Landing pages are pages on your website used strategically to align to specific keywords you (the retailer) want to be visible for in Google. Your goal is to have traffic “landing” on specific pages throughout your website, completely bypassing the home page.
In ecommerce, the most effective landing pages are the main and sub category pages within your navigation structure. However, there is also a need to build landing pages to sit outside of your navigation set up.
The use of landing pages is a critical part of any Google AdWords campaign
Landing pages allow campaigns to be relevant, delivering relevant content specifically for keyword groups (or themes). Many retailers create an AdWords campaign for various keywords and send all the traffic to the home page. Do you have a high bounce rate on your home page? That will be why.
An example of a landing page in use
You are an electronics retailer who sells smartphones, you have a main category titled “Smartphones” and subcategories that are brand focused i.e. “Apple iPhones, “Samsung Galaxy”. You notice there is also demand for the term “Windows Phones”. Since you have smartphones that are powered by the Windows operating system you decide to include these terms in your AdWords campaign to be visible in Google. However you face a problem: your navigation structure is focused on brand and having a sub category titled “Windows Phones” does not fit.
What do you do?
You create a landing page for “Windows Phones”. The page consists of:
- A large title at the top of the page called “Windows Phones” validating to the consumer they have come to the right place.
- A URL ending with “Windows Phones”.
- A large image of a smartphone that is powered by the Windows operating system at the top of the page further validating to the consumer they have landed in the right place.
- Content talking about “Windows Phones”.
- Ideally, a video on “Windows Phones”.
- A list of all your Windows phone products.
This landing page would remain separated from the site navigation structure and would never be viewed by consumers who come to your site through other means. It’s important to note, this is a best practice layout for all landing pages, not just a page sitting outside of the navigation structure of a website.
To achieve this in Storbie, create a hidden page that can only be found when navigating to that exact page url, and use this url in your AdWords campaigns.
How do landing pages enhance a Google AdWords campaign?
The key to getting AdWords right is relevancy, but to understand how landing pages bolster the effectiveness of a Google AdWords campaign, you must understand Google’s Quality Score.
Google ranks (scores) retailers on their ability to deliver relevant messages to consumers. These relevant messages must align perfectly to the words the consumer typed into the Google search box.
Google measures everything to do with the journey a consumer takes from viewing the results in Google, to them landing on the first page of your website. Google measures the relevancy of your ad copy displayed on the Google results page, the landing page content including the technical make up of the page (i.e. use of headings) and the URL of the page.
Google’s motivation to score and deliver incentives to retailers who deliver relevancy makes sense. They do this to ensure everyone wins:
- The customer is taken to a page that is relevant to their defined need (Customer wins),
- By delivering relevancy, the consumer purchases from the Retailer (Retailer wins), and
- Google is perceived as the most relevant search engine (Google wins),
- The Retailer sells a product from AdWords and continues to spend their advertising dollars with Google (Google wins again).
For retailers who comply and have a high Quality Score, Google delivers both a reduced cost per click and higher page positioning as incentives. The lower your Quality Score, the more you pay, and the lower you are put on the page regardless of how much you pay. Google will also stop displaying your ads. In your reporting look for the metric titled “ Search Lost Impression Share” or “Search Lost IS”. This metric represents how many times you did not appear due to your low Quality Score.
Think about the example above in this new context. How would you react if you wanted a “Windows Phone”?
Scenario 1: You are taken to a home page that has no sign of “Windows Phone” products, pictures, or content. What would you do?
Scenario 2: You land on the page mentioned above filled with “Windows Phone” content, pictures, and products.
This is the science of an AdWords and landing page strategy working together. This tactic has been proven to work for the last 10 years, yet retailers still do not know how to properly utilise it to grow new customer acquisition.
If you follow Scenario 1 like most retailers:
- You receive a bill from Google for the consumer clicking on your ad and have nothing to show for it.
- You have lost any chance of that consumer purchasing from you. They don’t come back.
- Google also is aware of this reaction, and has applied a low score for this campaign making future AdWord spend more expensive.
Google Adwords is the single biggest source of new customer acquisition on the planet. It is worth investing in this business growth tactic and to learn the science behind it, your business growth depends on it.
The by-product of a best practice acquisition strategy is the ability for it to fuel your SEO strategy. This approach to acquisition feeds content to pages of your website motivated by demand for keywords your business wants visibility for ensuring your business will steadily grow organic visibility strategically in the right direction. There is no more need for “SEO specialists”.
If you can get your AdWords and landing page strategy right, you’ve got yourself a competitive advantage.