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The ongoing performance of a campaign is often determined in the long run by the landing page quality.

Google has three main factors in determining an advertiser’s positioning within their algorithm: bid, historical click through rate and quality score. From an account manager’s perspective, there are various factors on our end that contribute to the success of a campaign, however, most reside in the landing page quality. The most common issue we run into is inadequate websites as far as relevant content, navigable links and load time to name a few. Google created these guidelines to make the user experience as amiable as possible. Therefore, the most important ways to improve your landing page quality and in turn, decrease your minimum bids, increase your positioning and quality score, is to take the following into consideration on your website:

  1. Relevant and Original Content
  2. Transparency
  3. Navigability

As a search engine user, I am often deterred when I enter a website and one or more of these factors are not in place. This is directly related to the bounce rate seen across most websites, which could be drastically reduced with simple yet effective changes.

An example that we have recently experienced involving landing page quality was with affiliate websites on Google. Google is now cracking down on all affiliate sites due to their poor landing page quality and undifferentiated traits on their sites. Consequently, these sites are being given a low quality score which is the direct cause of poor performance and high minimum bids. To alleviate this issue, advertisers can create a unique website with unique content or turn completely to Yahoo and MSN to meet their advertising needs.

Clearly, the integrity of the user experience is what is at stake in this ever-changing form of advertising, and having reputable advertisers only creates a sound experience overall. Landing page quality is a win-win for all parties involved, and can only enhance campaign performance making a solid long-term investment. Advertisers who wish to succeed in paid search should make sure to pay as much attention to the destination of the paid search traffic as to the placement and quality of the ads sending it.

Comments

4 thoughts on “Landing Page Quality vs. Campaign Performance
  1. Mike says:

    Gina, great post! Welcome to the blog! I agree that highly relevant content and quality websites are key to creating the best possible user experience and would not be surprised to see a change in both Yahoo and MSN in the coming months to reflect a more “Google-esque” sponsored link algorithm to better serve their users.

  2. Jamie says:

    As a user I am immediately frustrated when I open a landing page that has seemingly no relevance to what I searched for. Before becoming more aware of how the Google algorithm worked would blame myself. I would assume I made a mistake, needed to be more specific in my search and started over. In reality this usually is not necessary. If I had a little more faith in the process and read each of the ads on the search results page I probably could have found a site that offered the information I was looking for. Unfortunately, it seems like one bad landing page can ruin the performance of all the other ads resulting from a search. Hopefully users know, as I now do, that patience and a better understanding of the search process is all that is needed to get you to the landing page you are looking for.

  3. aquinn says:

    Great blog Gina!! This is something that I run into all too often and is never a fun one to explain. Honestly, nobody wants to hear that their minimum bids have been raised due to poor landing page quality. Although, most people tend to come around when they realize that the reason they are getting “slammed” (as we like to call it) in Google, is the very same reason that makes Google so valuable. Google has managed to create an unparalleled user experience and in order to be part of that, website owners must be willing to bring something of quality and value to the table.

    Google’s decision to hold their advertisers to a higher standard than we might find elsewhere is exactly why I use them whenever I need to search for something.

  4. Ryan says:

    Awesome Gina! You really hit the nail on the head here. This topic truly hits home to me in that I work with both creating websites and turning them into successful landing pages. From my experience, a coherent, well organized website with relevant content is extremely important if you want to have a high quality score. Now the real trick is generating a UNIQUE user experience. Try not to be too cookie cutter, make yourself stand out and give your users the same kinda of experience you would want if you were in their position. What can you offer them that competitors have overlooked. Do your research and planning ahead of time and it WILL pay off. In the end, happy users are more likely to fork over some cash.

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