Wording and perfecting your PPC ads

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We’re all exposed to PPC ads on a daily basis. Most of us ignore them (especially internet marketers and people in the SEO industry), but some ads still manage to grab your attention and almost force you to click on them. What makes these ads different?

You’ve only got 95 characters to play with in a PPC ad, and most digital marketers will tell you that writing an ad is almost an art form. While some people are just better at this than others, there are a few ways to improve any PPC ad and campaign. Here are my top seven.

  • Tell people what they can expect. Your call to action can’t be something hazy like “read now” (and a description of your product isn’t a call to action, by the way). People need to know what’s going to happen once they’ve clicked on your ad, whether you want them to sign up for a free trial, download an eBook or buy the product right then and there. Once you get them to click on your ad, make the process as easy as possible.
  • Have a clear, well-designed landing page. When we build landing pages, we spend a few hours writing and incorporating forms onto the page. The idea is to get people to complete their goal on this page – you don’t want them clicking away to find out more about your product guarantee or to find out where your head office is based. Try to address each and every fear or question the reader might have on your landing page. Don’t let them hunt around for what they’re looking for after they’ve clicked on your PPC ad.
  • Organize your ads, not your keywords. I’ve seen a huge difference in our conversion rate since we started to create niche ad groups to target different types of searchers. Theme your ads to focus on only one type of keyword or phrase. You will need around 15–20 keywords for each group and a customized landing page for each ad group.
  • Give people what they’re looking for. Themed, exclusive ads work well because search engine users want to see exactly what they’re looking for in search results.
  • Experiment with Dynamic Keyword Insertion. This handy and refined tool lets you create ads that mimic the exact phrase the searcher typed in without any further effort on your part. It works by substituting a variable keyword phrase in your ad copy with the keyword the searcher typed in. Remember that you need to make sure your ad is linked to a specific ad group (forget about broad search phrases – you run the risk of creating nonsensical ads). Also make sure the search term you choose isn’t too long as Google will use the default for your original ad if it goes over the allocated 25 characters.
  • Don’t forget the basics. It’s understandable that beginners can mess up their PPC ads by forgetting the basics – such as not including a clear call to action – but it happens all too often that PPC campaign managers have too much on their plate and start forgetting these basics as they start adding more clients to their portfolio.
  • Update and refine. Whether you’re a PPC pro or just starting out creating paid search ads, the trick to getting the most out of your PPC budget and conversions is continually updating and refining your campaign. Set aside a half hour a day to check, track, monitor and change your clients’ ads to show them amazing results.

Photo courtesy Jesslee Cuizon on Flickr.