How to Craft PPC Landing Pages to Rank Better in the Ad Auction

Austin Randall
By Austin Randall

If you’re like any business owner or marketing manager, you’re constantly looking for ways to expand your customer base.  Since Google and likewise search engines are a great way to reach prospective customers, it’s no surprise that companies big and small are investing more into SEO and Paid Search.  These two channels are vastly different in many ways, but at the core of both, SEO and Paid Search should serve the same purpose: connecting searchers with the highest quality, and most relevant content to their searches.

SEO has taken a large step forward in predicting a searcher’s intent and the content that ranks well for that search, called Semantic Search.  But what about for Paid Search?  Here’s a strategy we’ve developed to mirror Semantic Search to PPC landing pages that will increase your Quality Score, get more qualified traffic to your website, and get you more leads & sales.

How To Improve A Landing Page’s Quality Score

Similar to the algorithm that determines where your website shows up organically on Google, the Quality Score algorithm is a major indicator for Paid Search that determines which ad slot you’ll show up in search results.  Quality Score is broken down into 3 main sections:

  • Ad Relevance – How well your ad messaging matches the keyword being searched and the landing page.
  • Landing Page Experience – How useful your landing page is to that user based on the search query.
  • Expected CTR – How likely is your ad to get clicked.

We’ll focus on #2 from that list in this article.  When your Paid Search ad is created, AdWords/Google will read the content of that page, and assign you an initial Quality Score based on how well your page matches the keywords linked to trigger that page.   So if you think about it, a simple way of doing this would just be to take the keywords you’re bidding on and add them to the copy of your landing page.  That’s a good step in the right direction, but as I’m sure a wise man somewhere once said, you’re not good until you’re great.

What Is Semantic Search And Why Is It Important?

Semantic Search is the way a search engine dissecting the true intent of a searchers query, based on which results of that query were most often clicked through to, other popular ways that searchers with the same intent searched that query, and an array of other indicators, rather than the search engine just serving back the strict definition of whatever word or words were searched.

This is important because, very rarely do two people with the same intent search in the same way.  Moz.com estimates that roughly 75% of all searches on Google are made up of Long-Tail keywords (keywords that are 5 or more words), and the search intent for these queries is much less predictable than Short-Tail (less than 5 word) keywords.

PPC Forecasting Tool

Market Muse: An SEO Godsend for Semantic Search

We use a super valuable tool at Power Digital to get the inside scoop on Semantic Search called, Market Muse.  This tool will read the content of the top organic search results, and pick up on the theme of the page by counting how frequent certain words and phrases are used.

This paints a tremendous picture of what a page is actually about, and how those top-ranking pages are verbally constructed.  This gives us good insight into the same queues that Google’s organic search algorithm uses to understand a page’s intent, and how to correctly pair that with what people are searching.

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Using Semantic Search For PPC Landing Pages

Google’s organic algorithm is a result of tons and tons of data accumulated over millions of searches, and it’s pretty darn accurate.  As digital marketers, we can use tools like Market Muse to take educated guesses at what words and phrases mesh well together in a contextual sense. BUT, we’ve got something even better for Paid Search…the Search Term Report!  Search Terms reports within an AdWords account will give you the exact queries that triggered a Paid Search ad and led to a click and/or conversion.

Our recommendation, select a word or phrase that you think best contextually describes the product or service of your landing page, and set that keyword on Broad Match.  Give the keyword some time to accumulate searches/conversions, then take a look at the search queries that led to those conversions through your Search Term Report.

Now knowing the exact terms that your costumers or leads searched, you’re able to incorporate those terms into your landing page copy.  The Quality Score algorithm should in theory contextually recognize those terms as relevant and your content useful to your searchers.  Google will in turn give you better ad positioning in search results, will charge you less to drive traffic to your site, and those visitors, who are more qualified, will convert more often.

Wrapping Up

This is a new tactic for us and we’re just beginning to tap into its potential.  With some good copy, a little AdWords data, and a solid page layout you can begin experimenting with this and hopefully watch your CPCs fall & conversions increase along the way.

We’ve just launched a test on one of our clients to vet out this strategy, so tune back in next month for a recap or results!

 

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Austin is the Director of Paid Media at Power Digital Marketing. He made it a point early on in his career to be a Jack of All Trades digital marketing, having hands-on experience in PPC, SEO, Social Media, and Affiliate Marketing. That experience comes in handy for his passion of creating and orchistraiting impactful cross-channel strategies for businesses he works with.