Search Queries and Landing Pages

One of the biggest problems in any SEM account is overlooking the relationship of keywords and landing pages.  Some of the smallest differences in a search query can make the biggest differences in landing pages.  An example of this that I recently came across was for an e-commerce client who has see a dip in performance during the recession.  A recent trend in searches alerted our team to the problem that was occurring and how it was causing account performance issues.

In reviewing the search query data, our team found that the newest trend in searches were all price-related, a new trend for a seller of premium products.  Now while it would make sense to pause the terms causing the issues and add all the appropriate negatives: cheap, discounted, sale

Our team looked into the analytical data and found some very interesting pieces of information.  First, the keywords themselves were landing on a page that was sorted by “popular items”, not by price from lowest to cheapest.  Second, the visitors didn’t have poor engagement metrics on the site, in fact we found the average time on site, page views and bounce rates were better than the site average.  What this told our staff is that the traffic itself isn’t unqualified, seen in the engagement that was occurring, however they weren’t finding what was relevant immediately. The change we made next was to land traffic on pages that were sorted by pricing which immediately improved the conversion rates for these “price-related” terms.

Another case we recently came across was with a client who was selling items that are “i-mac” compatible.  We found that this ad group of terms was not converting well for the client and again our team reviewed the landing pages and analytics before pausing the terms.  Based on the engagement metrics and the click path, we found that most of the traffic was bouncing from the landing page and those that remained had average page views that we much higher than the site average. This was a sign that visitors were not finding the landing page relevant which caused them to either leave the site or search extensively to find it.  When reviewing the landing page, we found the issue to be that the landing page itself did not highlight the fact the products were “i-mac” compatiable. Our immediate recommendations were to create headers that pointed this information out to the visitors as this is what the search intention was.

In closing, search query data will tell you the intent of the search visitors coming to your site.  By overlooking this information, you can run the risk of moving away from qualified traffic by shutting down the terms rather than meet the needs of your visitors.  It is always good to evaluate the search query, the landing page and the analytical data between the two.  This will point you in the direction of what landing pages are needed to further your success online….