If you run an e-commerce website you are probably looking for methods to increase your web shop’s traffic. You might already be advertising with Adwords and you know how much it costs to buy traffic. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could increase your “free” traffic and lower the cost per click for your Adwords ads? Does it sound too good to be true? Keep reading and I’ll explain why it isn’t.
Google’s reward system
Google rewards an advertiser if their ad is relevant and if the ad attracts clicks. Actually, it’s a lot more that goes into this equation, but to keep things simple I’ll leave those factors out. Google calls their reward system “Quality Score” or just QS.
Google defines Quality Score like this:
“Quality Score is an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing page are to a person seeing your ad. Higher Quality Scores typically lead to lower costs and better ad positions.”
To keep it simple if you advertise “used cars” you better not send the visitor to a page with new cars or you will get a low quality score. See it’s all quite simple, you have to meet the visitors expectations.
So to summarize, your quality score is a factor in how much you have to pay for a click in relation to the ad’s position. With a lower quality score your ad might not even be shown. If it is shown it’s probably at the bottom of the search results. What’s even worse, you might have to pay more for a click than your competition! If you use Adwords you can see your quality score under “ad group” -> “keywords”.
Some of the factors of the quality score that you can control.
- Relevance of the keyword to the landing page content.
- Relevance of the ad copy to the landing page content
- Relevance of the keyword to the ad copy
- Click-through rate – if ad is clicked for a particular search query google sees it as relevant.
The landing page
Now armed with some info about the quality score we should use basic SEO to optimize our landing pages. As with Adwords you want to optimize your page for a set of keywords / phrases. Assuming you already have a picked a page you want to optimize, open it in your browser and look at it.
Are your Keywords / Phrases / Synonyms on your page? In order to rank well in the organic search you have to make sure you are using your most important keywords at the best places.
- Page Title – by far the most important place for your main keywords. Example, you sell a red toaster. Your page title could then be “Red Toaster | Your Brand”. You should be able to set the page title in your e-commerce application.
- Above the fold – means keep your most important content visible so the user doesn’t have to scroll to see it.
Similar and related products / services? Again if you sell a red toaster why not include some of the other toasters you have? Include the red checkered, the dark red etc. You get the idea! You want to make this page the perfect landing page for someone looking for a red toaster. They should not leave your site without seeing at least one toaster the want!
Common landing page mistakes:
- Poor keyword research – you optimize the page for something people don’t search for. You might be using jargon that the common person doesn’t use.
- Ad copy doesn’t match the content of the landing page. Once again, don’t advertise anything that’s not the focus of your landing page. I quite often see companies who send the user to their index page instead of a product or category page. What will happen is that the user will hit the browser’s back button and leave. High bounce rate and low quality score are the result.
- Highly competitive search terms. If your competition is tough, you might consider using less competitive or less broad search terms.
- Keyword meaning many things. This could get you traffic, but not the traffic you want. Example, you target the keyword “washer” since you sell washing machines; however, washer can also be a small the metal part. It doesn’t matter so much if traffic is free, but in Adwords poorly chosen keywords can eat up your budget fast and kill your quality score.
- No meta description. As well as having a great ad copy for your Adwords ad, why not have one for the organic search results also? Spend an extra 5 minutes writing your meta description.
- Over optimization – content doesn’t read natural, bad for SEO.
- Multiple pages with the same content. If you have several pages with almost identical content you should consider combining them to one page or use the rel=”canonical” tag.
Does all this sound very “SEOish”? As you can see, making a good landing page is very important, especially for Adwords since you pay for the traffic. I was just scratching the surface of SEO and Adwords advertising with this article, but I hope it can inspire you to optimize your e-commerce site a little bit more.
“By just doing basic SEO you can make better landing pages, lower your traffic cost and increase your free traffic.”
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