For the longest time, search engine optimization (SEO) professionals have extoled the value of speedy websites. After all, site speed is one of the factors that affect how websites rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). But did you know that site speed can also affect the performance of your pay per click advertisements? If you are a search engine marketing (SEM) professional, you need to be fully aware of how slow-loading web pages can affect your PPC ads.
Why site speed matters in PPC advertising
The intrinsic link between site speed and Google’s ranking algorithm is quite clear to a lot of search engine marketing professionals. They understand completely why their colleagues doing SEO feel the need to monitor how fast landing pages and web pages load, lest slow loading times affect their websites’ standing in SERPs.
However, the fact that site speed can also affect ad performance is something that comes as a surprise to many search engine marketers. This shouldn’t be the case, of course, since Google Search and Google AdWords are both handled by one and the same company. It should stand to reason that site speed matters to the search engine giant whether the traffic is being directed to your website by organic search or by PPC advertising.
What Google says about landing page experience
Google makes it quite clear in the Google AdWords help page that the landing page experience of web users can significantly affect your quality score, ad rank, and advertising costs.
The quality score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. If your quality score is higher, you could enjoy lower prices and better ad positions. Ad rank, on the other hand, is a value that is used by Google to decide where your ads will be shown on a page (the ad position) or whether your ads will be shown at all.
According to Google, the time that it takes for your website to load when a web user clicks on your ad can affect the landing page experience. If a website takes too long to load, visitors tend to become frustrated and leave the site immediately. This serves as a signal to Google that the website’s landing page experience is poor, thus negatively affecting that site’s quality score and ad rank.
Take note that the Adwords system checks landing pages regularly, so make sure that your site’s landing pages load quickly. Making the necessary changes might not result in immediate improvement in your PPC ads’ quality scores and ad ranks, but over time, your efforts will definitely pay off.