Whether you want to use PPC, Pay-Per-Click marketing for your website, you should take a look at how Google scores ads to move them up in results and even charge less per click for a higher position. Google wants ad revenue, and they’re charging you for that click. Ads that get more clicks are rewarded with higher ad scores, but there are other factors in the scoring that Google uses for the visitor. They want visitors to love Google and not use Bing or other search engines, so they want visitors to have a good experience when they click on one of those paid ads at the top of a search.
1. CTR, Click-Through-Ratio: Technically, this is more about the revenue for Google, but it does have a bearing on the other items here. CTR is the ratio of clicks on the ad related to how many times it is displayed. In other words, if an ad is displayed 100 times and is clicked 15 times, the CTR is 15%. Higher CTR means Google gets more of your ad money, but it also indicates that you’ve written an ad that attracts attention and somehow answers the search question of the visitor better than other ads. You and Google want a high CTR.
2. Time on Landing Page: Google then tracks how long that visitor stays on your landing page. Why? If they click right off, then they must not have found what they were searching for, or your site turned them off somehow. If they find the information they were seeking, they tend to stay longer to consume the content. This is logical, and it’s what you want as well. Even if they get to one of your pages in navigating through your site, if they click off right away, then they must not have found what they expected when they clicked to go there.
3. Any actions they take on the landing page: If you have good relevant content on the landing page and you have some kind of offer of more information via email or an order form, do they take the action you want? If Google sees that a visitor arrives on the landing page from the search, stays there and takes action like submitting a form or placing an order, your ad score jumps up. It is proof to Google that your well-written ad took them to relevant content to answer their question, and then they wanted more from some offering on that page.
4. Moving around the site: When a search visitor doesn’t click away from your site from the landing page but instead clicks to another page on your site, it’s a plus for your ad score. This means that there was more relevant information of value to the visitor that they could get from leaving the landing page. This shows Google that your site has more value to the visitor than just the landing page.
Forget PPC for the moment and just consider those four points of value to Google and how they should be of value to you as well. If you have visitors arriving from free searches, you had great content and didn’t have to pay for it. If you keep them on the landing page or on other pages of the site, you are serving their needs. If they take action to buy or get more information, you’re on your way to a sale. That’s how a website should work.