Successful pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns lead to prominent online ads and more visibility for the business. These campaigns are influenced by a number of factors, though. While a high bid for keywords can help the business secure a top placement, offering more money per click might not always lead to the business winning the keyword ad competition.
Sites that offer PPC advertisements don’t simply focus on the dollar amount of a keyword ‘bid,’ they also consider the power of the link or, rather, the quality of the site where the ad will take the user. Website quality impacts PPC campaigns, and a poor quality website could be leading to dealerships losing those keyword bids.
The Quality Score Helps Determine Winners
When businesses bid on a keyword associated with their PPC campaign, they bid against other businesses who want the top placement for that keyword. While search engines like Google focus on bid amount, sites also consider the ‘Quality Score.’
Wordstream explains that the Quality Score assesses landing page content/quality, keyword quality and the PPC campaigns, too. The site notes that a higher Quality Score can lead to winning the bid at a lower cost per click.
Google and other engines/sites want to ensure that when users search for a term that they are taken to the ideal sites; this holds true for the ads associated with those keywords, too. If the keyword isn’t relevant to the link from the business, it could drop the Quality Score.
In addition, website and landing page content also plays a role in this score. A low-quality landing page could lead to the dealership not winning the bid on keywords. If PPC campaigns are resulting in few bid wins, dealerships might audit their website. Here are four tips to help boost the quality of landing pages:
- Optimize the page
- Create quality content
- Check the relevance of keywords
- Consider any penalties
Optimization Boosts Relevance
Optimizing content on landing pages is crucial to boosting their search performance. Dealerships should research relevant keywords related to the industry and their particular focus (i.e. the auto brands they carry) to help increase the page’s visibility via search engines.
Keywords should be incorporated organically into content. This means that they shouldn’t stick out as site visitors read the content.
Many dealerships include blogs on their website, too. Content on blogs should incorporate relevant topics that provide useful information to readers. Blog articles also should be optimized to increase performance and content visibility; some companies focus a blog article on keywords. The keywords serve as the content topic for a particular article.
Create Quality Content
Creating content around the keyword topic also can help companies think outside the box in how they interpret the overall focus on those keywords. For example, a popular search phrase or keyword could be “most popular vehicle in the U.S.” the article could focus on the most popular vehicles in history or the most popular vehicles in the U.S. by state.
Google rewards quality content. Creating unique articles on blogs and writing engaging content for landing pages can increase visibility on the search engine and perhaps help bump up the Quality Score related to PPC bids, too.
Assess Keyword Relevance
If keywords aren’t relevant to the dealership or business, they might lower the Quality Score and lead to losing bids. In addition, poor keyword choices also could lead to wasting money.
Digital Dealer explains that Google might ‘bid’ on keywords that don’t positively impact the dealership. The site uses the example of keywords related to “Porsche 911 watch.” Obviously, a Porsche dealership won’t garner any profits or sales related to searches for a Porsche watch.
To combat any wasted costs and boosted bids, Digital Dealer recommends setting ‘negatives’ related to keywords. This means that the dealership should try to eliminate the issue of irrelevant keywords to minimize PPC rate waste. The site recommends that dealerships assess keywords on a monthly basis—at the very least. If dealerships are noticing that their PPC costs are high, but their impact is low, irrelevant keywords could be an issue.
Landing pages that have been hit by a penalty might not even rate on a Quality Score. Some penalties could be so severe that Google removes the site from the search.
How can a business understand if they’ve been hit with a penalty? SEMRush can help businesses identify penalties; in addition, there are other sites that also can assess penalties from Google.
Dealerships might wonder what can cause a penalty from Google. There are a number of factors that can lead to a penalty, including:
- Keyword stuffing
- Poorly written content with grammar issues
- Keywords are hidden (cloaking)
- Lack of a security certificate
- Plagiarized content
Hubspot also explains that slow loading mobile sites also can get penalized. A website that takes forever to load might be frustrating to visitors. Revamping a site to make it more conducive to mobile devices could help reverse a penalty.
How can dealerships avoid penalties? Here’s what to know about the most common issues that can lead to a penalty from Google.
‘Stuffing’ is a black hat SEO technique that Google really dislikes. This tactic refers to using keywords over and over in content without purpose or stuffing them into content without regard to the organic flow of the content. Again, readers shouldn’t be able to identify keywords; they should never stick out. They also should not be repeated constantly in content.
Poorly Written Content
A landing page with a lot of spelling errors or issues isn’t a quality page. Google will mark it as problematic. When publishing a website or any new page, make sure it’s edited and well written. Correct any spelling issues.
Cloaking is a tactic where keywords are hidden from site visitors. While these keywords might be ‘cloaked’ behind other texts or in some other manner, they are still able to be identified by a search engine. However, Google and other engines also can identify that these keywords have been cloaked. Don’t hide keywords; the penalty simply isn’t worth it.
No Security Certificate
Not having a legitimate security certificate also is a surefire way to be slapped with a Google penalty. Make sure the website offers a truly secure experience; denoted by the HTTPS.
Avoid Plagiarized Content
Cutting and pasting content from another site is content stealing. It also could lead to legal issues from the original publisher. If a site is interested in republishing content, get permission first.
If Google identifies plagiarized or identical copy, the site can receive a penalty. However, if the site publishes plagiarized content, a penalty could be the least of the business’s problems.
How are PPC Campaigns Beneficial?
Not all dealerships have ventured into PPC ad campaigns. However, these campaigns can help boost a dealership’s visibility and lead to more traffic to the website.
These campaigns require ‘bidding’ to secure keywords related to the ad. While the amount of the bid can influence who wins, the Quality Score also can help determine the winner (even if the PPC rate is lower).
This score is influenced by a number of factors that businesses can control. For example, the quality of the website is determined by the relevance of keywords used, the site’s optimization, and the strength of the overall content.
If dealerships are consistently losing out on bids or if they find that their PPC campaigns aren’t generating the revenue or web traffic they had hoped, it might be time to audit the website and the overall campaign strategy.
The dealership might be losing bids because of a low-quality website that isn’t properly optimized and that doesn’t offer relevant content. In addition, the keywords used to optimize the site could serve little relevance. The poor quality could lower the Quality Score and decrease the chances of winning the bid.
Even if dealerships secure a winning bid, the PPC campaign might be a bust. If the dealership is paying for links that aren’t relevant to their business, the campaign won’t be effective. Again, dealerships need to assess the keywords they focus on for their ads.
When dealerships want to receive high impact visibility on Google and other search engines, PPC campaigns can help their ad jump to the top. Dealerships should audit their website to ensure it offers high-quality content and is properly optimized. In addition, dealerships should focus on relevant keywords that will add value to their business goals and generate website traffic to help convert shoppers into in-person customers.
Avoiding penalties also is crucial to ensure that dealership websites and blogs rank well in standard Google searches. Black hat SEO techniques can lead to Google hitting the site with a penalty that could drop rankings or remove the site from searches completely.
Create original and relevant content. Avoid tactics like keyword stuffing or cloaking that could lead to penalties. Sites also should never publish content from another site without permission; this is another way to be assessed with a penalty and it could lead to more serious issues, too.
While car dealerships need to be mindful of their bidding prices for PPC campaigns, high bids don’t necessarily lead to winning the bid. Focus on boosting the Quality Score to ensure that bids are more likely to result in winning those keywords; a quality site with relevant content also can help boost the overall visibility on organic searches, too.