This week I’m studying for the annual AdWords Advanced exam – in my case the Advanced Search Exam. In my study I was reviewing some fundamental material, which I thought might be useful to share with those in marketing but are not in AdWords. This may give you an insight into how Google thinks…
Key to any marketing is understanding consumer behaviour. When it comes to online, one unquestionable authority on this is Google. Google’s understanding of how consumers traverse the web is second to none because of the immense amount of data it collects and analyses. It is for this reason that any recommendations that Google makes regarding what consumers want from a website is worth paying attention.
For Certified AdWords consultants this is pretty much second nature, simply because we have to work with Google to deliver results for clients. In fact, as part of our regular certification exams we have to know inside and out all material provided to us by Google. One section in there is “Understanding Landing Page Experience”. Here are the three key points that Google focuses on:
- provide relevant, useful, and original content,
- promote transparency and foster trustworthiness on your site, and
- make it easy for customers to navigate your site (including on mobile sites).
This may sound very simplistic but Google goes into a lot more detail on each point. For example, under the first point, Google expands with a number of questions, including: “Is the purpose of your site clear?”. In other words, when a visitor lands on your Home page, is there a paragraph that explains what the site is about?
Most of these recommendations are quite simple, yet they are absolutely essential to the total user experience. You probably think your site is perfect, but just take a minute to go through these and see if you can pick up one or two that may be missing or have room for improvement…
- Relevant, useful and original content
- Is the purpose of your site clear?
- Is your site actually useful to visitors? Do people feel like they accomplished what they wanted to accomplish when they clicked on your ad and visited your site?
- How original is the content on your site? What does your site offer that other sites don’t?
- Does your site add value to visitors? Do people feel like their time was well spent on your website?
- Does your site provide content that visitors expected to find when they clicked on your ad?
- Transparency and trustworthiness
- Is your business and contact information easy to find?
- Are you upfront about any information you’re collecting from visitors?
- Can people trust that you’ll safeguard the information they give you? Is it clear how that information will be used to benefit them?
- Can people easily tell what’ll happen when they perform an action on your site?
- Do people feel like you’re hiding the true purpose of your site, or not telling them what they need to know?
- Can people trust you’ll be able to deliver the goods or services they’re looking for?
- Ease of navigation
- Is it easy for people to find what they’re looking for (including on mobile sites)?
- Does your site have too many links that might confuse people?
- Can people easily find information to learn more or answer questions?
- Are there annoying pop-ups, too many ads, or other distractions that get in the way?
If you’re managing your own AdWords account, here’s a video that may also help: