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Profits Murdered By Google Adwords

July 20, 2006 by  

After reading Graywolf’s experience with AdWords and how he had to pull the plug after the recent changes made by Google Adwords Quality Score, I kind of feeling a little bit lucky for not being affected negatively by the new algorithm changes.

Graywolf writes:

When I changed my landing page there was minimal increase in average time on site and number of pages viewed. My original landing page had a zen-like brevity to it,consisting of the following elements a top graphical banner, a product description, a product image, and a “buy button”.

The page was an island with no way in or out to other parts of the site. After speaking with some Adwords reps on the phone it was suggested I “improve the user experience” some suggestions were add alternative navigation, add more information and customer testimonials. So I took the main website template and set the landing page inside of it. I lengthened the product description, and added some reviews. After calling and requesting a re-review nothing changed.

From my experience, when it comes to creating effective landing page, less is better. What I do not understand is why AdWords reps suggested the addition of alternative navigation, that’s a complete no no in my opinion.

Adding more customer testimonials should increase confident towards the offer. When writing a longer description about the products, putting it in bullet points should work better than normal paragraph.

In an effort to stay ahead of the competition Graywolf had increased the CPC three times more than the normal cost. At the same time he tried to regain the lower CPC by improving the “user experience”. The potential customers now started to browser all over without purpose.

I think this is one of the main mistakes here. The extra navigation had diluted the focus of the landing page. When potential visitors are given extra options, it usually reduces the chance of conversion.

I feel sorry for him but I guess things can still be fixed. What I’d like to know is if his competitors are affected too. If they are, then perhaps the niche that he is in falls into the grey area according to Google. I don’t know.

I’m not trying to show off here but I personally find my campaigns are not affected negatively since the AdWords Quality score change. I feel lucky to find that my average CPC has actually reduced and my conversion rates have increased a little bit but I’ll give it sometime before I could confirm this trend.

Anyway, if anybody interested, you can find some landing page tips that I’ve written previously here:

5 Big Mistakes in Landing Page Design That Reduce Conversion Rates

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