Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) involves bidding on relevant keywords  that people will likely use in a search engine search, and when your ad pops up as a result of that search, they’ll click on your ad, delivering a warm lead right to your door.

At least that’s the idea.

PPC can be highly effective at delivering traffic to your site but it also has some pitfalls you need to be aware of.

First, let me say, that when it comes to PPC, the only site we use is Google.  Yahoo and Bing offer similar programs and may actually offer better deals, but we decided long ago to tie our fortunes to the leader in the field and for now, it’s Google.

So, back to the pitfalls.   There are many, so we’ll be rolling them out in separate blog posts.  But the one pitfall I wanted to point out now is that relevancy is more important than being the highest bidder.  What that means is that if two companies are bidding $1 to come up first in the Google ads, the ad that links to the most relevant content will appear higher thatn the one that doesn’t.

Also, an ad that bids $1.50 for the same keyword may not come up higher than the ad that bid $1.  The reason? 

Relevancy which leads to high Quality Scores.

Google gives added weight to the ad that links to the more relevant landing page.  Relevancy can include:

  • Matching Meta tags on the landing page (especially the title tag)
  • The exact words in the ad also represented in the body copy on the landing page
  • The keywords in the ad appear in the sub heads of the landing page

You can tell your Quality Score by mousing over the little thought bubble in the STATUS area of the keyword tool in Google Adwords.  You can see this keyword phrase, “Electronic Dog Collar” has a high relevancy score (7 out of 10) because it links to this hyper relevant landing page:

Bidders with higher Quality Scores associated with their bids and ads will have their ads served higher and more frequently by Google than ads with lower quality scores even if they bid more.

Why?  Because relevancy is the key to a successful user experience and for Google to maintain it’s leadership position in search, relevancy trumps higher bids every time.