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Landing Sites – The Importance of Unique Content and Site Structure

A landing site is the all-important 'bridge' between your link and the actual sale or lead that you need, and is especially important if you're using a PPC campaign. Because every single visitor to that page costs money, it's essential that you maximise the potential of each and every visit. You probably won't be surprised to learn that the content and structure of a landing page can make a huge difference to its potential. In this report, you'll learn about the Google Quality Score and why it's so important to PPC campaigns, how to optimise a landing page, how to test its efficiency, and what not to do if you want to turn clicks into real leads.

Google Quality Scoring

If you already have a basic grasp of pay-per-click, you'll know that users of Google AdWords and other PPC marketing systems bid on a price-per-click, and that that bid determines where your ad will appear on the results page. You may not already have known, however, that bid price is not the only factor that determines where your ad appears. It also depends on its Quality Score. In fact, in many cases the Quality Score can be even more important than the bid price. Many of your competitors may be able to appear higher on the results page than you, by actually bidding less, by having a strong Quality Score.

Google has stated that Quality Score is affected by three factors:

  • Relevant and original content
  • Transparency
  • Ease of navigation

As a general rule, it's probably safe to assume that the Google Quality Score is very similar to the Google Panda search algorithm, which is able to weed out poor quality content and penalise these sites' results. But when it comes to landing pages, relevancy is perhaps even more important to the Quality Score than it is to the Panda algorithm. Google is always looking for ways to improve the searcher's experience, and what could be more frustrating than clicking on an advert that says 'tree surgeon for hire' and ending up on a page that sells gardening implements?

Google understands that the customer wants a page that is exactly matched to the query they have searched for. This makes sense for sales too ; a customer is likely to click off if they have searched for a term that's different (sometimes only marginally) to the term that the page is optimised for.

This is why so many business owners choose to make separate landing pages for each product they are selling, and sometimes for each variation of a keyword. It's important not to make too many similar pages, however, as Google will then see this as a lack of originality. Each page should be completely unique and completely tailored in every way to the specific product that it's selling.

When it comes to transparency, what Google is looking for is a clearness of purpose. They don't rate pages that use underhand or 'sneaky' tactics. They want a direct sales process. They want it to be clear what the page is trying to sell, whether that is a product or a service. If it's a service, they want it to be clear exactly what the service is and what that involves. If it's a product, they want clear pictures and a lucid description.

Every landing page should be designed with the user experience in mind, which is why Google also prioritises ease of navigation. There should be no confusing links, which can also lead the viewer to click away from your pitch, and a clear structural hierarchy. I would advise having perhaps just one link on a landing page, to your homepage, and to have it after you have delivered your call-to-action without distraction.

Compelling Copy

However, a landing page should never be designed with just its Google Quality Score in mind. After all, it's not all about the price-per-click. The most important factor is getting that click to turn into a real purchase or lead, and for that you need unique, engaging, compelling copy.

It's estimated that the average landing page has just 8 seconds to prove its worth to a potential customer , so it really does need to grab the customer immediately. If not, that back button is just too easy to click. Even good landing pages only ever reach about a 2.5% conversion rate, however , so you can take that as an indication of how difficult it can be to grab that customer's attention. Whatever you're asking a customer to do, whether that's to fill in an opt-in form, download a free report, or reach for their credit card details, it can be hard to overcome the customer's natural reticence. The only way to do it is to convince them that they really want to do it.

It's all well and good saying the copy should be compelling, but what exactly does that mean? Here are some examples of what you might find on a landing page that sells a diet ebook :

Diet is a so important healthy subject. when we decide to do diet we must know that diet requires discipline. Diet is sum of the foods consumed by people or other organism. People generally eat their habits foods. these foods usually are their cultural diet habits.

Yes, for the first time in history you can actually lose fat incredibly fast, gain calorie-burning lean muscle at the same time, and finish with a metabolism faster than when you first began. And you'll do it in just 25 short days.

Incidentally, those are both real landing pages that I found in the top organic search results of Google when I searched for the keywords 'diet ebook.' This is a pretty obvious example, but as you can see the first piece of copy doesn't make grammatical sense, hasn't even been properly capitalised, and was most likely written by someone with poor English language skills. The second piece of copy states exactly and immediately what the page is about and what it is selling - a 25 day diet plan designed to improve your resting metabolic rate.

However, even the second piece of copy isn't quite as good as it might be. There are so many sites out there promising 'incredibly fast weight loss!' and 'calorie burning lean muscle!' that it isn't particularly unique, which it means it isn't particularly compelling. If the message is one the reader has already seen or heard a million times before, they are unlikely to be suddenly and spontaneously interested, so always bear that in mind.

Here are some good, but very different examples from UPS and Clearvale:;

UPS Clearvale

Never before have so many companies of so many different sizes been able to source from so many parts of the world and sell to so many people around it. There's something more specific than technology enabling this: Logistics.

Logistics is a creative force: it allows you to serve customers not only better but in new ways; to reach markets faster, and to export to new ones.

Is it really social business, or is that just JIVE talkin?

As you can see, the UPS copy is quite inspiring. Logistics is a creative force! There's nothing limp about it; it is genuinely compelling. Clearvale has taken a different tactic, with a landing page that contains just one enigmatic sentence. It's a dangerous tactic, but I'd say in this case it works spectacularly. The single sentence really is intriguing and makes you want to click onward, even if that click means having to fill out an opt-in form. What they both have in common is that they are both unique and both effectively express the individual personality of their businesses.

Site Structure

You may not expect it, but the structure of your landing page is actually just as important as its actual content, both in terms of its Google Quality Score and for actual customer experience. It's the structure, just as much as the actual content, that steers your customers toward the final call-to-action. If your landing page is to be successful, this structure should be clearly thought out.

The first thing to bear in mind is that there shouldn't be too many distractions or opportunities to leave the page. This means that a landing page should be quite different from a normal page on your site. For clarity of navigation, you would usually have a menu at the top and perhaps a sub-menu on top, as well as a link-trail back to your home page from any page on your site. On a landing page, ideally there shouldn't be any distracting links. If you want to direct your reader to your homepage, this should come only after the call to action.

Most SEO experts would agree that scrolling should be kept to a minimum, and your great opening piece as well as ideally a photograph (if relevant) should come 'above the fold,' which means the top half of the screen before any scrolling is necessary . For some reason, a great many landing pages seem to have been constructed in the belief that the exact opposite is true; you must have as much text as possible and a long, continuously scrolling page. While you do wish to make a great case so that your final call-to-action, when it comes, is almost welcomed by your reader, the chances are viewers will get bored and stop half way through if your copy is too verbose. And as we have seen from Clearvale, sometimes just the tiniest little paragraph of punchy, enigmatic and intriguing sales copy is enough.


The only real way to know if the content and structure of your landing page is effective is by testing it. The best method and the one most commonly used is a method known as A/B testing, which basically means showing visitors two versions of your site – the A version and the B version – and seeing which one is more effective. Usually the A version will be your site as it is, and the B version will be a site where one small tweak has been made. This way you can go through all the features of your site individually, assess their effectiveness, and adjust your site accordingly.

Don't think that just because you've made your site your work is done! It's important to constantly test your site's features and monitor its returns. Keyword trends can change with a moment's notice , as can customer preferences. While they may have once engaged with a certain technique, that can change over time. Never sit on your laurels with Internet marketing; in such a fast-paced world things can change at the drop of a hat.

Optimised Landing Pages

Given the amount of time that goes into keyword research, PPC ad campaigns, customer surveys, copywriting and site design, as well as landing page testing, sometimes it simply makes good business sense to outsource the whole process. Although you can, of course, learn all these things yourself through a painstaking process of trial and error, it's often best to recruit an expert who already has a good sense of how to target specific markets, and how to avoid the most common landing page pitfalls.

Zanity can provide optimised landing pages that will immediately score highly on Google's Quality Score, and that will both attract and sustain the customer's attention. They can do all this without sacrificing the individual personality of your own business, because they know how crucial brand identity is to successful Internet marketing.

For a web presence that's light years ahead of the competition, contact Zanity today.

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