A great landing page experience improves Google Ads campaign performance. Learn expert tips (and common mistakes to avoid) to optimize your landing pages for higher conversions.

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How well do your landing pages align with your search ads and keywords? Landing page experience in Google Ads is a key factor in determining ad quality, making it a critical metric for advertisers to measure.

In this article, we’ll cover everything about measuring and improving this metric, including tools to use and common mistakes to avoid when building landing pages.

What is landing page experience?

Landing page experience is a Google Ads metric that reflects how relevant and useful your landing page is for the searcher. Let’s break it down:

  • Relevance: Does your landing page align with the linked search ad? Does it show what prospects expect to see when clicking on your ad?
  • Usefulness: Does your landing page provide helpful information or actions for potential customers to take after clicking on your ad?

This is one of three components of your Google Ads Quality Score, which compares your ad quality against other advertisers. Together, landing page experience, ad relevance, and expected click-through rate (CTR) make up your Quality Score.

But that isn’t all. Ad quality also factors into Ad Rank. This Google Ads metric is a deciding factor for if and where your ads show on search engine results pages (SERPs). As a result, landing page experience is a critical Google Ads metric.

When you know how to increase landing page experience, Google Ads can deliver better results and improve return on ad spend (ROAS).

8 easy ways to Improve landing page experience

When you learn how to improve landing page experiences, Google Ads can display your ads more frequently, place them closer to the top of the SERP, and reduce your cost per click (CPC). Here are some tips to optimize your landing pages.

  1. Increase page speed
  2. Optimize for mobile users
  3. Improve user experience
  4. Include more relevant content
  5. Check Google Analytics metrics
  6. Analyze Google Ads metrics
  7. Track and attribute results
  8. User A/B testing

1. Increase page speed

Page speed is crucial for Google Ads destinations. The faster your landing page loads, the quicker potential customers can learn about your offer and take the desired action (i.e., a conversion).

But how quickly should your landing pages display? Optimal page load time is 3 seconds or less.

But always aim for as close to 1 second as possible. The likelihood that a visitor will click away from your site without waiting for it to load increases by 32% as web page load time extends from 1 second to 3 seconds.

Good page speed is important for more than just creating a good user experience. It also affects conversion rates. Sites that load in 1 second have conversion rates 5x higher than those that load in 10 seconds.

This metric is particularly important when you target people using mobile devices. Even a 1-second delay can decrease conversions by as much as 20%.

So how do you check your landing page’s load speed? Use a tool like PageSpeed Insights, a free Google tool. Plug in the URL for your landing page and check the results.

PageSpeed Insights

A fast landing page should pass the tool’s core web vitals assessment. It should also get a 90 or higher score in these key areas:

  • Performance
  • Accessibility
  • Best practices
  • SEO

If your page fails any of these tests, follow the provided recommendations to address issues. Once you’ve made the suggested updates, test your landing page again to confirm it passes with flying colors.

2. Optimize for mobile users

Mobile traffic outpaces desktop traffic by about two to one, according to SimilarWeb. To capture as much mobile search traffic as possible, optimize your landing pages for mobile users.

First, use PageSpeed Insights to check for speed-related issues. Select the “Mobile” option at the top of the screen. Pay close attention to issues related to performance and best practices.

Optimize for mobile users

Next, confirm that Google Ads considers your landing pages mobile-friendly. From your Google Ads dashboard, open the “Insights and reports” menu and select “Landing pages.”


Your landing pages should have a mobile site speed score close to 10 out of 10. And your mobile-friendly click rate should be close to 100%. If you spot any pages with much lower scores, use the tips below to optimize them.

Note that Google Ads creates this list automatically, using the landing pages you’ve linked to ads. That means you can’t use this dashboard to test new landing pages. Instead, you can only use it to review data after the fact.

To make your ad destinations load faster for mobile users, follow responsive landing page best practices like:

  • Leave plenty of white space, so the page appears uncluttered
  • Keep fonts simple and unfussy to ensure they’re easy to read on smaller screens
  • Use responsive images that scale automatically so they load quickly

You don’t have to design separate mobile landing pages for Google Ads. Instead, use a website platform or a landing page design tool like Unbounce or Instapage that offers responsive templates.

3. Improve user experience

Whether your ads attract mobile or desktop users, your landing page should create a good user experience (UX) for all prospects. Use these landing page design principles to improve your UX.

First, simplify navigation. Your website likely has a top or bottom menu with multiple dropdown options, but landing pages often perform better without these elements.

After all, prospects typically click ads to learn more about the offer. They don’t need a full list of options to browse your website or explore your resources.

Consider removing menus altogether or consolidating them into a single hamburger menu. Make sure your logo is clickable and leads to your homepage so prospects still have the option to look for more information.

For example, this HubSpot landing page doesn’t have any navigation menus. Above the fold, the page displays just one clickable logo and two call-to-action buttons:

HubSpot landing page

Next, make it as easy for prospects to convert. Ecommerce landing pages should allow prospects to add an item to their shopping cart and check out with minimal steps. Service and software pages should invite prospects to provide their contact information to take the next step.

For example, this Zoho landing page features a lead generation form and a CTA button inviting prospects to sign up for a free trial:

Zoho landing page

4. Include more relevant content

Landing page speed and design are important, but aren’t everything. To improve the landing page experience, you also need helpful, relevant content.

What does that mean exactly? Make your landing page content align with ad copy and the user’s search intent.

In other words, ensure your landing page copy includes the same messaging as the search ads that point to it. It should fit with the prospect’s original search query and serve as the next logical step after clicking from the ad.

“If people find what they’re expecting when they click through from an ad, then they’re more likely to convert,” advises Laura Grant, Marketing Manager at BlueSky Solutions. “But also because the better your consistency and the higher your conversions, the higher your ad Quality Score will be. And the higher your score, the more people will see your ad at less cost to you.”

So, how can you make a landing page relevant? Include content like:

  • Bullet points with information about the product, service, or offer you mentioned in the ad
  • Messaging that clarifies your brand’s value proposition for prospects
  • High-quality images or videos showing the product or service in action
  • Social proof like the number of customers you currently have, client testimonials, or awards you’ve won
  • Clear call-to-action (CTA) prompting prospects to take the next step toward a conversion

For example, this Pipedrive landing page features several award badges below the fold:

Pipedrive landing page

5. Check Google Analytics metrics

Another way to check landing page quality and performance is to review Google Analytics metrics. From your Google Analytics dashboard, analyze which pages are truly performing best.
With Google Analytics, you can learn which pages have the:

  • Highest engagement rates, which means visitors find the landing page content useful and aligned with their search intent.
  • Lowest bounce rate, which means visitors engage with them for at least 10 seconds or click to complete a conversion or visit another page afterward.
  • Most conversions, which means the landing page copy and offer resonate with prospects enough to prompt them to take the next step.

Check Google Analytics metrics

Conversely, you can find the pages with the lowest engagement rates, highest bounce rates, and lowest landing page conversions. Once you’ve identified low performers, use the tips above to optimize each page.

6. Analyze Google Ads metrics

Google Analytics isn’t the only place to get more insight into landing page performance. You can also source landing page and ad data directly from your Google Ads account.

To find landing pages that need optimization, ignore your top-performing ads and pages. Instead, look for ads that have relatively high clicks but relatively low conversion rates.

This mismatch likely means your ad aligned with user intent, but your landing page had insufficient messaging, a poor UX, an unconvincing CTA, or a combination of all three.

To improve these metrics, use the landing page optimization tips above or the split-testing strategy below.

7. Track and attribute results

As useful as Google Analytics and Google Ads can be, they only provide data for a single customer touchpoint. As a result, they only tell part of the story.

We’ve found that PPC tracking is a key part of any marketing campaign, especially for elements like landing page experience. That’s why we developed ConversionIQ (CIQ) to track each step of the buyer’s journey.

Using CIQ data, we see which ads and landing pages work and which need optimization. With these insights, we lower costs for PPC campaigns, drive more sales, and incrementally work toward a higher ROAS.

If you run campaigns across other marketing channels, CIQ data can offer even more value. We apply CIQ insights across paid social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and other channels to scale while keeping campaigns profitable.

8. User A/B testing

Remember, not every landing page you design will work perfectly or drive more conversions on the first attempt. Instead, good landing pages often require continual testing and improvement.

To experiment with different ideas and find what works best, split-test your landing pages. In other words, test two or more versions of your landing page with one difference: the messaging, layout, or design.

For example, test lead generation forms with different numbers of form fields to see which drives the best results. Or test different messaging or social proof to see which resonates best with your target audience.

To manage A/B testing efficiently, use a dedicated tool. For example, Shogun works well for split-testing ecommerce landing pages, while Optimizely works well for software and services.

Can A/B testing really help you optimize landing pages and improve digital marketing campaign results? HawkSEM helped AppDynamics with A/B testing, going from 40 to 200 landing pages. Our efforts increased AppDynamics’ conversion rate by 20%.

How does landing page experience impact Google Ads?

“Landing page experience is an important (if not the most important) aspect of a PPC campaign. It’s where the ‘sale’ happens, so to speak,” explains Sam Yadegar, CEO of HawkSEM. “We can’t stress enough how important it is to have a landing page experience that provides as much value as possible for the target audience, while positioning your company as an industry thought leader.”

This is why Yadegar recommends having a performance-minded team continuously working to improve your landing page experience to ensure an optimal ROAS.

Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) applies one of three ratings to each search keyword to help you assess your landing page experience:

  • An “above average” rating can improve your overall ad quality and help your search ads show closer to the top of SERPs.
  • An “average” rating can keep your Quality Score competitive and help your search ads perform in ad auctions. But it could use improvement.
  • A “below average” rating can decrease your ad quality. That limits your search ads’ performance in the auction and their ability to appear in search results.

landing page experience impact Google Ads

In other words, a “Google Ads landing page experience below average” can seriously compromise campaign results. Fortunately, you can improve this metric to get more impressions, clicks, and conversions.

Common landing page optimization mistakes

A “below average” landing page experience score can seriously compromise campaign performance. To avoid this low score, watch out for these common optimization mistakes.

Going overboard with information and design elements

When improving relevance is your main goal, it’s easy to overdo a landing page. Remember, the best landing pages include only the necessary information and an easy way for prospects to convert.

“The number one thing I’d recommend doing to improve your landing age experience is to focus on clear, direct and short messaging,” shares Cameron Harvey, Digital Marketing Executive at The Munro Agency. “Don’t overcomplicate or dump lots onto your leads. Keep it easy and to the point.”

Pairing this with a strong CTA and fast page speed, you should see the conversion rates climb.

“The most common misconception (one I fell into and had to learn the hard way) is thinking the more the better,” continues Harvey. “Overloading your pages with information is an easy way to overwhelm your visitors. Keeping it simple is key.”

Giving prospects multiple options to convert

Landing pages work best when they provide a single conversion opportunity and guide prospects toward that desired action. If your landing pages aren’t converting at the rate you’d hoped, the solution is rarely introducing more conversion options.

“A common mistake I often see on landing pages is giving customers options in the hope that if they don’t convert for one thing, they may still be interested in something else from you. A landing page should only focus on one CTA,” suggests Grant.

“You don’t want anything that can potentially distract people from that. This includes things like hiding your usual website header, footer and sidebar. When it comes to landing pages, less is definitely better than more.”

Using the same landing page for every campaign

After creating a great landing page, you should reuse it for every campaign, right? Not exactly.

In some cases, reusing landing pages makes sense. For example, say you’ve set up different ad groups for various target audiences or keyword lists. If the offer is the same, it could make sense to reuse the same landing page.

But remember, relevance is a key factor for a good landing page experience. That’s why for new campaigns, it’s better to create unique landing pages containing relevant keywords and that speak to your target audience.

“Thinking one size fits all is not true. Different audiences will need different landing pages, which is why I would recommend making unique landing pages for each campaign you run. This way, you’re more targeted to larger audiences instead of hoping Cinderella comes along (aka, a perfect fit),” advises Harvey.

Creating too many landing page versions

“My best advice is not to follow the common misconception of making custom pages for every keyword because you think the URL is everything. Instead, get an A/B tool that’ll change a single page template on the fly for many keywords,” suggests Dennis Sevilla, COO at GetGuru.

“That way, as you inevitably test H1/H2, visuals, or language on the site, you can iterate quickly and start with a small percentage, so you don’t wreck your performance if your idea is terrible. It also allows you to quickly ramp up if something works with minimal work and maintenance thereafter.”

You don’t necessarily need a new landing page for every single keyword. Instead of developing hundreds of unique destinations, use a landing page tool that inserts keywords dynamically.

For example, platforms like Unbounce and Mutiny offer dynamic content. Use these tools to personalize your landing pages based on the keywords that trigger the linked ad.

The catch is that you must ensure the ad makes sense with any possible keyword. Ad groups with relatively tight keyword lists work best with these tools.

The takeaway

Achieving an optimal landing page experience is crucial for strong Google Ads performance. But if you’re juggling multiple ad groups, trying to make sense of PageSpeed Insights, and navigating A/B testing tools, and improving the landing page experience can prove challenging.

Our seasoned team is here to help.

Contact HawkSEM for a free consultation to learn how our PPC experts can improve your landing page experience and optimize your Google Ads performance.

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