Question: Is it important to optimize PPC landing pages, since they’re not indexed?
Question: What part of your directory structure do you put landing pages tied to PPC campaigns?
Question: aren’t question marks in URLs good for analytics tracking?
Answer: Yes, you should SEO optimize PPC / AdWords landing pages. First, for Google, put the keywords in the TITLE tag, META DESCRIPTION, use the H1 / H2 family, and put keyword heavy text on the page. But, second, for humans, make sure that the landing page is lively, and follows the CONFIRM, ENGAGE, ACT model. After all, a PPC / AdWords landing page should focus on a result, an action. So don’t forget the humans!
In terms of directory structure, I like to put my ads in a directory called ‘av’ so that I know that they are there, but I don’t call it ‘ads’ or ‘advertising’ because those pesky humans might read the URL and they don’t (generally) like ads. But segregate them into a unique directory, and exclude that via robots.txt. This is so that your metrics will be clean. You will know that 100% of the inbound traffic is coming to the AdWords directory FROM advertising. (No free traffic ‘contaminating it.’)
In terms of Google Analytics, IF the pages ARE ADVERTISING pages, then you can use any URL tracking system you want, including question marks. In fact, this is what Google Analytics will prefer. But here’s the proof of the pudding – it’s these very question marks that signal to Google that a page is temporary, or hurts its SEO performance. So you use different rules for Advertising pages than vs. your SEO-friendly pages!
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
on SEO | AdWords | Social Media