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Digital Marketing

How to make Google love your landing pages

12 October 2020

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Building landing pages for your ads to make them really work

This blog post is part of our series called “pretty useless”. In this series we explore why having a pretty website isn’t always the best choice for reaching your overall goal – maximising conversion. 

Google Search Ads are fantastic at driving ‘ready to buy’ traffic to your website. Due to the fact that targeting is based on keyword searches, you are working with hot leads who are already interested in what you have to offer.

There are three main metrics which determine your Quality Score, which essentially tells you what Google thinks of your campaign. In this case, Google’s opinion is more important than your own preferences, as they will determine your ads’ success.

  1. Expected click-through rate is an indicator that “measures how likely it is that your ads will get clicked when shown for that keyword”.
  2. Ad Relevance is a rating based on your ad content and how it aligns with the keywords in your ads.
  3. Finally, and crucially for this article, is Landing Page Experience, which “describes whether your landing page is likely to provide a good experience to customers who click your ad and land on your website”.

Whilst Google are incredibly secretive about what exactly goes into their algorithms for rating websites, they do give us hints which we will discuss below. Hopefully this will help you next time you are looking to put together a campaign for your hotel or venue.

 

Would you like Umi to put our expertise into practice for your campaign?

Get in touch with the team.

But before we dive in, what exactly is a landing page in our situation? It’s a single page on your website, tailored specifically to the people seeing your ad, with one very specific end goal. For instance, the goal could be ‘booking the Christmas offer’ and your landing page URL could look something like myhotel.co.uk/christmas-staycation-2020

Original, relevant & useful content

Of course, your entire website should consist of only original, relevant and useful content. However, this is even more important for landing pages, if trying to maximise the success of your search ad. In practise this means: if you are looking to promote winter breaks at your hotel, create a page showing winter breaks, with an offer deep linked into the booking engine. Additionally, make sure you include useful information or features. These could be 3D tours of the rooms, ‘what’s included’ lists or a price calculator widget.

Page load time & site speed

Google loves fast landing pages. Not only does a fast page enhance the user experience (slow sites are one of users’ biggest turn offs) and boost your SEO benefits, it also creates preference for your Google search ads.

Unfortunately, some website elements that we consider pretty and shiny can slow your website down significantly. It’s our designers’ and developers’ job to balance looks and performance, in order to generate as many direct bookings as possible.

If you want your landing page to load faster, having lower image sizes or hosting videos off the page (YouTube/Vimeo) are great ways of cutting this down. Another great method is to create an accelerated mobile page (AMP). This is essentially a streamlined way of coding a webpage to avoid the common issues that lead to slow mobile page loads.

Click here to test your site and find out your site speed.

 

Would you like to talk about making your next landing page with AMPs?

Get in touch with the team.

Transparency & trust

Google appreciates transparency and trust when it comes to data collection, click bait and shifty behaviour.

The best way to adhere to this point is to explain your product offering and keep sponsored links and ads separate from the rest of your internal links. Don’t ask for personal information unless you are clear what you will do with it, and of course, remember to be GDPR compliant across your entire web presence.

Easy navigation on all platforms

Rather than just focussing on looks, organise and design your page with the user in mind, so they don’t have to hunt around for information. Make sure the landing page takes users exactly to the offer/room they are looking for by placing priority content above the fold. Remember to disable any pop-ups that might distract from the end goal.

Know and understand their policies

Finally, the Google Ads policies outline which content and practises might be considered unsuitable. 

So, what is a successful landing page?

To sum up, a successful landing page is one that prioritises function over looks, while adhering to Google’s expectations. When creating an ad, don’t ignore the impact of your landing page. Before setting up your landing page, remind yourself of the end goal of this specific landing page. This end goal can be different from your overall website goal. Work through the steps outlined above and if in doubt, keep it simple. Or contact us, we are always happy to help!

 

Do you need help setting up ads and landing pages?

Get in touch with the team.

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Umi provide free 60 min consultations for any project!

We have a structured 60 minute session that explores all the areas of your inbound direct booking strategy for your hotel or travel business.