Paid search ad guidelines are great framework for creating effective paid search ads. The goal is not just to convert and make sales but know what matters to them, how we can better communicate values and solve their problems.
Paid search marketing is a strategy that needs to be systematized, automate, and scale.
These guide to writing better PPC text ads are worth trying in your paid search marketing.
Guide to Writing Better PPC Text Ads NO: 1
Attract Attention (at): Headline
Attracting attention might be the biggest paradox of paid search marketing. Conventional wisdom teaches us that to stand out, we must be creative, louder, bigger, brighter, bolder. Advertisers are especially adept at thinking outside the box to come up with something unique and unexpected. However, in the paid search universe, the best approach to attracting attention is often to be TOTALLY expected by being as relevant as possible.
When a searcher enters a query into Google, she is looking for an answer to her question or a solution to her problem. She is essentially in research mode, and when our ad gets clicked, it’s not because our visitor changed her mind about her search and decided to read some shiny paid advertisements instead. She clicked because our ad looked like an answer to her problem. We got her attention by being exactly what she was looking for.
The best way I’ve found to instantly attract attention and appear relevant to the search is to strategically use the keyword (or search query) in the headline. The reason headline relevancy is so vital is that our potential visitor reads (nay, scans) the headline before deciding whether or not to consider the rest of the ad. MECLABS’ multiplier (2) for attention in the heuristic emphasizes that an ad must be noticed to have any chance of being effective.
Google (who loves relevancy as much as we do) gives us bonus points for efforts to be relevant by bolding the core terms in our ad that match the query. This is true whether the terms appear in the headline or description text. Since text ads on Google currently display the headline at an 18% larger font size than the description text (13pt v 11pt), our big, bolded headlines that simply match our searcher’s query do an excellent job of attracting attention after all.
Guide to Writing Better PPC Text Ads NO: 2
Beat the PPC Text Ad Teardown: Headline
Control Headline: Best Marketing Strategies
Treatment Headline: Best Marketing Strategies
Analysis: They’re the same headline! My hypothesis was that the Control Ad beat its competitors because of a strong headline that contained the keyword, so I chose not to mess with it. For the sake of giving you a useful “not this but this” example, see below:
Search Term: shoes for runners
✗ Say Goodbye to Aching Feet
✓ Shoes for Runners
Take-away: Be relevant. Attract attention with a relevant, keyword-rich headline.
Generate Interest (at): Description Line 1
As with attracting attention, generating interest in paid search is not achieved by being persuasive and clever, but being clear and useful. As a heavily retweeted Flint McLaughlin axiom goes: “Clarity trumps persuasion every day of the week.”
For our purposes, “persuasion” refers to claims and slogans. “Clarity” refers to compelling features and facts. Interest is generated when a searcher understands what is being offered and how he can directly use and benefit from it. A punchy list of salient features, facts, and offerings (“evidentials”) tends to make for a better description than a company tagline.
Descriptions should be specific, relevant and explicitly useful for the user. Compare the value of the statement “We’ve been in business for 25 years” with “3 hrs of deep carpet cleaning.” Both may be valuable, important to your customers, and totally appropriate to include on your landing page. When 70 characters precludes you from telling your searcher all but the essential, choose wisely, and continue to test new descriptions to learn what is most valuable to your customer.
Beat the PPC Text Ad Teardown: Description Line 1
Control Description: The first ever online public library of marketing strategy
Treatment Description: 10 patented strategic guides. 1500+ tests.
Analysis: The Control may well contain interesting information, but it doesn’t communicate a clear or useful benefit to the visitor.
Take Away: Be useful. Generate interest in the description line with useful, specific features and offerings.
Ask for the Click (as): Description Line 2
If attracting attention via no-frills “intent matching” seems counter-intuitive, asking for the click may seem redundant and wasteful; our description text is limited to 70 characters, and common sense tells us that if someone thinks the ad is a good fit for his interests, he will click it without having to be told “try now” or “learn more.” Except… ads with an “ask” consistently outperform ads without an ask (we’ll get to why that is at end of this section).
Asking for the click is also known as having a “Call To Action” (CTA). The CTA should state or imply the value our visitor will get by choosing our ad. Strong CTAs answer the question, “What’s In It For Me?” – what will I get by taking this action? This is our micro-opportunity to let our visitor know what he can expect on the landing page. Just saying “click me!” in the ad is not enough, in fact, Google does not allow the phrase “click here” in AdWords ad copy.
We can ask for the click (and communicate its value) by using customer-centric, action-oriented words like get, start, try, save, shop, and earn. Sometimes these words are simply implied (“(Get) Free Shipping!”). Adding urgency with phrases like act now, try today, and sale ends soon can also intensify the force of the ask. But be wary of over hyping/selling when it isn’t appropriate for your customers. For example, Urgency generally isn’t appropriate when you have a long sales cycle for an expensive purchase.
There’s a reason asking for the click gets better results (and it’s not that our visitor is too dumb to realize, without our explicit instruction, that our text is clickable). Asking for the click forces us to craft our ad thinking of the customer rather than the company. Whether the ad contains an explicit or implicit ask, if it focuses on the customer’s needs and tells him what she’ll get by clicking, it will beat an ad that ignores her needs and leaves her confused.
Guide to Writing Better PPC Text Ads NO: 3
Beat the PPC Text Ad Teardown: Description Line 2
Control Ask: None
Treatment Ask: Free Access
Analysis: “Get” is implied. “Free” adds value. The ad creates a clear next step: by clicking on the ad, the visitor will get immediate access to guides and case studies.
Take Away: Show the value. End the ad with action words that clearly communicate the benefit of the click to the visitor.
Though result may and will vary following this guideline will deliver expected result. – via blastam