I talked a bit about the Adwords quality score yesterday, and the importance of landing pages.

Let’s expand on landing pages today, because they’re important for more than just boosting your Adwords quality score. Basically, what’s good for your quality score is good for your campaign.

So what’s the purpose of a landing page outside of quality score issues?

Think about marketing a particular product through an affiliate link. You aren’t the only one marketing that product, and the chances are good that all the best keywords already have players with money to toss around. Breaking into those keywords would be expensive. So we target long-tail keywords. How do we come up with the long-tail keywords to target?

We brainstorm unique reasons why someone might want to buy the product.

Let me use the product from the first advertising exercise over at The Advisory Panel as an example. The product was the Liar Card, a calling card that can tell you if the person you’re talking to on the phone is lying. Advisory Panel members brainstormed that people might want to use this if they don’t trust their car mechanic, if they think their spouse is lying to them, if they think their children are lying to them, etc. There are lots of reasons why someone might want to use this card.

But, if you send someone who doesn’t trust their mechanic to the Liar Card landing page, you’re relying on that person to put two and two together and realize they can use the card to double check what their mechanic is saying. Most people won’t do that.

A landing page is your opportunity to get between your Adwords ad and the product sales page, and explain how your visitor’s need and the product match up. A landing page for people who don’t trust their mechanic would walk them through the process of getting a Liar Card, calling their mechanic, and would suggest specific questions to ask the mechanic. Take as much independent thought out of the process as possible, and you’ll have higher conversions.

So while a nicely targeted landing page will increase your Adwords quality score and make it cheaper to get clicks, the real purpose is to bridge the gap between the problem your visitor has and the solution you’re offering.

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