Landing pages are the last step in most online marketing conversion processes. In pay-per click , they are the page a visitor is sent to after she clicks on your ad; AdWords landing pages  present you with two crucial lasts:
- This is your last opportunity to tell me, the consumer, about your product or service.
- This is your last chance to get me to buy, download, or fill out.
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As I navigate to this page, I need to answer two important questions and remember one crucial fact:
- How did I get here? Tracking the conversion path I followed to get to this landing page lets you craft a specific message that speaks directly to what I set out to accomplish at the beginning of my search. This is particularly powerful when looked at in terms of search engine marketing , as PPC  campaigns actually force you to connect the words a person used at the outset of their conversion process to a landing page.
- What do you want me to do? This seems obvious, but online advertisers often get so caught up in design and messaging that they forget to get out of their own way and tell me, the consumer, exactly what they want me to buy or download or fill out. Making sure your landing pages include a clear call to action is a big part of conversion optimization .
- I'm busy! Make sure your page loads quickly, and create a conversion process that's as quick, simple, and straight forward as possible. Imagine putting in all the work of researching keywords , strategically grouping them, creating compelling ad text , actually getting a prospect to start to do whatever it is you want them to do, and losing a potential customer in the last (overly complicated) step of the conversion process!
The good news is, by crafting a landing page that fulfills the above criteria, you're procuring a pricing discount for yourself while you increase conversions.
Let's take a visual look at what we mean by a "good" user experience:
The user is looking for "bread machines." I answer with an ad for bread machines:
Once a user clicks on my ad (which is enticing, because it matches her query exactly), she is taken to a landing page having to do with bread machines:
Here we see that the search has matched the ad text, which has matched our landing page content, making for a very happy user who is likely to buy.
In the coming paragraphs, we'll show you how to leverage tools to create an environment where you can consistently create landing pages that are friendly for searchers and friendly for search engines (so that you can get more conversions...for less).
landing page quality score
Publishing targeted landing pages with a clear, simple conversion process is:
- Good for You - You get a pricing discount and increase conversions.
- Good for the Searcher - They're taken to a page talking about exactly what they were looking for (and what your ad was talking about).
- Good for Google and the Other Search Engines - Happy searchers and happy advertisers make for happy search engines. This is so good for the search engines, in fact, that they created a system for rewarding targeted ads and well-constructed landing pages.
This system is called Quality Score .
Quality Score affects the position of your ads , and how much you're paying for each click.
Google's Quality Score takes into account the following factors in evaluating landing pages:
- Landing Page Load Time – Google grades your landing pages based on how quickly they load. Making sure that a page loads quickly improves searcher experience (and Google wants to encourage the practice of making searchers happy).
- Landing Page Relevance – Google and co. offer pricing rewards to advertisers who can successfully sync landing pages with the keywords that trigger an ad for the following three reasons:
- It's important to any search engine that they retain searchers.
- The best way to do this is to put that searcher in touch with content that satisfies their search.
- Thus, search engines want even their paid advertisements to be relevant to a user's query.
Optimizing for load time is pretty straight forward. Test load times, and if your page is slow, get together with your Web developer or IT team to make it load faster.
Optimizing for relevance is a bit trickier...
build an effective landing page system
If you have one specific offer, and don't particularly care how many people hear about it, then creating a relevant landing page is pretty easy.
Most businesses, however, have:
- A number of phrases and thousands upon thousands of phrase variations that people use to talk about their company and their offering.
- And/or a wide range of products or services they're looking to generate interest in.
This leads to the need for robust search marketing campaigns. It becomes necessary to harness the long tail of search ; you'll need to include numerous keywords, group them carefully and effectively, and generate ad text that speaks to each group of searched keywords.
And you'll have to put together optimized landing pages .
Since what you're after, as an advertiser, is a means of crafting relevant landing pages that will convert (and convert for less, thanks to Quality Score), the best idea is to set up a system for having landing page content suggested to you.
This system should be directly connected to your PPC account so that the keywords people have used to reach your landing page can be leveraged to inform the landing page itself.
landing page copy and landing page layout
WordStream offers you various means of having Quality Score friendly landing page copy and conversion friendly landing page layouts suggested to you. Let's imagine we're the owners of a bread machine company attempting to sell our product online:
As we can see in the above illustration, WordStream's ad text editor will suggest quality score friendly keywords to include in ad text. This data can be leveraged for landing page creation, as well. We now have a good idea of what keywords are driving visitors within a given Ad Group . This information can be leveraged for two key purposes:
- Correlate your ad text with your landing page content.
- Structure your landing page (placing the keywords more searchers are using to get to your page more prominently).
Thus, you can utilize the data mined by WordStream to create more compelling landing pages that will generate more sales and leads at a lower cost. You can even use WordStream to track existing landing pages and prioritize content for AdGroups that don't yet have a specific landing page !
More than Just a landing page how to
For help creating better landing pages, you can take a look at our WordStream Ad Text and Landing Page Guide  or hire an AdWords Consultant  with experience leveraging keyword sresearch tools to create successful PPC ads.