If you are immersed in the world of PPC, then quality score is surely a term that you’ve heard time and time again. Many advertisers know that quality score is important and that it needs to be addressed, but many don’t know exactly where to start. What’s in our control and what’s out of our control? What changes can we make that can have an impact on quality score? In today’s post, I am going to talk about some changes that we can make to our landing pages that can yield a positive impact on quality score.

Before we proceed, let’s first review Google’s definition of quality score. As per Google, “Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.” Although we don’t know exact specifics on how Quality Score is calculated, we can infer from this definition that landing page definitely has some impact on it. So why not strive to make your landing pages the best they can be? Don’t forget – it’s the first thing users see after they click on our ads; the equivalent of someone walking through the doors of a store after we’ve invested marketing dollars to bring them there.

A great first step is to check the current status of your quality score with regard to landing page. As you might know, AdWords has a set of columns that we can add to the interface where this can be viewed.

AdWords Quality Score columns

Once the columns are added, you can get a close view of how you measure up on Quality Score and where improvement opportunities exist.

Quality score rating

From the screenshot above, we can see that there is quite a bit of opportunity to make improvements that might raise the Quality Score. Since this post is focusing on landing pages, we will highlight different areas you can look at to optimize your landing pages for Quality Score. With that said, there are many advertisers who have limitations on changes that they can make to their landing pages, but you might still be able to find some tweaks that will improve both user experience and performance; thus aiding in garnering a better Quality Score.

Keep It Relevant

When designing your landing pages or selecting one of your landing pages to use in conjunction with an ad, think about the specific ad copy that the user just read before clicking on your ad. Is the landing page relevant to what the perceived user intent was? Do you feel that it is the best place to send users who viewed that ad? If not, then you might want to make some changes to your landing page to increase the relevance to the user. Make sure that there is a clear connection to what the user is looking for and where you send them. Sending users to a highly-relevant page is something that can improve performance and possibly increase your Quality Score.

Check Your Load Time

Have you ever visited a site that seemed to take an eternity to load? We all know what happens to users when they encounter this issue; they bail and find another site to visit. That’s why it’s important to keep our finger on the pulse of the load time of our landing pages. Remember that AdWords regularly reviews landing pages when determining Quality Score and a slow load time is definitely not going to help matters.

Need a place where you can figure out your site speed and what needs to be done to fix it? I find Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool to be helpful, as they deliver insights on both your desktop and mobile experiences and guide you on how to improve performance.

Page speed recommendations

Ease of Navigation

I would put this right up there with relevance, as it really determines how effective our landing pages are. Once we’ve paid to bring users to our landing page, we want to make sure that they can easily navigate their way around the site and find what they are looking for. Once again, ask yourself if you are providing your users with an experience that is going to enable them to get what they want. If users land on a page that isn’t easy to navigate, they are likely to abandon and go someplace else for their information.

Final Thoughts

Though there is no exact formula for achieving a high Quality Score, there are some broad guidelines we can follow to help us along the way. Always keeping the user experience at the top of mind, landing pages should be relevant, quick to load and easy to navigate. Putting those three things together should result in an increase in quality score and should also result in an increase in account performance.