Desirable Descent

What’s the most important facet of your AdWords campaign? Is it bidding on the most auspicious keywords in your industry? Very important but no. Ensuring that the keywords are highly relevant to the matched ads within a particular ad group? Crucial but not superlative. Invariably, the sacrosanct factor in your paid search equation is none other than your landing page quality

Google has further confirmed the above verity with the recent tweaking of its AdWords algorithm to give landing page quality more weight in the Quality Score formula. Whether you are managing your own paid search accounts or contracting management with an agency, the critical, top priority task of creating a high quality landing page is your responsibility. What makes a landing page quality, you ask? Follow the best practices and guidelines below to join the eminent advertisers in landing page salvation. 

Relevance – Relevance has always been touted as the paramount focus when creating and optimizing landing pages. Make sure your page is relevant to both the associated ads and keywords and to the searcher’s user experience after clicking through. Use similar and relative keywords when writing content and always keep the user in mind when considering what and what not to include on your landing page. 

Transparency – Don’t promote any special offers or products in your ad copy if you are not prepared to follow through on your landing page. If your ad copy suggests a sale on socks, there better be some discounted hosiery clearly visible. Even more nuanced, don’t advertise German Shepard specific dog food if your landing page is selling chow for Border Collies. Google will not be deceived and the requital is far from worth it. 

Usability – From navigation to aesthetics, user experience will go a long way. Bear the shoes of the searcher and scrutinize every business-driven decision that you’re thinking about making. It would be an ironic tragedy for that unattractive ad at the top of your page to lead to your Quality Score being vitiated. 

Always keep the above three principles in mind when crafting your landing page. If your proclivity is for lead generation, I have even more goodies for you! 

Focus on the Lead Form – The star of your landing page should be the lead form—this is the primary purpose of the landing page. Over-emphasizing details and prices can confuse consumers and lead to a drop in conversion rates.

  • Hyperlinks – Links to other parts of the site are helpful for direct website traffic, but when it comes to lead generation landing pages, too many links can confuse the visitor and result in clicks to other pages instead of a lead form fill out. 
  • Simple Design – The simpler the design the better. There is less room for clutter and more room for the lead form plus basic information relevant to your product / service. Specific costs for every single type of package is unnecessary—this is reserved for the sales person who will be contacting the prospective client. 
  • Above The Fold – Visitors should not be forced to scroll down to the bottom or middle of the page to fulfill the desired action. When designing a landing page specifically for paid search traffic, try to include all appropriate information “above the fold” with no or little scrolling necessary. This will give a clear and concise display of the lead form, and optimally, simplify the user’s experience. 

You are now prepared to create an optimized landing page that Google will indubitably be enamored by so get to designing and prepare yourself for Quality Score rapture. 

Not Quite the Final Frontier

One of my favorite games to play in my youth was Oregon Trail. Loosely based on the experiences of frontiersmen, this game taught me the meaning of chasing the American dream and the importance of rationing! In a recent article, a columnist pointed how there is no longer a frontier and this has a lot to do with the stalemate in business growth in modern America.

While we can no longer easily exploit natural resources, shear ingenuity has created a new frontier–the web. More recently, millions of savvy net users have been able to access the web at any point using their smart phones. According to the Pew Research Center, over one third (35%) of American adults own a smart phone.  

Smartphone owners use their device in a variety of ways, from searching for the nearest food deals to shopping for a pair of rain boots after stepping into a giant puddle (personal experience). The question is, “Is your mobile site optimized to capitalize on the resources of this new frontier?”

Adhere to traditional SEO practices. For example, optimize your meta description, title tags, content, and alt tags.

Let Google know that you have a mobile site. Create a mobile sitemap and submit it using Google webmaster tools, just like a standard sitemap.

Verify that Google can recognize your mobile URLs.  If it is determined that your web page is not viewable on mobile devices it will not be included in Google’s mobile site index. Check that your URLs are mobile-friendly.

These few steps can ensure that your business is on the frontlines of this new frontier. While this is a great place to begin, there is still much more an advertiser can do to increase the results of mobile SEO. For more information visit Google’s starter guide

Right Brained SEO

SEO can be a very nebulous and frightening concept, especially with all that talk about spiders and robots.  During the seminal stages of an SEO campaign, it is much easier to regard the big picture before even considering the meticulous pixels. Starting with the latter can lead to confusion, and possibly dramatic increases in blood pressure, so slow your roll, tap into your brain’s bored and lonely right hemisphere, and prepare yourself for search engine enlightenment.

There are three high level disciplines that ought to be pondered at the inception of any SEO campaign:


Content is the ruler, and it will remain so as long as the relevance party is in power. When examining the content discipline at a high level, the first step is to find peace with the fact that if you do not commit to creating original, useful content, then your SEO efforts will be vitiated from the start. All you have to do is identify some opportune keywords that you want to rank for and implant them within your unique content in a concentrated way that does not take away from the user reading experience. Don’t forget that you are going to have to conjure up some keyword rich, fresh content for all of your online outlets, not just your company site. But that’s a little too granular for this overview so breathe easy.


Search engine algorithms follow certain protocols when crawling sites, and there are plenty of ways to optimize your site’s source code to acquiesce to those algorithmic impulses. The key here is to understand that you will need to alter the underlying structure of your website so that it is properly optimized to be found and completely indexed by search engines.


Your online authority will be search engine scrutinized and appraised, which will of course have an effect on your site’s rankings. Online authority is measured by how much of a presence your site has across the internet and the quantity (but more importantly quality) of other sites linking back to you. Google uses an evaluation called PageRank, which can be regarded as a link popularity score. See to it that your site has shed the appropriate pounds, applied the most auspicious amount of makeup, and schmoozed the right individuals (or in this case websites), because these judges can’t be paid off.

See, SEO is easy! Upon diving into all of the tiny tweaks and specifications that make up a successful SEO campaign, if you find yourself drowning in a sea of augmented reality, just think back to these three simple disciplines. Take a sip of coconut water, center your chi, and get back to it – the site isn’t going to optimize itself.