At the end of the day it’s all about the ad. It may not feel like that as you spend hours pouring over excel sheets and analyzing search terms reports, but do your customers see that? Do your customers care about the time you spent analyzing and optimizing? Many PPC professionals get so engaged in the many facets of creating and improving AdWords campaigns that they overlook components that may seem trivial. Unfortunate as it may seem at times, the ads are the most visible part of your endless behind the scenes toiling.
That said, what is all your time and effort worth if your ad copy doesn’t engage a searcher? If you want to make sure that your time wasn’t wasted, take the following steps when it comes to writing ad copy. It may not always seem as important as other things, but by following these best practices as well as constantly testing and improving your ads, your efforts in other areas will be improved as well.
Understand The Competitive Landscape
Oftentimes when I say this people assume I mean check out what the competition is doing to see what works. This is not what I’m saying. Most times when I look at what the competition is doing, they are all doing almost the exact same thing. If that’s the case it must be working right? Wrong. Stand out from the competition by writing unique ads with keyword and feature rich headlines that extrapolate the unique benefits of your product or service.
Avoid Industry Jargon
Business owners frequently get too close to their business to write ad copy that speaks clearly and concisely to their target audience. Make sure that your headline and ad copy is clear, easy to understand, and jargon-free unless you are marketing to a business or customer who you know for a fact is well versed in the language you intend to use.
Include A Call To Action
Most people don’t actually read PPC ads, they skim them. Use this knowledge to merge what you are offering with how it benefits the reader. By this I mean make sure you include a call to action that entices them to take the action you desire. Writing bland, boring ad copy will cause people to skim right past. Including a call to action in your copy will dramatically increase your click through rate and help to clarify the purpose of your ad.
Dress Up Your Display URL
I frequently see display URL’s in PPC ads that are the exact same as the destination url (minus tracking codes) . Make sure that you take out the www and capitalize words that should be capitalized. Also add in a keyword or phrase to increase relevance if it makes sense. If you have a site that sells golf clubs and the ad is for putters, make your display URL reflect this. Rather than having the display URL saying www.examplegolfstore.com , use ExampleGolfStore.com/Putters. This will help to improve your CTR which in turn helps with your quality score and ad rank.
Take Advantage Of Ad Extensions
If you think of the search engine results page (SERP) in terms of real estate, the top spots are Boardwalk and Park Place. Depending on your goals, you may not always want to be in the top spots, but you do always want to maximize your visibility and provide the most options for a searcher to realize that you have exactly what they are looking for. Ad Extensions help with this in several ways. By including a call extension you are providing your phone number to someone who may not want to bother going to your actual site. Adding site links offers people different landing pages which may be more relevant to what they are actually looking for. Location and review extensions help by increasing trust and easily showing someone where your business is located. Most importantly, with the recent changes from Google, ad extensions now factor into your quality score so by not including them you could be missing out on a higher ad rank.
TEST TEST TEST
Don’t write one or two ads and think you’re all set. Improving your ads is an ongoing process that can only be done by testing. I can’t tell you how many times I have written what I believed to be a great ad, only to see it outperformed in every way by an ad that I liked a lot less. People are different and different messages will work on some better than others. Adding new ads while pausing, changing or deleting the lowest performers on a regular basis is a good way to incorporate ad optimization into your normal routine.
Take a look at the ads you have now. Do they include a call to action? Are your benefits to the searcher clear? Is the ad copy relevant to your product/service as well as the keywords in the ad group? Make an effort to review this on a regular basis and your improvements here will echo throughout the rest of the account.