If you are currently running an AdWords campaign, or even considering it, a thorough review of your destination urls (landing pages) is very important. Google, for example, calculates the page load times for landing pages used in pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns and factors that into the overall Quality Score they assign to keywords in the campaign. Quality Score is an important factor in where ads will be displayed when they are served by the AdWords auction-based system. Google multiplies the Quality Score and the max CPC for each keyword when assigning a ranking to all ads that are considered relevant for a particular search query. There are other factors that play a part in determining Quality Score of which some you have little or no control over (historical clickthrough rates) and others where you have direct control over (landing page load time).
Google recently introduced a new service called Page Speed Service to help test and optimize web page load times. While I am hesitant to recommend turning over the optimization of web pages to Google, if nothing else, it is an excellent service for those who may have previously been unaware of their landing page load times. In addition, it gives users insights into what degree of improvement they could see if they were to implement proper changes to their website pages to help improve page load times.
The next time you are optimizing your PPC campaigns, or if you are just starting out with a new AdWords account, be sure to test your landing page load times before you decide on the best place to drive your paid search traffic. The decisions you make now will directly affect how much you have to pay for placement in Google’s sponsored links. If you are not sure of your landing page load time, here is a link to the testing service: http://www.webpagetest.org/compare. The test takes a few minutes to complete for each url you enter, but the wait is worth it, as it could save you money in the long run with your PPC campaigns.