5 suggestions for utilizing the identical touchdown pages for web optimization & PPC
It is widely accepted that Pay-Per-Click (PPC) does not affect Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Google has reiterated that there is no link between the two, despite recent reports suggesting otherwise. Allegations aside, it’s no secret that PPC and SEO combined are deadly.
It is common to have individual landing pages set up for PPC, but this is not always practical. In many cases it can be necessary to use the same landing pages for PPC and SEO.
When your SEO and PPC landing pages are the same, it is inevitable that your on-page SEO efforts will impact PPC. These SEO changes can make a difference by having an impact Landing Page Experience.
What is landing page experience?
Google Ads takes landing page experience into account when deciding where to display ads in paid search results.
Experience in this case is determined by How effectively a landing page meets user expectations when they click on an ad.
If your website has a poor user experience, it may limit your ads or even stop serving altogether. It is therefore vital that your landing pages provide a great experience for users.
Landing page experience is only part of ad rank (the calculation that Google uses to determine ad positioning). It should therefore not be viewed in isolation. However, improving the landing page experience can have a huge impact on SEO and PPC performance.
How to improve the landing page experience
The landing page experience is influenced by a number of factors including:
- Landing page content
- Landing page speed
- Landing Page Mobile Experience
- Confidence signals
- Linkage and site architecture
These factors are all critical to improving SEO performance, but they also have a huge impact on the landing page experience. So make sure you cover all of these basics properly to improve PPC performance.
Let’s look at the elements that make up the landing page experience and what to do to improve it.
Landing page content
Landing page content is important to both SEO and PPC.
SEO landing pages are often more detailed and give users detailed information. PPC landing pages, on the other hand, are often more commercial and to the point.
Despite subtle differences, SEO and PPC landing pages share two major similarities. You should be useful and unique.
It’s recommended that you make landing page content specific when a user is looking for something in particular. While it should be general when a user is looking for something general like PPC management.
For example, when someone is looking for an Ecosia PPC specialist, they expect the landing page to focus on Ecosia, not other types of PPC like Google Ads.
Ultimately, the content of the landing page should be clear, concise, and to the point.
Landing page speed
How fast pages load has a huge impact on SEO and PPC performance. In July 2018, Google announced that speed is now a landing page factor for Google Ads. Likewise, the Google Page Experience Update 2021 will make page speed an even more important factor for search engine optimization. Google usually holds their cards pretty close to their chest, but they couldn’t be more explicit here.
There are a number of factors that affect page speed. As a digital marketing consultant, the most common things I see are large image file sizes, code bloat, and lack of caching.
Modifying and compressing images, reducing unnecessary code, and setting up caching can greatly improve page speed. That said, all websites are different. Be sure to read PageSpeed Insights for recommendations on what to focus on to improve speed.
Image source: Google PageSpeed Insights
Landing Page Mobile Experience
Delivering a great mobile experience is a key factor in gaining higher rankings in organic and paid search.
A few years after page speed was integrated into the Google algorithm, Google announced that it would switch to mobile initial indexing for the entire web. This update has been around for a couple of years, but highlights the importance of the initial mobile design for both SEO and PPC landing pages.
Most websites are compiled on desktop devices. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of optimization for desktop devices, especially considering that most websites are compiled on one device. Fear not, there are a number of tools you can use to make sure your landing pages are cell phone-ready.
Google offers a mobile-friendly test that will help you give mobile users the best possible experience. If you want to go a step further, you can implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for optimal performance for mobile devices.
If your pages pass the mobile device test that’s great, but that doesn’t give you the full picture. Make sure you think about how content is structured on mobile, too, and focus on how easy it is for users to achieve their goals.
You should make sure that landing pages appear open, honest, and trustworthy from the start. Building trust is a core part of SEO. Backlinks, engagement metrics, and reputation play a role in Google’s ranking algorithm.
Trust also plays a central role in PPC. Google would like to introduce companies that are known to meet expectations. Hence, trust is an important part of the landing page experience.
Make sure your landing pages openly share information about your business, products, and services while contact information is easy to find and forms are easy to use.
Data protection is still a hot topic in 2021. With this in mind, you should make sure that you cover all the basics from a data protection perspective. Cookie banners, information on data processing (on forms) and links to data protection guidelines can create trust.
The combination of all of these factors ensures that your landing pages are trusted by Google and your users.
Linkage and site architecture
Internal links are a great way to help website users and Googlebot navigate your website while making it more contextual. Internal links aren’t used in the same way for PPC landing pages, but they can improve the landing page experience.
Many PPC landing pages offer a streamlined approach with clear calls-to-action (CTAs) that allow for a very linear user journey.
Image source: Witney SEO Guy
SEO landing pages, on the other hand, are often more detailed and provide more information on a specific topic.
It’s important to strike a balance between these two approaches when using the same landing pages for SEO and PPC. Too much information and the landing page may be classified as spam. Too little and the landing page may not work as well in organic search results.
How to review the landing page experience
You can check the landing page experience in Google Ads. To check the landing page experience, do the following:
- Sign in to Google Ads
- click keywords in the sidebar menu of the Google Ads dashboard
- click Search keywords
- Press the columns Button on the far right
- click Change columns
- click Quality factor
- Check the box Landing page exp.
- Click the blue Apply button
Your Google Ads Keyword Report should now have a column showing the landing page experience for each keyword.
Creating landing pages for SEO and PPC can be tricky. So make sure you know how to effectively create landing pages. Ultimately, give your users a great experience on your website and you will receive great results in return.