How landing page load time can affect your Quality Score
Earlier this month Google modified their Quality Score algorithm to include an assessment of landing page ‘load time’. Incase you are not familiar with landing page terminology; the ’load time’ refers to the amount of time it takes for a user to arrive at your working landing page, after they have clicked on your ad. If you check out the Keyword Analysis page you should be able to view your load time grade.
If your keyword was given the, This page loads slowly grade, your quality score will take a hit. If Google finds your page to have an acceptable load time your Quality Score won’t be impacted and you will receive the very exciting, No problems found, grade. If however, Google finds your landing page’s load time to be faster than the average in your server’s geographic region, your Quality Score may be positively affected.
Speed is now an important factor in determining the Quality Score of your landing page but not the only one. Google wants publishers to create landing pages that feature unique and relevant content and also are quick to load as this improves the users experience. Advertisers benefit from fast loading landing pages because users are less likely to bail on a site that loads fast as lightning versus one that makes you want to gauge your eyes out from boredom.
So, How does Google grade the load time? Well, First, they look at the destination URL associated with a specific keyword. If you have a destination URL assigned at the keyword level then your grade will be based on that specific URL. Otherwise, Google will grade you based on the slowest load time among the ads in the ad group. Google will take into account your hosting servers geographic region and calculate the grade in relation to the average to other servers in that region.
Tips on improving your landing page load time
If you find that some of your landing pages are reporting a bad grade on their load time fear not. There are many ways of speeding up your load time and Google re-evaluates load time grades on regular basis. Follow some of the tips below and should see lower minimum CPC bids and an improved Quality Score.
1. Use fewer redirects
2. Stay away from using interstitial pages.
3. Use iframes only when necessary
4. Take out any unnecessary multimedia ( songs, very large images, videos, background music, etc.)
5. Compress your images as much as possible. If you use Photoshop you can use the, Save For Web option to find the best possible compression setting.
6. Use GIFs wherever possible – as long as they are not the animated kind.
7. Use the height and width tags on all your images. This lets the browser know where everything is before the images are loaded and will give your users a better experience.
8. Remove the empty lines spaces between your code.