6 Easy Landing Page Updates To Improve Quality Score

By , Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

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Here at PPC Hero we have covered how to improve your quality score quite a bit. If you are a regular reader you are certainly familiar with tips such as smaller ad groups, tightly themed keywords, and relevant ad copy. Today we will cover adjustments you can make to your landing page to positively impact quality score.

 

Quality score is determined at the keyword level. The engine looks at the keyword and then reads (crawls or spiders) the landing page to determine if the landing page is aligned. This alignment is something that can be adjusted using the updates covered in this post.

 

The search engines want to deliver the best possible search ad occurrence corresponding to the query. Looking at landing page relevancy provides this experience to the searcher. Page relevancy is an accepted concept within the SEO world, however, in PPC it can be a forgotten standard.

 

By making the landing page updates described below, you can align your landing pages to the keywords in your account. And as we know the more aligned the keyword is to the landing page the better the quality score and the lower the cost per click (CPC).

 

Many Landing Pages

 

You should have unique landing pages for each keyword theme. If you are advertising ‘blue widgets’ the searcher is best served the ‘blue widget’ landing page. If the searcher is looking for ‘affordable widgets’ the best landing page would showcase affordable widgets.

 

In many content management systems and landing page software solutions these pages can be created dynamically. You create one template and update headlines, subtext and imagery as needed. But remember, relevancy is important, so do not take a lazy approach. More association with the keyword is not only going to be a better user experience for the searcher, but the keywords will indicate to the search engines the suitability of your landing page.

 

Text

 

The paragraph text on the landing page should match the search term as closely as possible. While this notion may sound obvious it is often overlooked. Much like SEO, it is best to have some element of keyword density and variation in the terms within the sales copy portion of the landing page. Going back to the example of ‘blue widgets’, it is safe to say that if your ad addresses the search term so should the landing page.

 

Keyword Density Formula

Keyword Density Formula

Creating multiple occurrences of keywords in the copy serves two purposes.

 

1. Your audience is going to see a page relevant to their search.

2. The search engines report back, “Hey Guys, The Widget Company sells blue widgets. Now, that is a relevant page.”

 

H-Tags

 

H-tags otherwise known as ‘header tags’ are a crucial element of the text on a page. Headers are the lines on a webpage that are bolded and in larger text. H-tags should include keywords that align to, you guessed it, the keywords in the ad group. Including keywords in header tags tells Google that these are the keywords that we feel are important enough to be highlighted.

 

Conversely these are the headlines that the searchers are drawn to when they click though to your landing page. H-tags can be any level from H1 – H6. H1 is the highest level in the hierarchy and H6 is the lowest in rank. It is also best practice to have one H1 tag then any number of H2 through H6 tags in the appropriate order. For example you don’t want an H2 tag over an H1 tag within the HTML of the landing page.

 

Below is the document outline for the Hanapin Marketing homepage. While this is not a PPC landing page, if this were the landing page for the ‘PPC Services’ ad group I would ask for the changes highlighted in red.

 

H-Tags for PPC Landing Pages

H-Tag Outline Example

 

ALT Text on Images

 

Search engines cannot read images. It is your job to give descriptions of the images on the page. This keyword description of the images on the landing page should be included in the ALT text. Continuing on with the example of ‘blue widgets’ it would be advisable to show a blue widget image on the landing page. The searcher clicks on the ad, and sees a page at this point with text about ‘blue widgets’, headings about ‘blue widgets’ and a matching picture. Everything is tightly themed and the user experience is in alignment. Make sure you take the time to fill in the ALT text, especially since search engines can not take in the beauty of your images in visual form.

 

Here is an example of the PPC Hero homepage. While again this is not a PPC landing page, if this were the landing page for the ‘PPC blog’ ad group I would ask that the ALT text, shown in red be changed to keywords such as, “top PPC blog”, “pay per click blog”, “blog about ppc”, and so on.

 

Example of Alt Text

Example of Alt Text

 

Meta Data

 

Meta data is the HTML data that describes a page to the search engines. It includes fields such as page title, page description, and keywords. It is important to use keywords in the meta descriptions and title of the landing page. While Google has gone on record saying meta keywords are not important, this remains a best practice. Meta tags inform the search engines about the content of the page. You can get to the information in a web browser by going to the view-source.

 

Meta Tags

Meta Tags Example

 

Page Load Speed

 

Search engines factor in clicks that return to the SERP within a short period of time. This scenario indicates that the searcher reached a page that was not expected. For this reason, you will want to do everything you can to improve how fast your landing page loads. There are several ways you can impact page load speed. Two easy ways to impact the load time of your landing page are to:

 

1. Minimize image sizes and number of images on the page

2. Be careful of code weight on the landing page. Image sizes and the number of images is an easy concept. Impacting the page weight involves making sure that script code is stored in different files and referenced as needed rather than loaded in full on the landing page.

 

Final Thoughts

 

In conclusion, if you follow these 6 easy tips, you can improve the way the search engines view your landing page. You can chose to update all of them or pick a few to tackle, but the result will be a better landing page experience for searchers, a more aligned campaign, and most of all improved quality scores and CPCs.

 

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12 thoughts on “6 Easy Landing Page Updates To Improve Quality Score

  1. Amit

    I am not sure if my last comment was received or not so posting it again. I completely disagree with this. We have used this strategy on almost 100 landing pages (or may be more than that) but it doesn’t work. When it comes to QS, what works is just the CTR..and how you are performing against your competition..

    Reply
    1. Sarah Stemenrunnerkik

      Hi Amit. Certainly you can disagree. We have heard that historical CTR is a very large factor in quality score, which is why sometimes when we reorganize larger accounts we see a dip in performance, however this post tackles the importance of page relevance which is also extremely important. it is hard to show relevance when on-page factors have not been filled in properly.

      Reply
      1. Amit

        We did a lot of experimentation this. For one campaign, we tested close to 20 pages. Half of them did not adhere to “on page elements” which you have discussed here where as the other half followed to the the T. The results were, if the CTR was high then the LP QS was also high, Google didn’t bother if you have taken care of the on page elements or not, however, if the CTR was low, despite of the on page things Google would show less relevant LP experience and so on. To avoid any confusion, these pages were of the similar service type and we tested them in the same time period.

        Reply
        1. Sarah Stemenrunnerkik

          Thanks for sharing Amit. I think your testing is wonderful. One side note that I did not address in the post is that following these best practices does give benefit to those using screen readers. I came from the financial services industry where we had to use fair lending practices, and if those with disabilities could not read the page we weren’t doing that, so for us removing the on-page elements was simply not going to happen. Again I welcome and encourage the debate, thanks for sharing your test.

          Reply
      2. Marilyn Maupin

        What type of tests have you done that verify this? Which keywords have you seen improve by changing your landing pages? I’m very curious since I’ve been able to get no traction with the type of things you are describing. Thanks!

        Reply
    2. Marilyn Maupin

      I’ve had the exact same experience. Landing page changes have had 0 impact on my Quality Scores. It’s essentially a pass/fail metric.

      Reply
  2. Richard Antille

    Hello Sarah, Good information but I am wondering about the meta keyword. We know that it has been deprecated by major search engines so I am confused as to what benefit there is in having it. Let me know. Thanks

    Reply
    1. Sarah Stemenrunnerkik

      Thanks so much Richard! It really comes down to the relevancy factor. Your landing page needs to be seen as relevant to the search engines and updating these items can increase tie to the search query. A sub benefit is also the user experience too. Meta keywords would probably be a lower if not null component but it would be amiss if I didn’t mention.

      Reply
  3. Guest

    Nothing is new. What about page speed? The positions of CTA Buttons? The colors of CTA Buttons? The flow of the site?…

    Please, be serious to write a in-depth article.

    Reply
  4. JVH

    Thanks for this interest post.

    One thing I’m wondering: what if a landing page would dynamically change its header and perhaps the product description, based on the AdWords keyword / on-site placeholders? Would this work? Will Google’s crawler judge the page as a new/relevant page or will it look at the original page without placeholders?

    Reply
    1. runnerkik

      Good question. Most dynamic landing page solutions such as optimost you still have coding – so the header would still have an H1 the new content wouldn’t be an issue as it is PPC page. So yes just make sure it is technically sound and tagged. All large dynamic advertisers have dynamic changing landing pages and QS isn’t a large account wide issue, so no worries.

      Reply

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