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Search Query Level Landing Page (Search Query insertion)

There are creative level (ad copy level) destination URLs which are used in most cases especially by new advertisers. More advanced users will normally use keyword level destination URLs. And to be honest if account structure is tight and nice then above mentioned destination URLs are good enough. But is account structure tight and nice every time? Umm well to my experience Nope!!!

So if your account structure is not that great then how would you make sure that users land on page which is relevant to their search queries? This article will demonstrate the way to do this.

Pros:

  • Extremely relevant landing pages to search query which is intent of user
  • Lower bounce rates
  • Higher conversion rates

Cons:

  • This is typically meant for larger websites with loads of content
  • This also requires a robust internal site search on the landing website
  • This is purely Garbage in Garbage out (GIGO) method, so if your search queries are garbage the landing page is going to be garbage as well
  • The destination URL report will be quite useless if you use this technique (but there is a workaround for that)

Now that Nik has joined a new job in an different city Jim really doesn’t get to meet him but they still keep in touch over phones and chat. One day while Nik is solving a complicated ticket he gets a ping from Jim “Hey mate need your help”. Nik responds “Sure just post your problem I will look at it after a while when I get time”

 

Jim describes his problem as follows:

I have a client who sells cell phones and accessories online and although it needs some restructuring client is not ready for restructuring at the moment but wants to increase his conversions. I have found out the problem is users landing on relevant landing pages to their search queries because one keyword is triggering on different type of queries.

For example search queries “Google nexus” and “Google nexus cover” are getting triggered from same keyword “Google nexus” so there is no use of using keyword level destination URLs. Let me know if you have some workaround to this problem.

 

When Nik gets time he ponders over this problem and after a lot of head scratching comes up with logic of search query level landing pages.

 

Nik writes a mail with solution to problem.

You can theoretically have search query level landing pages with a bit of custom coding.

 

You will need to host a page on yourdomain.com, which will be something like

Yourdomain.com/client/redirect.php

 

This will be destination URL (creative level or keyword level) for all your product keywords, make sure you don’t do this for brand or competitor keywords Man Tongue

The source code of redirect.php will be as below

Spoiler

<?php

parse_str(parse_url($_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'], PHP_URL_QUERY), $queries);

$sqr = $queries['q'];

header ('HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently');

header

("Location:http://clientwebsite.com?q=".$sqr);

 ?>

 

The above code is written considering that the client website had internal search results page URL as http://clientwebsite.com?q=searchquery.

While you use it on your clients you might have to change that logic.

Here is logic behind this code.

  1. There is a Google redirection page between Google search results page and destination URL
  2. This redirection page will have a query string q=search query
  3. The above code will read this search query and then 301 redirect user to search result page for that search query using internal site search

 

about Nikhil Parachure

Digital Marketing / Web &amp;amp; App Analytics expert with experience ranging from small businesses to very large portals. Across varied verticals like banking, travel, ecommerce, insurance. Google Adwords top contributor since 2013 and currently working with a leading Indian ecommerce portal. Aspiring writer, wants to be lighter!

Comments
Mini-CM Community Manager
October 2013

Awesome article. Thanks Nikhil for posting this. I really like the story-like style. 

Adrian B
October 2013
My internal site search does not redirect to a single page but to a collection of results. Does this mean that we should create something like a secondary internal search that selects only 1 page per query and that will be the destination URL ? Will the q parameter exist in all Ad clicks ? Thanks, it is an interesting topic.
theniks Top Contributor Alumni
October 2013

Hi Adrian 

If I was in your place i really wouldnt want to take user to a page showign single product but a page which shows relevant products to the search query in order most relevant to less relevant.

Yes q parameter will be present on all search ads but not on display network.

Thanks for your comment

Hope this helps

 

theniks Top Contributor Alumni
October 2013

Thanks Mini for your kind words

 

Adrian B
October 2013

I think it would be very difficult to follow the rule "Landing pages must deliver the same content to all users" , because for the same search term, the redirect would offer different relevant order of products depending on many factors like stock, reviews and others. This is why I asked if there is an algorithm we could use to provide 1 page per search term. How would you advise to tackle this problem ? Is it even a problem in your view, as you are far more experienced ? I got through the first problem, by right clicking on an Ad I can see the string where I need to parse between &q= and the next & and to divide words by stripping the + . Brilliant idea if we could unfold it to a practical end.

theniks Top Contributor Alumni
October 2013

Hi Adrian,

Excellent Point

1. I believe you are misinterpreting ""Landing pages must deliver the same content to all users" this rule. This rule is about targetting perticular users for diffrent landing page. With this technique we are not targetting user but we are targetting the intent of user. This has worked for me in the past so i dont think its violation of this rule.

 

AdWiser Top Contributor
October 2013

Nik is right here. No matter who accesses that page, be it a bot or a user typing the final redirect URL in the browser, the content will be the same and the rule will not be broken.

 

As for what page gets served on the server side, according to the search query, this is strictly an issue of website functionality. An online shop I once designed was doing both: redirect to a single product page when the search query was above a certain relevance threshold or to a search results page when several results in the set had similar relevances.

 

Sure, not every website / solution can accomodate Nik's approach, but for those who can it is an easy way of serving results related to the search query without having to create many ads.

 

However, one must be careful, when redirecting, to include the gclid as well Smiley Happy (or the campaign tracking parameters if auto-tagging is not enabled), in order to keep the campaign data and the right cookies.

Adrian B
October 2013

Thanks for helping me to understand this detail.

theniks Top Contributor Alumni
October 2013

Hi @AdWiser 

Thanks for pointing out the bug in my code with gclid. I will post new code which does that soon

Regards

Nik

 

AdWiser Top Contributor
October 2013

Let's not call it a straight bug, @theniks because it may fall under the "ommission" category. And anyway, it's the idea & principle that matters above the php code, since many platforms might use other server-side languages (various java-related platforms, asp, etc.).

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