4 Landing Page Best Practices for Google Ads

4 Landing Page Best Practices for Google Ads

Let’s start today about how to optimize your landing page for Google AdWords with a quiz.

Which is a best practice for optimizing a landing page for AdWords?

  1. Match the landing page to your searcher’s intent.
  2. Link deeper into your website than the home page.
  3. Ensure that you have a relevant headline using the keywords you targeted.
  4. Introduce new ideas and products unrelated to the searcher’s intent.
  5. All of the above.
  6. a, b,c, and maybe a couple more.

If you answered f, then congratulate yourself. That is excellent considering you haven’t even read this article about landing page best practices yet.

However, if you want to know why these landing page best practices work and which is a best practice for optimizing a landing page for Google ads, let’s take a look at the following 4 ways to optimize your landing pages for Google Ads.

1. Match the landing page to your searcher’s intent.

Whenever you are working with Google, you must be aware of your ability to satisfy the searcher's intent. Searchengineland.com defines searcher's intent as a success when they find what they are looking for. When the search fails to do that, or your landing page isn't what it was advertised to be, you have not satisfied the searcher's intent.

Searcher's intent sounds straightforward based on that definition. However, it gets complicated when there could be more than one intent. Searchengineisland.com divides the search into primary intent and secondary intent, which mean what they sound like.

For example, if a person wants to know “Star Wars movie times in Los Angeles,” the primary intent is likely that they want to see Star Wars at a theatre in Los Angeles. Google will look for sites that have that information. However, the secondary intent could be to find out what the reviews are saying about the movie. So, then Google looks for sites that include not only the movie times but also what people who have seen the film are saying about it. Google will rank those sites with both primary and secondary intents covered higher than sites with only the primary intent of movie times.

Your job is to ensure that for whatever keywords you are targeting with your Google Ad, you know the searcher’s primary and secondary intent. You should then make sure you include the information for both on your site, so Google gives you an excellent rating and ranking for your landing page.

2. Link deeper into your website than the home page.

Time for another quiz question.

Q. True or false: you should have your entire website navigation included in your landing page?

A. Per Neil Patel, who the Wall Street Journal calls a top influencer on the web, the answer is false.

Your landing page is different than your website. This page serves as a focused effort on a single offer, where your site is your entire online offering. The focus on a unique offer is the reason you do not want to include links for the whole website on the page.

Patel writes that you should:

  • Know what you want the landing page to do, i.e., define the goal of the page.
  • Have a clear call-to-action (CTA) for the landing page.
  • Keep the landing page simple, with clear and concise copy, as well as design elements.
  • Provide a streamlined form to capture information. And, last, but not least…
  • Take out the website navigation tabs.
  • The only links you should have on the landing page are the CTA and a specific page (or pages) with more information. Remember, the idea of the landing page is to get the searcher to browse through relevant information related to their intent—at least as far as Google is concerned.

    3. Ensure you have a relevant headline using the keywords you targeted.

    The ad that you are using to attract searchers likely had keywords in it that drew clicks. When they click on that ad, they need to feel like they “landed” in the right place. Per Instapage.com, a prominent headline with the keywords you used in the ad will reassure them they are where they wanted to be.

    For example, if your ad is for a hair color subscription service for women over 40, then the landing page should have a headline that says, “[Product Name]: A hair color subscription service made for you, not your daughter.” (Or something that is actually clever.)

    4. Have a clear message matching the ad that brought them to your landing page.

    However, a relevant headline isn't enough. The message should match the ad, too.

    Like the landing page itself, the message should be simple, focused on a single offer, and have a clear CTA. For example, if you want the searcher to sign up for your conference, you need the message to explain the benefits of the meeting, present the offer if they sign up and direct them to a registration form. The only other addition might be a link to a “more information” page on the conference—but that informational page should have the same offer and CTA attached to it.

    Google wants a landing page that will satisfy the searcher's intent. When you follow these landing page best practices, you will do that. What’s more, when you optimize a landing page for AdWords, you will likely hit the goal intended by your Google AdWords campaign in the first place, which is really what this is all about.

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    by albert somlith
    About author
    Albert Somlith

    Co-Founder of PPC Ad Editor. I am a leader in digital marketing, specializing in strategic planning, implementation, and optimization.

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