Saturday, January 5th, 2008

Tips To Optimize Your Landing Page For A Better Quality Score

There’s no doubt that the Google Adwords game is always changing and sometimes with certain campaigns even I struggle to keep up. However, when building landing pages/sites to advertise with Google PPC the following has never once failed me. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to build EVERY page/site or like this and I will never deny that I much rather link directly to a merchant’s page then sending people to mine before accessing the offer. With all this set aside, the first thing you ever need to worry about is bowing down to Google and optimizing your pages/sites for the dreaded quality score they put on you for your search campaigns. Here are some great tips to help get you a better score.

#1 Content Rules In Both Organic And Paid Search

Google has never really come out and said that your site/pages HAVE to be indexed to get a good quality score in Adwords. However in my own testing I have found that I fair a lot better for the long term with a site that has its landing pages indexed. A lot of testing throughout this past year with static HTML sites showed me that these were a little bit harder to get indexed and sometimes took a lot longer. My #1 weapon for this is WordPress. I build ALL of my PPC landing sites/pages on WordPress. Quite simply, it only takes me less than half a day to reach the index. So instead of waiting days or weeks for a static page to get indexed I can create them on WordPress and ping it. What this does is let certain search engines around the web know that I have updated content. It’s also in my testing that I noticed Google loves fresh content and this is EXTREMELY important to the longevity of your quality score to your keywords and ad groups going to your landing pages. With WordPress and average landing page takes me less than 10 minutes. Quite simply, I can create 250-300 landing pages a month just by taking breaks out my daily routines and adding another post/page to my WordPress sites.

#2 Got to Have A Lot Of Content

Not only do I have to have relevant content on my sites/pages but I need to have a lot of it. As a matter of fact, I don’t even start a new campaign on a new site until there are at least 20-25 content pages within it and at least half of them are indexed. A good way to know if you have SUBSTANTIAL content is by looking at your site/page and asking "Can people benefit from this WITHOUT my affiliate links"? If the answer is no then chances are your not offering a good user experience. Eventually Google is just way to smart to NOT realize this. I’m not saying to write a Wikipedia page but at least put some effort into it. After all, it’s your money that your going to be throwing at it right?

#3 Be Truthful And Provide Your Business Information

This is one of the most important. With the recent Google slaps this past year *thin affiliate* sites/pages that did not provide useful business information took quite a hit. I should know, I was one of them. A good way to provide your business information is to have these:

  1. About Us Page
  2. Contact Us Page
  3. Privacy Page
  4. Terms & Service
  5. Extended Information
  6. Disclaimer – Not necessary but good still

Personally, I like to link to these in my footers or maybe above my header in my plain view. You can pick your poison but as long as you have them then this shows Google and users that you are truthful and upfront about who you are, what your site is about and other important information regarding the nature of your site/page. These pages should be link from every page you create on your site.

#4 Deliver What You Promise

It does matter what your advertising in your Adwords ad as long as your not deceptive when a user clicks thru to your landing page. If your offering a free bottle of 2DaySlimDown with $9.99 in shipping then it only makes sense to put that in your ad. If for some reason your landing page was actually an offer to BUY 2DaySlimDown (at whatever price) then your going to get a vast amount of very untargetted click thru’s. While your CTR may go up within your Adwords account because you forgot to mention that it indeed is NOT free, eventually you will suffer because your bounce rate on your landing site/page is going to be high. So whatever your offer is within the content of your site/page make sure to write a relevant ad. This will ensure a good CTR and the time users on spend on your site will likely decrease the frequency of fast bounce rates. If your asking yourself "Does Google Really Look At This" then you obviously have not been in the Adwords game very long. There are unspoken rules and other shit that goes on and Google is just too smart to NOT factor this in.

#5 Easy Navigation Is Vital

I will tell you this right now. I am NOT a big fan of sitemaps. As a matter of fact there isn’t even one on CashTactics and I ran an SEO Firm for over a year. The thing about sitemaps is that they are just too DAMN easy to manipulate. I won’t go into detail why I don’t use them as I am not going to teach any dirty tricks nor am I going to debate with someone that thinks they are an SEO king. I have advertised thousands of pages and not once have I ever had a sitemap on one of my sites.

However, you should definitely have an easily navigated site. I prefer a sidebar with links to my other pages personally but with WordPress I don’t have to spend much time at all really. WordPress comes jam packed and ready with all the interlinking love and I don’t have to do anything except make my pages.

These are just a few things that can help with you landing page and site’s quality score. There are many more things that factor in your quality score (such as Account History), (Keyword use across ALL Advertisers) but as far as optimizing a proper landing page/site with relevance and being upfront about who you are and what your purpose is, your more likely to be a favored advertiser amongst the Google gods. We all know how important this is right?

 


Category: PPC
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21 Responses

January 5, 2008
ratman

Good tips. The indexing tip is new to me.


January 5, 2008

nice tips there. I was thinking of creating a squeeze page out of wordpress. Can that be done? do you have an example you can show me


January 6, 2008
Kudzu

Great post and very timely since I’m putting together my first site. I’ve read recommendations that affiliate links should be cloaked since Google frowns upon them. Is this necessary and if so what method would you recommend?


January 6, 2008

We could debate this all day but the fact of the matter is that Google is going to fall redirects, meta refreshes, cloaks etc… and still know about them.

However domains such as (example) consumerrewards.com or other domains widely popular with advertising are very hard to driect link to in a PPC campaign so if I feel the slightest shady about an affiliate I simply redirect thru PHP.

Since I make most of my money outside of the marketing to marketers, there really is no need to cloak. My visitors probably don’t know what an affiliate link is.


January 6, 2008

You can find a bunch of sample disclaimers and TOSs etc. here

http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?type=RESOURCES&itemId=1076142107

Also, if you just want a quick landing page/site you could do worse than use the http://19pages.com minisite. Since it doesn’t use a database or anything you can just copy the whole site after adding your disclaimer and contact pages and simply customise the front page for each new site. Easy!


January 6, 2008
Robert

Ruck:

Great post. Helpful info.

PS: I know you type posts VERY quickly, but sometimes they are a bit hard to read because of that. For example, two of the YOURs are right, and two are wrong in this quote:

“It does matter what your advertising in your Adwords ad as long as your not deceptive when a user clicks thru to your landing page.”

Cheers!


January 6, 2008

Thanks for the critique. I do type very quickly and I just recently got the FCKEditor for WordPress and it must have not picked these up. I will try to do a better job for now on.


January 6, 2008

Thanks for the link to the 19pages site; that’s cool, and it’s exactly like something I was building for my own use! :) ( but I was using smarty templates and a database. whee. )


January 6, 2008

Ruck: with regards to the typos (your/ you’re etc). They cause me to stop pretty much every time. However, then I remember that someone told me shoemoney doesn’t speak in oxford english because he wants to be considered “one of the guys.” So I give you the benefit of the doubt; it’s obvious you’re smart, I just ass-u-me that you’re dumbing it down for the rest of us.


January 6, 2008

Ahh well,

No excuses really. I talk fast and type fast and maybe I do move a little fast than some but the fact is I really should look over my posts some more. So critique taken and appreciated. I would hope by now people would come forward and tell me to get my shit together :)

Hey thanks for the read on a Sunday you too…Gives me something to reply too :)


January 7, 2008

you _two_ *bwahahahaha*


January 8, 2008
Mike

Thanks for all the content. It’s really helpful and practical unlike most of the stuff online, and hopefully I’ll make a little bit of money when i get started following some of your suggestions when my exams are done with.

I’d like to ask a question about the wordpress landing pages. Where do you put affiliate links? In the content? Or above content? If you put it in the content, doesn’t this lower your click throughs greatly? Also do you take alot out of the wordpress templates, and make it really simple? Or do your landing pages just look like regular blogs talking about certain products?

Thanks again for the great ideas!


January 8, 2008
Mike

oh, one more thing, if people are struggling reading your posts due to the grammar (i personally don’t have a problem), I’d happily proof read it before you post it up to get a sneak peak :D. Let me know


January 8, 2008

Hi Mike,

Have a look at one of my new sites.

offercrave.com

Typically these types of landing pages work so easy for me. Onpage optimization and the All In One SEO Pack WordPress Plugin have saved my ass all year.

Just make it really simple for people. I always use a network creative and host it myself and hyperlink it. I then hyperlink and anchor text one of my keywords and then I numb it down with the call to action “Click Here” hyperlinked.


January 8, 2008

nice logo on your site. Did you put alot of effort in it


January 8, 2008

I had my desingner Jeff do a little work to the site. It’s not finished yet. Here’s it’s US sister site that focuses on hot product releases.

productcrave.com

I just threw these new sites out as examples. The landings are complete and these work on Adwords quite well. I still got a lot of sidebar and other graphical work to get done.


January 16, 2008

Interesting point about not using a sitemap. I would love to hear more about why not to use one as we use them on all of our blogs.

We use WordPress Affiliate Pro plugin to easily make affiliate links in our blogs. You have the choice if you want to cloak them or not, and what to display instead of the actual URL.


January 21, 2008
Hectril

Thanks for the tips and it could really help me a lot since I’m starting my own site soon. Addition to your guides is to have your adwords target to your landing page to increase your visitors.


November 8, 2008

1. About Us Page
2. Contact Us Page
3. Privacy Page
4. Terms & Service
5. Extended Information
6. Disclaimer – Not necessary but good still

there is only about us page on my blog, maybe I should add the rest of the list …


November 30, 2008

@brandon alan scofield: I created About, Contact, Privacy, TOS pages

Contact page is the most important page you can’t miss it! This is an excellent way people can keep in touch with you rather than just an email lol


November 30, 2008

@Ruck: not sure about Extended Information page. What information will we put here?

Thanks.