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Landing Page Experience/Quality Factor Drop

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello there,


I'm experiencing a problem with my AdWords-account and I do not exactly know how I could possibly fix this problem. I'm currently advertising a variety of products and for this I have started 10-12 campaigns which contain of 400 keywords. The structure is quite granular, I'm using a lot of ad groups and fitting ads, and generally I was doing fine. No keywords below 5, most of them between 7-10. The brand campaign had a very nice CTR, and the campaigns with generic keywords were okay as well (maxing around 1-2% CTR, which is acceptable to fine from what I've experienced and read).


I didn't login in to my AdWords-Account for the weekend, but I was quite shocked when I looked into it today. Almost every keyword took a drop in its quality score. The explanation given in the details is the "Landing Page Experience". It was "average" to "above average" for every single ad group last week, and it has always been this way, but suddenly its "below average" in almost every group. Even the brand-specific campain took a hit, and dropped from "above average" to "average" or even "below average". The QS dropped about 2 points for almost every keyword except for the brand-specific once, because the other two factors keep on pushing them. Each AdGroup links to a different Landing Page.


Needless to say I did not change anything about the landing pages or about the campaign at all. The only thing I recently did (one week ago) was raising the budget and the CPC, which boosted clicks, CTR and conversions.


I had the same problem before, but that was because I had a problem with my hoster and the bad loading speed of the page around that time affected the Quality Score in a negative way. I have checked the logs though and it does not appear as if the server was the problem this time, but will have to investigate this further. But, as already mentioned, it doesn't seem that this was the problem around this time.


Any ideas that could help me? The landing pages themselves seem to be fine concerning the campaigns have been running for almost a year without the QS going down this heavily. If the page loading time was the detrimental factor, is there any way in "forcing" a quick visit of the AdWords bot? The current state really hurts the performance.


Thanks for reading!

Re: Landing Page Experience/Quality Factor Drop

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

This is strange but we've all seen crazy Quality Score behavior. 


My first question would be, what is the impact on the account? How is this impacting CPC and CPAs?


Your answer there will help determine how aggressive you are in trying to respond to this issue. In some cases when I've seen this happen my core metrics didn't really change and over time QS popped back up. 


You said that you raised your bids about a week ago. That would have an impact on your QS if your average position rose. As we've all speculated, a keyword's CTR is one of the largest determining factors to a QS. Having a "good" CTR is relative. If you're taking the #2 position the CTR you need to maintain to snag a high QS is much higher than if your average position was around #5. Google takes into account your ad positions and the CTR of competitors for that ad position.


Your CTR needs to be higher than the competition and appropriate for the average position you're showing for.


I wouldn't imagine this would trigger a 'poor landing page experience' warning but...stranger things have happened. 


I do know that Google takes into account a webpage's bounce rate and subsequent search page visits for the same terms when determining a site's Organic Ranking. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some element to landing page quality score involved there too. Pure speculation.


I like to keep an eye on my landing page's status by using a tool MonitorUs. It pings your webpage regularly and give you the server response and response time. This is great for spotting landing page issues before they become account impacting.


The only way I know to get the Adwords robot to scan your landing page without it getting clicked on first is to change the destination url and then change it back. I frequently have to do this for ads that are disapproved by Google by mistake. 


Hope that helps!



Re: Landing Page Experience/Quality Factor Drop

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks for your posting, Mark.

First things first: Apparently I was wrong about the loss of performance. I accidentally compared the wrong data - CTR, Clicks and Position are almost the same. I have panicked a little about this, sorry for the confusion.

Well, apart from the mere QS, I can not see do many differences, to be honest. Of course some of my keywords display the message of not being ranked high enough to be seen on the first page, but apart from that I can really not see any difference.

Then again I am not sure when the drop of QS happened. I looked into it a few hours ago, so I guess it is possible that the negative effects are just not taking place YET.

But I see your point - being placed higher of course comes with the need of a better CTR.

So any other pieces of advice? I guess redesigning the Ads is overdue to boost the CTR, but apart from that? Keep calm and observe? Or would it be reasonable to lower the bids again to go back to the positions where I had a better QS?

Re: Landing Page Experience/Quality Factor Drop

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
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My advise would be to wait and see. If things are performing better right now with the higher bids just let them simmer for a while. Look to see if QS jumps back up or if any metrics make changes that would indicate a real performance impact.


Reacting and making too many changes at the same time has brought me some serious Adwords regrets in the past.