User First – Revenue Later

On the Adwords Blog, Google has just released more information on the Update to their Landing Page initiative. Although this probably won’t affect the majority of my readers, this will no doubt affect some of them that have not put the attention on their landing pages as they should have in the past.

Here is a highlight from the article, in terms of what this means:

Why are you focusing on landing page quality?
The goal of our ongoing landing page quality initiative is to improve the experience of our users by providing high quality results not only in the ad text, but also once the user has clicked through to the site. We strongly believe that an excellent experience on the advertiser’s site is an essential element in earning the continued trust of our users. Clearly, the better the user experience, the more likely it is that users (who are also your potential customers) will continue to seek out — and click on — AdWords ads over the long term. This is to the advantage of everyone: users, advertisers, and Google alike.

Effectively what Google is trying to do is increase the value of its advertising network by ensuring that when a user clicks on a paid ad, they are taken to a page that is relevant. I think long-term, Google will prove this is the best strategy to have to ensure the value of their advertising network.

From personal experience, nothing ticks me off more than linking on an Adwords ad only to get to a page that contains links to the topic that I was trying to get to anyway – in the search term this is called Search Arbitrage – See post on Search Arbitrage – Good or Evil at Search Engine Watch.

The lesson here for all small to medium sized businesses, is a) make sure the content on your websites is relevant, b) if you engage in search marketing – target your advertising to the users as well as the landing pages, and c) don’t get caught up in the volume of clicks, rather track the quality of your users and their impact on conversions and revenues.