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Old 07-25-2006   #1
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What are you doing to improve the quality of your AdWords landing pages?

In today's Search Day, I jumped headfirst into the new AdWords landing page algo, asked Google a ton of questions about the new changes and gave my top ten best practices for improving your landing page quality.

The complete article (best practices are here, subscription to SEW required)

The free version of the article.

What are other things are you doing for your landing pages to increase the the quality for AdWords?
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Old 07-26-2006   #2
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Wink

Without being able to read the complete article, it looks as though this will become more of an issue for us in PPC. If the weighting of the landing page is that significant against those that also determine the QS, especially CTR, it would seem PPC specialists are going to have to learn a lot more techniques akin to SEO.

At the moment, I would advise just having relevant web readable content appropriate to the keyword on the landing page. I think basic website conversion techniques such as having low advert and plenty of internal links for navigation is fairly obvious stuff to.

If external link juice is taken into account as suggested by someone on WMW, I wonder what else is or might be in as we move forward. PR next...!
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Old 07-26-2006   #3
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Great insights Jen.... I wish you were on the arbitrage panel with me.
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Old 07-28-2006   #4
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Thank You, Jennifer. I have already started adjusting my sites.
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Old 07-31-2006   #5
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Of all the posts I have read so far, it seems mainly owners of affiliate sites/pages have complained about this algo change. Has anyone other than affiliates or MFA's been affected??

Last edited by jiff : 07-31-2006 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 07-31-2006   #6
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If you have an existing site you have established CTRs etc. - new advertisers are getting problems, and it is not just people running ads.
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Old 07-31-2006   #7
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In our existing site with our AdWords account we haven't had much to fuss over. I only have about 6 keywords that saw a demand for price increase and or fell to inactive status. These keywords were all rather new ones (added just days before the change) so I figure they weren't established enough to not face the new algo change.

Many of these keywords are for very specific products on our site. The landing pages are at the product level and are 100% relevant to the keyword.
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Old 08-01-2006   #8
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Case Study

I went through one case study on my blog about how our CPCs went from very little to $10 and then with adjustments, back to $0.04-$0.12. Full article here:
http://www.ewhisper.net/blog/google-...-page-quality/

That was a nice write up on the quality score, Jen. I'm surprised this thread really hasn't taken off.

I've seen some pretty interesting implementations people have made over the past few weeks. Some have been highly successful; and other's haven't worked at all.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out going into late fall. If you don't figure this out by November, you're business will be hurting come shopping season.
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Old 08-01-2006   #9
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Great case study, eWhisper - thanks for sharing!

Wow, that is a *lot* of work just to "fix" something that wasn't broken to begin with. For a small company like us with very limited site development resources, the steps you took are almost impossible to implement in a timely fashion. Like everything else, I guess it comes down to a cost-benefit analysis: is it worth taking your developer off another project to get the $10 clicks down to a reasonable CPC, or do you just forego those sales/conversions for now? Tough question.

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Old 08-01-2006   #10
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Great insights Jen.... I wish you were on the arbitrage panel with me.
I do plan on sitting in the audience for this one, will be an interesting one to watch!
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Old 08-01-2006   #11
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Jenstar and eWhisper - Both great articles. Thanks.

A question I still have, though, is how much to optimize landing pages on client sites for individual phrases or ads.

Does it make sense to create a bunch of landing pages that satisfy other AdWords quality guidelines, block them all from conventional spidering, and then focus content in each for specific ad terms? Is landing page quality score this nuanced to individual page content? Or is generic rich content on a landing page enough?

I'm talking about sites that already rank well algorithmically for their individual pages... but where these pages don't happen to be landing pages.
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Old 08-01-2006   #12
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Originally Posted by Jenstar
I do plan on sitting in the audience for this one, will be an interesting one to watch!
Just no heckling!
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Old 08-01-2006   #13
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Bob -

The first question is "Are you happy with your CPC, Position, CTR, etc?"

If the answer is yes, then the work can stop there.

I looked through over 500 accounts that we directly manage and 0 were hit by this update. So, from a landing page quality standpoint, there was no work to be done. (the case study I posted is a friend of mine's site I did some work on).

However, for those who were hit, then it makes sense to put some thought into the content, links, themes, etc.

I've seen some people putting work into improving landing page quality because they heard all these rumors, when their first step was to look into the account and realize they had nothing to worry about.
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Old 08-01-2006   #14
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Just no heckling!
Darn, well that just takes all the fun away in attending this session Maybe I will just sit front and center typing mysteriously into my laptop everytime you say something
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Old 08-01-2006   #15
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Originally Posted by Jenstar
Darn, well that just takes all the fun away in attending this session Maybe I will just sit front and center typing mysteriously into my laptop everytime you say something
LOL... I am used to that - Barry does it to me all the time... you get that okay did I give him enough thoughts going through your head while you are talking.
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Old 08-01-2006   #16
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Originally Posted by eWhisper
The first question is "Are you happy with your CPC, Position, CTR, etc?"

If the answer is yes, then the work can stop there.
Brad - Thanks... Makes sense for existing sites, though I wonder whether there are shades of gray with regard to the quality score and CPC that might go unnoticed but nevertheless might be improved.

To take the question one step further, on new sites, how granular would you get in optimizing landing pages around core phrases? Is that even part of the AdWords quality score algo?
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Old 08-02-2006   #17
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First of all content of landing page should correspond to your ad. (suppose person looks for info) And sure all image data should look great.
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Old 08-02-2006   #18
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We have just upgraded some of our landing pages to be very specific. Individual countries and related qualifiers to pages on the specific countries.

Previously we had many of the pages but would land people at a page that listed the links to the various pages.

Our quality score must have spiked through the roof as we have stopped being deactivated and can now lower our bids significantly.
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Old 08-02-2006   #19
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Conversion Doesn't Mean Text

Landing Pages that convert and pages that are currently on a website - for the general visitor - are not necessarily the same thing. Much time is spent for our clients in developing short, aggressive and to the point landing pages for the PPC campaigns. They are short on text, use form fields quite a bit and are pretty; think of a direct marketing flyer. They are very effective. They do NOT follow SEO best practices. We also do a significant amount of A/B/C testing which means the landing page changes quite a bit even for the same keyword.

My concern I have voiced loudly at Google is that you cannot use the same algorithm to judge pages for PPC destinations as you do for organic rankings.
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Old 08-02-2006   #20
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Bob - I think it's very similar to how you think about SEO.

Look at semantic relationships, themes, etc - and then break them down into a landing page per theme. Essentially, adgroups will rarely send traffic to different landing pages (outside of testing environments).

There may be some themes that need two landing pages. Of course, with a new account, I also suggest always testing out category and individual product (or the content equivalent) for ROI purposes - so now, you can also test them for quality purposes.

I'm not sure if there's a 'correct' or 'consistent' answer right now. I think a pattern will emerge over time; just not sure if there's one yet.
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