Optimizing Your Landing Pages for AdWords in 2020

Today we show you how to optimize your AdWords landing pages in 2020.

In A Hurry?

  • Your landing page content and the keywords must match
  • You must trim your keyword bidding or see if your keyword is a swan or wet rat
  • Use the AdWords Quality Score to judge high-cost keywords
  • Your landing page should have a singular focus and offer
  • Landing pages must have a clear CTA (call to action)

As an AdWords specialist, your campaigns live and die by the conversion of your landing pages.

Even when you drop the perfect buyer avatar onto your page with an unclear offer, or worse no offers, that paid conversion rate will be 0% no matter how your ads performed.

Most AdWords campaign managers have limited ability to change client landing pages.

The sad reality is that we typically lack the budget, resources, or expertise need to affect the root cause of a failing campaign.

The trick is the rescue your AdWords campaigns from your stagnant landing pages without also needing a landing page designer or conversion rate optimization expert.

In this article, we will drill down on 5 of the most important Adwords optimization strategies for 2020.

These strategies will help you run more efficient and high-converting campaigns within AdWords.

Why Landing Page and Keyword Matching is Important

As many AdWords campaign managers know, driving traffic to a generic web page, like a client’s homepage, doesn’t convert well and can increase CPC costs.

When a visitor can’t find the information they are searching for on a generic or confusing landing page, they will bounce more quickly, which signals to Google that the experience wasn’t very good.

When the opposite happens, the visitor can find a relevant landing page that reinforces the promise of the ad they just clicked on, and they are offered just one CTA or next step, you have a much smoother path to conversion.

This method of matching your keywords to your landing pages creates four distinct benefits:

  1. A higher AdWords Quality Score
  2. Lowers cost-per-click (CPC)
  3. Lowers your cost-per-acquisition (CPA)
  4. Increases conversions

Using a landing page platform like Unbounce will help ensure you are using the most accurate keywords with each landing page.

By setting up A/B tests on your landing pages you can optimize your paid search traffic by matching it to search intent keywords on your landing pages.

You can also integrate Unbounce with tools like Google Analytics to find the best page for your traffic.

Remember this important rule: Soft metrics matter big time.

Create A Great AdWords Landing Page

The average user searching for answers on the Internet has a shorter attention span than a goldfish.

Your job as an AdWords marketer is to capture just a slice of this traffic and match your offer to their needs.

The best PPC landing pages contain five common elements:

  1. Bold, contextual images (a “hero shot” at the top of the page)
  2. A headline and a sub-headline
  3. A single, focused call to action (form or button)
  4. Clearly outlined features and benefits
  5. Social proof like trust symbols and testimonials

Once you’ve decided to lower your cost-per-click and get a better ROI on your paid ad spend, it’s all about creating them using the five steps above.

AdWords Quality Score

 Even when you offer a relevant landing page with a good CTR, you still may encounter a low AdWords Quality Score.

There are three factors that determine your Quality Score:

  1. Expected clickthrough rate
  2. Ad relevance
  3. Landing page experience

It is important to check your Quality Score before you begin.

Finding the cause of a low Quality Score can help you improve it.

Here are a few places to check:

  1. Landing page quality issues – In your Google Ads account go to Keywords –> Modify columns, scroll down and open Quality Score.  Check the box for Landing page exp. (history) and click Apply
  2. Not enough clicks or impressions (lower than 10k) – In your Google Ads account, click Keywords, look in the “Impr.” (impressions) column, look for keywords with impressions under 10,000.  The quality score may be low due to the number of impressions.
  3. Ad was removed or edited – In your Google Ads account, click Ad Groups, click the ad group that contains keywords with a low-Quality Score, go to Change history to see what changes were made to your ad creatives.
  4. Decrease in Ad position – In your Google Ads account, click Keywords, click the columns icon and select Modify columns.  Open Competitive metrics and check the box for Avg. pos. and click Apply.  Change the metric you are looking at to Avg. pos.  Look for any changes in your average position over time.
  5. Low CTR for recent traffic – In your Google Ads account, click Keywords, click the columns icon and select Modify columns.  Open Performance and check the box for CTR and click Apply.  Change the metric you’re looking at to CTR.  Change the date range to the Last 7 days or the Last 14 days to see any recent changes to your CTR.

The Ugly Duckling Search Term Method

The “ugly duckling” search term method is a way to figure out if your keyword is a swan (a keyword that needs to be scaled up), or a wet rat (a keyword you need to dump).

If you find a design flaw in your ads like you are bidding on the word “organic concord grapes”, but your landing page does not have the highly relevant, high-volume word “organic”, then simply adding the word to your page.

By doing this you will see if the term “organic” is a swan or wet rat.

An instant wet rat is a poor performing keyword that doesn’t reflect your offer at all you should consider it a wet rat and don’t bid on it, and consider negative matching to avoid further traffic.

To test this wet rat method further, try these three things:

  1. Change your headline
  2. Ad group break-out
  3. Use a data-based landing page recommendation

Clear CTA (Call To Action)

Having a clearly defined CTA (call to action) is one of the most important things you can do to optimize your landing pages for AdWords in 2020. 

When you can clearly match the keywords you are bidding on with the search intent answers on your landing page, you will have a winning combination.  

Using A/B testing found in landing page tools like Unbounce makes this process terribly easy.  

In our next article, Landing Page 101, we will highlight 17 tips to optimize your landing pages for better conversions.