 10, 2015

What is hidden in that 'etc.'? My bounce rates are very low. What is a 'good' bounce rate? However, I have a single-page app, which uses pushState and replaceState to manipulate browser history. Maybe it doesn't think the user is actually taking any action on the website? How would I fix this?

Elisa Gabbert
Apr 13, 2015

It's possible that setup makes it so Google can't "see" what's happening on the page and assumes the experience is poor. I'm not an expert on apps so I'm not sure what the best practices there are. If it's possible for you, you could try to create a more traditional landing page and run a test to see how that performs.

Leave a comment