Your paid-search campaign is working pretty well, but you are always working for that extra performance gain. You read the experts’ blogs for ideas, refine your bidding, eliminate poorly converting keywords, change match types, work on creative, all working to improve quality score, decrease CPC, increase traffic, improve conversion rate and drive revenue and profitability.

But a key area that gets neglected is the landing page destination URL – where your shopper lands on your site. Why is optimizing your landing page destinations important? Does this really make a difference?

Want to improve conversion? Fix the user experience!

First, let’s look at this from your shopper’s point of view. Your shopper is shopping for a red cashmere pullover, went to Google and did the search, saw your ad and clicked. If she sees your red cashmere pullovers, she will compare a few and, with good likelihood, will purchase. She had a good user experience and will consider you favorably for the next purchase. Great!


But what if she lands on your site and does not see what she asked for? No red cashmere pullovers visible. The landing page is the top level Women’s Apparel category or perhaps a page showing all 500 of your cashmere items or, even worse, an “Item Not Found” page or “404 – Page Not Found”. What does your shopper do? If you have a strong brand reputation, she may start selecting categories and filters and spend the time to find those pullovers – lots of extra clicks to see if you have what she wants. Or she may just hit the back button and click on your competitor’s ad. You paid to get her to your store and you actually do carry the items she wants, but you lost the sale. And your shopper had a bad user experience that will influence her future buying decisions. Not good at all.

Optimizing your landing pages drives more conversions

The case for optimizing your landing page destinations is clear – more conversions without increasing ad media spend resulting in additional, high-profit revenue. And you deliver an improved shopping experience that increases long-term customer value.

So why doesn’t everyone do it? Because it is simply too much work.

The SEM challenge

If you review the destination of every keyword and find better destinations when available, your medium-size campaign with 10,000 keywords will take you over a month. 100,000 keywords? Takes a year. You say you can cut that down since a lot of keywords are similar or just different match types? Fine, but it still is very time consuming and expensive. So, you configure lots of keywords to top-level categories do a lot of cut and paste from one keyword to another. You don’t use all the filters and facets available on your website. For larger and complex campaigns, the tradeoff between the cost of optimizing by hand and the improvement to be gained results in a good, but not optimal result.

What’s the business impact? What’s the ROI?

But what is the performance to be gained? How important is optimizing your landing page destination so your shopper sees the most relevant items?

Recently, even answering this question for large, complex campaigns was not feasible because it required hundreds or thousands of hours of work. At Vioby, we have developed the first automated system for optimizing your landing page destination URLs for e-commerce SEM. Using semantic understanding of shopper searches and machine learning of your website and catalog items, our LinkDirector product dynamically analyzes each shopper click on your ads, finds the most relevant items on your website and redirects your shopper to that optimal page.

Having now deployed the system on several major campaigns, ranging from hundred million dollar to multi-billion dollar e-commerce retailers, the result has been conversion rate increases of 23% to 28%. To get those extra conversions, you’d have to increase your ad spend by that amount. (And hope your conversion rate does not drop from the additional clicks being lower quality).

Perhaps for manual optimization, getting an additional 20%+ conversion was not enough to justify the huge cost. But automated algorithms change the equation dramatically and have enabled us to deliver 500% to 1000% ROI to our clients.

Want to know more?  Just contact me.  Click here to request information on Vioby’s products for optimizing your advertising campaigns.