May 8, 2014

Seven Tips to Optimize Your AdWords Landing Page, Improve Conversion


Hostway Team

Google Advertising ProgramKeyword-driven advertising programs like Google’s AdWords can be a terrific resource for generating interest in your business. However, marketers can often become so focused on keywords and click- through rates (CTRs) that they forget the intended goal of these programs: lifting conversion rates.

Conversion rates indicate how many visitors from these ads actually purchased the intended product or service. That means what’s on the landing page is just as important to your online marketing campaign as the advertisement itself, so optimizing your landing pages’ effectiveness is critical to the success of your program.

A big part of the equation is just being seen.  Nearly a decade ago, the major search engines began considering landing page quality in their ranking algorithm. With Google AdWords, for example, your landing page quality score and the cost of your keywords determine your AdWords ranking. Building a high-quality landing page can help you achieve a higher ranking and save money.

Fortunately, nearly all of the things search engines consider to determine your landing page ranking are things that lead to a better experience for your visitors. Here is a list of seven things you can do to keep your landing page score high and deliver on its intended results: conversions.

  1. Make your headline compelling and match it to your ad. The headline is the first thing the search engines and your visitors use to judge the quality of your landing page. If your headlines and content do not contain the keywords that your visitor is looking for, that visitor is going to go look elsewhere for what they want. Your landing page should be a reflection of your ad, and your ad should be an indication of your landing page’s content.
  2. Allow visitors to share. The strongest messages will likely not come from you, but rather from your satisfied customers. Make it easy for visitors to brag about their purchase and share their experiences by adding links to all types of social media. The most successful companies in the world do it, so why shouldn’t you?
  3. Create a dedicated landing page for each ad group. It seems like an insurmountable task, but if you start small, you can see how well individual landing pages for each ad group can work. Start with one landing page per campaign. As you have the time to build a new page, add it in and slowly convert your ad groups to all have specific targeted landing pages. Many businesses drive visitors to their home page from the AdWord ad, but that’s a mistake; your homepage is general, while your AdWord campaign is usually pretty specific. Creating a fresh page that’s directly related to your keyword ad will significantly improve your quality score.
  4. Optimize pages for conversion. Every landing page has a conversion goal, whether it’s to sell a product or get visitors to sign up for a newsletter. Visitors have a better experience with your landing page when that goal is clear and easy for them to accomplish. Keep the page clean and easy to read, give users more than one prompt to provide their information and only ask them to provide for the information you need most. This will appear as less risky to your visitors and will lead to higher conversion rates.
  5. Do not use pop-up windows. Many people associate pop-up windows with unwelcome advertising and find them annoying. Search engines are likely to penalize you for a poor user experience if you use pop-up windows on your landing page.
  6. Test often, but do so carefully. The landing page may be the best and perhaps last chance to close the sale. In the same way you test ad text, A/B test landing pages. Create sample landing pages and put them out there to test. Use your imagination and try different themes, colors, headlines, layouts and keywords. Testing various combinations for your landing pages is the best way to find out what works and what does not. Doing so will allow you to change and test single variables such as headlines, imagery, body text, and calls to action evenly over time.
  7. Don’t rush it: Not allowing your tests to run for significant amounts of time and stopping after one test are common mistakes. Gather as much data as possible before determining which option works best, then use that data to set up ongoing tests against the winner to find and display the best possible advertisements and effective landing pages you can.

Using the tips above to create highly relevant landing pages can help improve your quality score and thus your page ranking. When more people see your ad, there’s more potential to convert.

What has worked for you when creating landing pages? What is the best landing page you have seen? Join the conversation by sharing your experiences below!

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