Optimize landing pages for paid search advertising

1. Within Google Ads, or your advertising platform of choice, navigate to the ad group that contains the landing page you want to review.

You can also review landing page performance directly from the Landing page tab, but it’s best to review the landing page within the context of each specific ad group from which it’s serving, rather than at an aggregate level. Using this approach, you may end up optimizing a single landing page by creating several separate variants.

2. Navigate to the keyword list in the ad group, and note whether your landing page headline matches the theme of the keywords. If it doesn't, you'll need to create a new variant of the page to make optimizations specific to the theme of the ad group.

The keywords in an ad group should all be similarly-themed. If there’s no theme, your landing page optimizations won’t drive consistent results. Consider optimizing your account structure in addition to your landing page.

3. In your keyword data table, select the columns icon. Add columns for Quality Score and Landing page exp. and click Apply.

4. Note which keywords show a Landing page experience of Below average. This is an indication that optimizations are needed.

It’s possible for very similar, or even identical keywords to have different Landing page experiences. Quality score is not an exact science. Use it as a guide to catch opportunities for improvement you might have missed.

5. Improve your site speed, particularly on mobile. This impacts your Landing page experience and quality score, and can improve user experience.

You can use tools like Think with Google to test your site speed and follow the recommendations on how to optimize your site speed on mobile.

6. Improve a poor Landing Page experience by making the page more relevant to the keyword. At a minimum, include the keyword in the headline and the URL, if possible.

The headline should make it immediately clear that the page will answer the intent of the search. This is also known as message match.

7. Review the ad group's search term data in Keywords > Search terms, to see what people are typing into Google before they land on your page.

If there’s a disconnect between what the page is about and the top search terms, improve the likelihood of a conversion by either tightening your keywords, or updating your landing page to reflect what your visitors are searching for.

8. Within your ad group, review your ads and extensions for CTR and conversion rate.

Is your landing page delivering on the expectations, promises, and calls to action set by your ads? If not, either update your landing page so it better matches the messages that most resonate with your audience, or update your ads to set more accurate expectations of what your visitor will get after the ad click.

9. Do some basic competitive research by conducting a Google search using one of your search terms. Review the landing pages of competing ads and top listings.

Is your offer competitive and attractive to your target audience? Note where your landing page falls short, and how you can improve it. Even if your ad wins the click, it’s very likely that your visitor is clicking other ads and links, and comparing your offer against others. It’s not enough for your ad to be competitive, your landing page needs to be competitive too!

10. Give people reasons to take action. Message match alone doesn't motivate people to convert.