Search engine marketing can yield extremely cost effective results when managed properly, but if you are not careful, your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign can cost a lot more than it should.

One way to charge yourself too much occurs when your landing page gets a low rating from Google. A low Quality Score for your AdWords campaign will mean lower placement of your ads on the page and higher prices for your winning bids. You will pay more for less.


Worst of all, if your Quality Score drops, this indicates your pages are probably not converting as well as they could if you made them more relevant for those who click on your ads. So you risk paying more for a poorer positioned text ad that is less likely to convert.

Unless you have money to spare, do not take your eyes off your Quality Score. Watch for these errors in your PPC marketing campaign and make sure you are not killing your Quality Score and conversions.

1. Buy a keyword to talk someone out of a purchase.

Google hates this. Why? Because when people search for something they are ready to buy, they expect to be directed painlessly through the process. They do not want to be talked out it. If they search “buy quinoa,” they do not want to land on a page that recommends buying rice instead.

PPC is all about offering a customer exactly what he or she wants at the moment.

2. Direct a lot of keywords and ads to land on the same landing page.

Keywords are very specific. The person who searches for “baby shower gifts” and the one who searches for “diaper sets” may end up making the same purchase but may not be the same type of customer.

Google likes to see landing pages that are very specific to the exact keywords chosen. They call this relevance, and it speaks to echoing the same language and promises across the keywords, text ad, and landing page. Your best bet is to create several ad groups with a highly targeted landing page for each one.

3. Neglecting your analytics.

Google gives you tons of great information about the performance of your landing pages based on traffic sources, but many companies simply ignore this information. Google even makes it simple for you to run simple split tests.

Sites that introduce split tests can increase conversions by up to 40%. When your conversions improve, you can be sure you are delivering quality for customers that Google will want to reward.

If you are running PPC marketing on Google AdWords, you owe it to your bottom line to take a look at your Quality Score and see what you can do to raise it.

Do you agree or disagree? Perhaps, I missed something? Either way, I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic… just let me know your alive!