Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tips to Optimize Landing Pages

By: Tom Baron (see bio at end of column)


A few days back Google permanently suspended many Adwords accounts stating that the landing pages were of poor quality and did not comply with the Landing page and Quality Site Guidelines of Google. Since Google is being really strict on the quality of landing pages where users are being directed to, it is very important to keep a high landing page score if you are using Google Adwords for your online campaigns. The landing page score is determined by Google looking at the content and layout of your landing pages.  Google wants to show relevant ads with relevant landing pages to their users and your potential customers. So in this post we will look on the tips which you can use to get an ideal landing page for your campaign which would help you in getting high conversion rates and also improve your Google Adwords Quality Score.


Keep Your Landing Page Relevant: - You need to ensure that your landing pages contain similar terms and content as in your Adword ad. Keep the title and headline of your landing page similar to your ad. You can also use "semantic extractor" in Google Adwords tools to test your landing pages and find the keywords which Google thinks are relevant for that page. Use similar keywords up and high in bold to make your landing pages relevant.


Provide Unique Content: - Google doesn't like pages with duplicate content. If you are promoting a specific product then don’t copy the exact content from the supplier/manufacturer's website. Instead, create unique relevant content describing the product and how it would solve your visitor's needs. It is very easy for Google to catch content problems and Google Adwords never shows multiple ads having identical landing pages and content at the same time.


Positive User Experience: - Your landing page should provide useful information to the end user. It should not contain only ads and sponsored links to other websites. You need to maintain a balance between informational aspects and commercial aspects of your landing page. If you want users to register for something then give them information about what they will get after registering. If your landing page contains sponsored links then you need to distinguish your sponsored links from the rest of the content.


Simple Call to Action Process: - If your landing page wants a user to take a desired action like buying a product then you should make it simple and easy to follow. According to Google, your landing page should provide a short, simple and easy path for a user to buy products or get an offer mentioned in your ad.


Transparency: - Your Landing page should share information about your business and TOS. If you need personal information from your customers then your landing page should disclose how this personal information would be used.


Loading Time: - Google always checks the loading time of your landing pages with the average loading time of pages in your server’s geographic location. If you keyword is graded “This page loads slowly,' then your landing page quality score would be negatively affected. Avoid use of flash, iframes, pop ups and other obtrusive elements to reduce the loading time of your page.


Tom Baron is a freelance web designer and likes to write on web design, technology, landing page design and testing, SEO and affiliate marketing.  To learn more, please visit Tom on his website: Landing Page Optimization.