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Ask GH: Does On-Page SEO Affect A Landing Page's Quality Score?
This was a question raised during the Unbounce webinar today with @Sean.
According to these posts from WordStream the answer is yes, they are. Here's what goes into a good Quality Score for AdWords.
1) The historical click-through rate (CTR) of your account and your specific keywords.
2) The relevance of the keywords you’re bidding on to each other and to the ads you create.
3)The relevance of destination URLs that you’re sending customers to (in relation to your keywords and ad copy).
4) User-experience metrics such as page loading time.
5) And the catch-all, mystery meat “other factors.”
Does that sound like on-page SEO to you? It does to me.
It affects Quality Score - you need your on-page content to match your AdWords ads (including keywords). But I wouldn't call it "on-page SEO" necessarily because there's a difference between Organic and Paid and you want to keep those landing pages separate. That said, I'd just call it "content."
Of course. The heart of the question is: All other things being equal, does a page following SEO best practices (proper tags, strategic keyword use, etc) receive a higher quality score than, say, a page that simply has great message match?
Sorry if the question was poorly crafted.
Thanks for your responses @nichole and @morgan!
Gotcha. :) Yes, according to @morgan's lists, and it would only make sense that sites with professional appearance that adhere to SEO guidelines (which, at the end of the day are really guidelines based on your site being user friendly - such as page load time) would have a higher quality score than ones that didn't.
My opinion: Why should Google reward pages which follow its guidelines for not doing evil stuff and being friendly to users etc. ... with better rankings in organic search but downgrade the quality score of a landing page doing the same. SEO and advertising are different, but as for the core of Google's guidelines (especially for quality and content guidelines) they are pretty similar.
Don't use tricky techniques and "evil" stuff for your On-Page SEO and your quality score will still be fine.
Agreed - if you look at it from googles perspective, they don't have many factors to be able to tell if the ad matches the landing page except for content.
Keep in mind though, giving people what you promised them in the ad is the best way to increase conversion rate anyways - so doing this should be common practice rather than something you optimize for later.
Here's an interesting corrollary article: Run your established SEO like PPC & maximize ROI long-term http://searchengineland.com/run-established-seo-like-ppc-maximise-roi-long-term-197389
If by SEO, you mean properly tagged and logical content, then in short: Yes.
Check out Hal Varian's explanation of ad rank here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjOHTFRaBWA#t=2m31s
The "landing page experience" is most likely judged by automated algorithms because of the scale at which the system works on. These algorithms most likely scrape websites in similar ways than they do on the organic side. Accordingly, I would focus on LPO (landing page opt.) as a key part of your paid advertising strategy.
Yes. More important is load time. Also click rate my ppc dude told me. Better clicked ads/lps get higher score. Imagine conversion tracking help too. Lots of good links in this thread. Gotta check them out.
Yes, of course. It would be counted as landing page experiences's factor: keyword relevancy, page loading time, page bounce rate
It does. You could prove this by creating multiple landing pages with amd without SEO factors and analyze the QS and more importantly the CPI or CPC trends. Both Bing and Adwords are pretty easy to score 7/10 out of the gate and then just tweak until you reach your goal.
In my experience, on-page SEO is probably the least important factor in quality score, especially over the long-term.
As described by Google, landing page experience is about unique content, site layout, transparency/trustworthiness, and performance.
Google has a separate spider that it uses to judge landing-page quality, the Adsbot, and it essentially gives you a pass/fail. However, even when I've had Below average ratings for landing pages to start, many have improved to Average or Above average even without making any changes. It's clear through optimization testing that semantic alignment of keyword to ad to landing page is critical for conversions, but Google is agnostic concerning how you define your conversions, and I don't think it cares much about the content on the page, either. I think the main goal for landing page quality is simply is to make it less likely that someone will visit an ugly, slow, otherwise miserable or fraudlent page, which would reflect poorly on AdWords ads as a source for information.
CTR is by far the most important factor in quality score. I believe that Google uses a multi-armed bandit approach to dole out ad impressions. This is the statistical technique they use in Analytics for Experiments. Google will show your ad more often if it is more likely to be clicked on than a competitor's ad. Higher quality scores mean you qualify for more impressions and receive a discount on your CPC relative to worse-performing competitors. The landing page experience rating is also a way for Google to hedge its bet at the start the experiment with a new advertiser, and I think that it become less important as account history builds. Unlike organic search, for AdWords, Google cares less about providing an excellent search match than about maximizing clicks. Over 90% of its revenue comes from advertising.
On a more practical note, here's some recommendations. If you have a specific landing page that you don't want indexed in the search engines, I don't think you have to do any more on-page SEO than creating a good title, meta description tag, and H1 header that in the best case aligns with the search keyword. If the landing page is a webpage on your site, then on-page SEO is essential.
But most important, the only thing that sets your ad apart from competitors is the creative. Write excellent ads and constantly A/B test them, hopefully naming winners based on conversions. Remember that ads should drive qualified leads, not just traffic, so quality score is not the ultimate measure of success, return on ad spend is. You may write ads that are meant to disqualify searchers (like by including pricing for high-end goods), and thus results in lower CTR. For your keywords with the most impressions, review your auction insights reports and do searches to evaluate the competition's creative. Then write better ads!
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