Changes in Googles Adwords algorithm have had a major impact in the ability to use this tool for affordable testing of highly focused landing pages. There is a correlation in my experience between volume of content and cost of bids. So “pure” landing page design “labs” have really become a challenge of late. What was once the perfect method for refining messages is now subject to the penalization of Google’s Quality Score and rapidly increasing minimum bids. It used to be that Yahoo! was available for such testing, but not anymore. The old fall-back behaves similarly on “pure” landing pages.
So is there a way to accomplish tight testing with Adwords without distracting customers from the “eyepath” and call-to-action? The risk is that we’ll lose leads as customers move away from our page into other content. What was initially a plea for information (and thus a lead) has become a skimming reader and no lead. We were able to provide information as a reward using a CRM tool and being a sales process rather than just posting it all on the landing page.
But now, these pages are going to have to become micro-sites, contining sufficient content to bring down the bids while retaining enough interest to acquire the all-important customer information. Micro-niche marketing is not getting easier, nor is testing via PPC engines.
This is just another good reason to design the sites properly from the beginning rather than trying to produce too many corrective actions via sub-designs.