AdWords Landing Page Optimization Fundamentals

Adwords Landing Page Optimization

If you’ve ever managed a Google AdWords campaign then you are probably familiar with the term “Google Quality Score.” Basically, Google gives you a score for each keyword you are targeting on a scale from 1 to 10. Your Google Quality Score is calculated based on: expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience.


Photo Caption: Your Google Quality Score is on a Scale of 1 to 10.

You can easily achieve a very high Google Quality Score by focusing on the pre-click experience. This refers to writing relevant ad copy that includes a call-to-action.

Why a High Quality Score is Important:

Having a high Google Quality Score is important because Google will reward you with a lower cost per click (CPC) and a higher ad position. This means you’ll pay less for better positioning against the companies you are competing against in Google AdWords.

Why Relying on Your Quality Score is Bad:

By optimizing your Google Quality Score you will likely achieve a high ad position and earn a lot of clicks. That’s great but only as long as your rate of clicks to conversions is high.

Keep in mind even if you are paying a lower CPC than your competitors you are still spending money on each click. The more clicks you get the more money you spend. The more money you spend the more money you need to earn back through lead generation or direct sales so you don’t dig yourself into a financial hole.

Unfortunately a high Google Quality Score doesn’t guarantee a good conversion rate on your website. Your quality score only tells you that your ads are probably going to get a lot of clicks.

AdWords Landing Page Optimization Tips:

The key to increasing conversions lies in the post-click experience. You’ll hear a lot of marketers talk about “conversion optimization” or “landing page optimization.” They’ll tell you about factors that are variable such as “best button color” and “ideal form length.” Certainly button color and form length can impact conversion rates and should be a/b tested at some point — but first you have to work on the fundamentals.

The most fundamental way to increase your conversion rate is to have concise message match between the ad and the landing page. However, the highest converting landing pages go beyond keyword matching and account for the whole picture:

  • Keyword Match:  Is the keyword you’re bidding on reflected on the landing page? What about your headline?
  • Image Match: Is the main image on your landing page relevant and eye-catching?
  • Voice Match: Did your ad reflect excitement or urgency? If so, is your landing page written in the same voice?
  • Design Match: Are you using colors that reflect the mood you want to set?

Your landing page should be created in such a way that it’s having a conversation with the visitor. The ad was the simple introduction (“hi, nice to meet you, I think we have something in common based on the keyword you’re searching for”) and the landing page carries on the conversation and provides more context.

Let’s look at this example from Allure’s beauty box campaign:

AdWords and Landing Page Example from Allure

I searched for “beauty box” and see my keyword in both the ad headline and landing page headline which checks the box for keyword match. There’s also a nice match between the overall ad copy and landing page which means the Google Quality Score factor of “ad relevance” can also be checked off.

What you can’t tell from the above screenshot is that the background for the landing page is a nice, high-definition video that shows a young woman opening her beauty box. The image match is definitely concise.

The voice between the ad and the landing page is okay. The landing page might express more urgency than the ad in that it provides an offer for $5 off the first box. That’s something I’d like to see added to the ad copy.

Finally, the colors used for the design match the Allure brand and also the campaign goals. The primary colors used are red and black. Red creates urgency to purchase/sign up and black is often used to sell luxury products – such as beauty products.

This is a very well put together campaign.

How to Improve YOUR Conversion Rates:

Using the example and tips in the section above, you can begin optimizing your landing pages for increased conversions.

Keep in mind that the main image on your landing page should be captivating and highly relevant. Choosing a high quality picture can completely elevate the perception of your brand, whereas using a bland stock photo can create a bad first impression. If your main image is a product photo be sure it is professionally photographed and clear.

If your ad reflects urgency (“limited time sale, buy today!”) then your landing page should be written in that some voice. However, if your ad is more educational in nature (“learn how it works”) then your landing page might best be written as formal and informational.

Additionally, choose a color scheme for the landing page that conveys the message you want to get across.  Use the chart below to help you select the right colors.

Chart of how color affects conversion rates

Photo Caption: Choose a landing page color scheme that matches your goals.

Once you have the fundamentals of your post-click experience laid out you can then begin a/b testing button color and form length.

For expert advice from a Google Adwords certified marketer please contact Green Dot today for a free strategy session. We can help you with both your pre-click and post-click marketing to ensure you receive the lowest CPC and highest conversion rate!

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