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by Tara West on 5th December 2011
A huge part of your Quality Score in AdWords is determined by your landing page relevance and quality.
If you think about it, fundamentally this means that you will need to ‘optimise’ your landing page for the keyword you are targeting on AdWords. This concept is not so different from SEO where we work to optimise our web page for the keyword we want it to rank for organically.
Just like with SEO, we don’t know the algorithm that Google uses to determine landing page relevance or quality, however it would probably be a safe bet to assume it is not indifferent to the algorithm that determines what your web pages rank for organically.
Based on this assumption, you could try the following optimisation tricks on your AdWords landing pages to see if they can help improve your landing page relevance, and as a result, improve your quality score:
Use H1 and H2 Heading Tags
In the same way they are used for SEO, you could try using H1 and H2 tags on your PPC landing pages. Include the keyword which you are targeting on the landing page within the H1.
Make sure that you have textual content on your PPC landing pages. This content should contain some of the most important variations of the keywords that you are bidding on (in AdWords) to direct traffic to the page. Make sure the content reads well and the keywords fit naturally. The last thing you want is to make your landing page seem spammy and see a drop in your conversion rate.
Format the content you have on your landing page using bold to indicate keywords where they naturally fit.
Meta Page Titles
Although your Meta for landing pages won’t be used in your ad, having a strong Meta title which includes the most important keyword might help your landing page appear more relevant to the keywords you are bidding on with AdWords
If your page contains images, there is no harm in optimising your alt tags for some of the keywords you are bidding on within AdWords. It may just help the page seem more relevant.
Specific Landing Pages for PPC
If you optimise a page for one keyword organically, however send traffic to it from a variety of other keywords using AdWords, you might want to consider having specific AdWords landing pages for PPC. This means that you would not have to choose whether to optimise a page for your organic or PPC terms if you target them differently.
A Specific PPC landing page is one which exists solely for the purpose of driving PPC traffic to it. It should not be linked to from your website or feature in your navigation. If you create specific PPC landing pages you should also remember to block the PPC pages in your robots.txt file, so that if they do happen to be found, they shouldn’t be crawled or indexed. This is particularly true if they contain the same content that exists on other parts of your site; otherwise your site could very well get penalised for having duplicate content. Ensure your PPC landing page has a strong call to action and makes it easy for the consumer to convert. This could be anything from making the benefits of signing up to something very clear on the page, or making the ‘Buy Now’ button stand out. You should also consider other Conversion Rate Optimisation practices such as ensuring there is a phone number or address on the page, or a form to email you on the site.
Well hopefully this post has made you think about applying some basic SEO techniques to your PPC landing pages, ultimately to improve their quality score and conversion rate. All too often we think about PPC and SEO in isolation, but maybe it’s worth considering how they can work together or at least take ideas from each that can be applied to one another.