January 21, 2008
Every day this week, PPC Hero is going to walk a mile in a searcher’s shoes. Today is mile number one! Managing an effective search engine marketing campaign, and more specifically a PPC campaign, requires that you be a jack-of-many-trades. You have to know how to write concisely and effectively, being comfortable with statistical data is a must and you’ve got to know how to analyze your customer’s needs.
Getting inside the searcher’s shoes and understanding how/why people search for your product or service is the crux of what we do. When someone enters a search query into Google, et al, they are asking a question or presenting a need. Our job as search marketers is to promise an answer to their question with our ad text and then deliver with a solution on the landing page!
Understanding Your Potential Customers
Everyone is different and sees the world through their individual set of filters. The millions of people who use search engines each day are no exception. Thankfully, as advertisers, each of us comes to the table with a pre-defined product or service that segments those millions of searchers into more manageable chunks. Very quickly you can begin to make assertions about your customer’s needs based on what your business’s offering, and you can answer some basic questions.
Who is searching for my product/service? Why do they need my product/service? Why would my product/service appeal to these customers? The individuals searching for “fast hydraulic pump repair” are going to have much different sensibilities than those seeking a “custom Z tenor saxophone.” As such, you can begin to draft a list of benefits that are specific for your potential customers and attribute those benefits to your keywords and groups (think of it as an ad text writing cheat sheet). Now of course, this is really a simplified version of creating personas. If you are extremely detail oriented, it may make sense for you to follow through in creating full personas around your offerings.
Write Ad Texts that Promise
We’ve written in length as to how and why ad texts are important to your PPC campaigns. In today’s exercise, I urge you to take all of the good habits and ad writing skills you’ve learned and focus them on the searcher. In 70 characters or less, how can you answer their question? The truth is, it may not be possible to fully answer their question and respond to the searcher’s needs. Instead, use the benefits cheat sheet you created for your keywords and ad groups to write ads that make a promise to your customers.
For example, the type of person searching for “fast hydraulic pump repair” is likely a no-nonsense individual who is looking for speed and reliability. As long as their hydraulic pump is down, they’re losing money! Because I know this, my ads will specifically call out my client’s ability to be a fast, high quality option for the repair of a pump. The type of person searching for a “custom Z tenor saxophone” is a well informed musician who is looking for the right price (product and shipping) in addition to great customer service. Again, because I know this, my ads will call out my client’s low prices, free shipping (this works wonders!) and excellent customer service.
In both examples I’ve made promises that present just enough information to get potential customers interested. While I won’t go into it in detail here, how you segment your keywords through optimization will play a huge role in your ability to write ads that properly (and accurately) answer a searcher’s question.
Write Landing Pages that Deliver
The landing page is the piece of the puzzle that determines whether or not you’ve succeeded in fulfilling your customer’s needs. This is the culmination of all of your knowledge of both your customer and your product/service. Above and beyond anything you know about landing pages, remember this: if you have made a promise in your ad texts, you must deliver on that promise on the landing page.
If you’ve touted fast, reliable service for “hydraulic pump repair,” explain that you can turn repairs around in 24 hours and that your technicians have X years of experience. If you’ve touted the lowest price and free shipping on the “custom Z tenor saxophone,” spell it out on the landing page. These connections between ads and landing pages are what turn clicks into conversions. This process won’t detract from all of the other great things you know about landing page design and tactics, it will only enhance it and create a better experience for your customers.
Being a great search marketer truly is understanding search intent and creating the experiences that will turn searchers into customers. Take a walk in a searcher’s shoes so that you can be the answer to their question. Use that knowledge to write better ad texts and landing pages and enjoy the benefits!