Landing page quality is critical for successful PPC campaigns. Google’s weighting of where a paid ad will show and how much each click costs partially depends on the quality of the landing page the ad leads to.
If you want to outrank your competitors, even those who have higher PPC budgets, you must focus on your landing pages.
Great landing pages can lead to huge increases of ad positions and decrease in cost per click.
Searching online has been growing rapidly in recent years as has the interest of online advertisers looking at search as an effective way to reach target audiences.
Consequently the number of advertisers competing for high ad positions in paid search is increasing every day. What once only consisted of large companies with big advertising budgets, now includes smaller niche businesses, all of which are racing to the all-important top three places in Google, no matter what the cost.
It is impossible to achievie high ad positions in Google with limited budget and outrank competitors in paid search simply by managing campaigns well. But if you get back to basics and deconstruct how the AdWords auction actually works, you will see how you can take advantage of its algorithm with technology to beat competition.
First of all it is important to understand what Quality Score is.
The ad position is based on your Bid and Quality Score.
Ad Positon = CPC Bid × Quality Score
Quality Score is an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing pages are to a person seeing your ad.
Breaking Down Quality Score
The Quality Score is determined by many parameters, including click-through rate (CTR), relevance and the quality of the landing page.
All advertisers can improve CTR but not all can improve the relevance and quality of landing pages on a large scale.
What if your campaign contains thousands or even millions of keywords?
Creating a landing page for every keyword or every ad group is not an option as maintaining a high volume of landing pages will require a large dedicated web team.
How to Implement Intelligent Landing Pages
With a little help from a developer you can create innovative and intelligent landing solutions that increases relevancy. This means a relevant landing page showing the correct information is generated automatically, showing relevant and accurate results every time.
Every time a visitor comes to your website from a Pay Per Click campaign, you can analyse the keyword, interpret the user’s intent and dynamically construct a highly relevant landing page including content and layout relevant to the keyword.
(If you want to take the solution to the next level, you can even extract the actual search query that led to your ad being shown. Google Analytics _utmz cookie contains this information and you can extract it with a help of a small script.)
The landing page performs the same role as search engine themselves. It processes the keyword, determines the searchers intent and returns results in the most suitable order. This results in the landing page looking completely different for each keyword.
If a user searches for “homes for sale in Peterborough” he/she would get the following user experience.
The ad is highly relevant to the search query. The landing page is the perfect match for the search query and the ad text.
Alternatively, if a user asked for “3 bed house Peterborough” only show him/her our selection of 3 bedroom houses in Peterborough and don’t distract them with anything else.
Here’s another example.
If a user searches for “houses for sale” he/she could mean any property type, any number of bedrooms in any location. You can detect location using Geolocation API combined with Geo targeting of the campaign and return the most relevant set of results even for this generic query.
Not many large advertisers have anything like this solution in place despite its simplicity.
The quality of landing pages can be 100% most of the time, which gives the highest Quality Score for every keyword in your campaign.
Higher Quality Score allows you to pay less and appear higher than your competitors. If most of your keywords achieve 10/10 quality score, you will get maximum ROI possible.
Value of Quality Score
The following table shows how Quality Score affects ad rank.
In this example, the first advertiser is prepared to pay £1.50 per click to have an average ad position of 4th and quality score of 3, £1.25 for an average position of 3rd and quality score of 5, £1.00 for an average position of 2nd and quality score of 7, and £0.75 for an average position of 1st with quality score of 10.
So the best performing ad here is the last one with ad rank 8, second best is 7, third best is 6 and the worst is 5.
So even though the first advertiser is paying the highest price, because their quality score is low the ad rank is also low, and therefore gets the lowest position in Google. But the fourth advertiser achieved a very high quality score and despite them paying the lowest price their ad rank and ad position is the highest in Google.
Numbers in the table above are examples only, but if you want to know the real impact high Quality Score could have on your campaigns, below is a table showing our estimated difference in bid costs.
If your Google media spend is £1,000 with an average bid of £1.00 and QS 5, increasing QS to 10 would save you 50% of your budget.
If your campaign has an average of QS of 4, increasing it to 9 would save 55.20% of your budget.
Optimising pages for PPC is smart, but utilising the same solution for SEO is even smarter because it takes just half the effort. SEO and PPC bring two unique types of visitors, intelligent landing pages can serve both. You may need to create multiple instances of the intelligent landing page, creating unique URLs or restrict them to certain subjects, but it still would be the same intelligent landing page and all user activity would happen on one page instead of two.