Google's quality score system, which affects the minimum bid for an advertiser's search campaign, is including landing pages in their ranking systems. Google is taking the stance that these considerations will make for a better user experience and claims to have data that shows an increase in user satisfaction with SERP's. But the user is not the only one to benefit - advertisers should see an increase in conversion as well, as better pages and more relevant information keeps users from navigating away from the site.
In the current system, landing page quality only affects minimum bids. But those at Google feel that landing page quality will soon find its way into the ad ranking system as well.
Beyond sound business practices (delivering the proper order, honoring your promotional deals, transparent company information, etc.) here are some important guidelines suggested by Google to increase your landing page quality and scoring within their ranking systems. However, these are not only for Google, but can better your landing pages across the board.
Making your ads relevant and delivering on your promise:
- Ensure that when a user clicks on your ad, they get relevant information reflective of your keywords and ad text. Do not provide yet another page with obsolete information or information that is difficult to find. Additionally, provide further information than what was stated in the ad.
- Clearly separate your site content from other, sponsored listings.
- Avoid requiring a user to register with your site before viewing what you offered in your ad. Or, if you must, at least clearly define what the user will be getting once they register.
- Provide detailed information and options for the user concerning their personal data, such as the use of their email address for your promotional purposes.
- Provide clear, easy paths for users to navigate throughout your site and to take you up on your offer.
- Avoid excessive pop-ups and other intrusive elements.
- Avoid altering a user's browser, such as disabling the back button functionality.