It’s commonly accepted that Pay-Per Click (PPC) doesn’t affect Search Engine Optimisation (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 are lethal when used in combination.
It’s commonplace to set up individual landing pages for PPC, but this isn’t always practical. In a lot of cases, it might be necessary to use the same landing pages for PPC and SEO.
If your SEO and PPC landing pages are the same then it’s inevitable that your on-page SEO efforts will impact PPC. These SEO changes can make a difference by impacting landing page experience.
What Is Landing Page Experience?
Google Ads considers the landing page experience when deciding where ads will appear in the 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 offers a poor experience for users then it may restrict ad delivery, or even stop delivery all together. It’s therefore crucial that your landing pages deliver a great experience to users.
Landing page experience is just one part of Ad Rank (the calculation Google uses to determine ad positioning), so it shouldn’t be looked at in isolation. Nevertheless, improving landing page experience can have a big impact on SEO and PPC performance.
How To Improve Landing Page Experience
Landing page experience is impacted by a number of things, including:
- Landing Page Content
- Landing Page Speed
- Landing Page Mobile Experience
- Trust Signals
- Linking and Site Architecture
These factors are all key to improving SEO performance, but they also have a big impact on landing page experience. Therefore, make sure you’re covering all these bases flawlessly to improve PPC performance.
Let’s take a closer look at the elements that make up landing page experience and what to do to improve it.
Landing Page Content
Landing page content is important for both SEO and PPC.
SEO landing pages are often more detailed, giving users detailed information. PPC landing pages, on the other hand, are often more commercially focused and to the point.
Despite subtle differences, SEO and PPC landing pages share two key similarities; they should be useful and unique.
It’s best practice for landing page content to be specific when a user is searching for something specific. Whereas it should be general when a user is looking for something general, such as PPC management.
For example, if someone is searching for an Ecosia PPC specialist, they will expect the landing page to be focused on Ecosia, not other types of PPC, such as Google Ads.
Ultimately, landing page content should be clear, concise and to the point.
Landing Page Speed
How fast pages load has a big impact on SEO and PPC performance. In July 2018, Google announced that speed is now a landing page factor for Google Ads. Likewise, the 2021 Google Page Experience Update will make page speed an even more important factor for SEO. Google usually holds their cards quite close to their chest, but they couldn’t be more explicit here.
There are a number of things that impact page speed. As a digital marketing consultant, the things I see most regularly are large image file sizes, excessive code bloat and a lack of caching.
Resizing and compressing images, reducing unnecessary code and setting up caching can really improve page speed. That said, all websites are different. Make sure to check out PageSpeed Insights to get recommendations on what you need to focus on to improve speeds.
Landing Page Mobile Experience
Providing a great mobile experience is a crucial part of achieving higher rankings in organic and paid search.
A few years after page speed got baked into Google’s algorithm, Google announced that they would be switching to mobile first indexing for the whole web. This update had been rolling out for a few years, but it reinforces the importance of mobile first design, both for SEO and PPC landing pages.
Most websites are put together on desktop devices It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of optimising for desktop devices, especially considering most websites are put together on one. Don’t fear though, there are a number of tools out there to help you ensure your landing pages are mobile friendly.
Google provides a mobile friendly test that can help you to deliver the best experience for mobile users. If you want to go a step further then you could implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to deliver optimal mobile performance.
If your pages pass the mobile friendly test then that’s great, but this doesn’t give you the whole picture. Make sure you’re considering how content is structured on mobile too, with a focus on how easy it is for users to complete their goals.
You should make sure landing pages come across as open, honest and trustworthy from the get go. Building trust is a central part of SEO, with backlinks, engagement metrics and reputation all playing a part in Google’s ranking algorithm.
Trust has a central role in PPC too. Google wants to showcase businesses it knows will meet expectations, which makes trust a key part of landing page experience.
Ensure your landing pages openly share information about your business, products and services, whilst making contact information easy to find and forms easy to use.
Combining all these factors will ensure your landing pages are trusted by Google and your users.
Linking and Site Architecture
Internal links are a great way to help website users, and Googlebot, to navigate through your site, whilst building contextual relevance. Internal links aren’t used in the same way for PPC landing pages, but they could still improve landing page experience.
Many PPC landing pages offer a streamlined approach, with clear calls-to-action (CTAs) that provide a very linear user journey.
SEO landing pages, on the other hand, are often more detailed, providing more information about a given topic.
It’s important to strike a balance between these two approaches if you’re using the same landing pages for SEO and PPC. Too much information and the landing page might come across as spammy. Too little and the landing page might not perform as well in the organic search results.
How To Check Landing Page Experience
You can check landing page experience in Google Ads. Follow the steps below to check landing page experience:
- Log in to Google Ads
- Click Keywords on the sidebar menu from the Google Ads Dashboard
- Click Search Keywords
- Click the Columns button on the far right
- Click Modify Columns
- Click Quality Score
- Check the box titled Landing page exp.
- Click the blue Apply button
You should now see a column in your Google Ads keywords report that displays the landing page experience for each keyword.
Creating landing pages for SEO and PPC can be difficult to get right, so make sure you know how to create landing pages effectively. Ultimately, Give your users a great experience on your website and you’ll get great results in return.