October 22, 2007
When managing pay-per-click accounts, there is one activity that will improve your performance more easily than any other – effectively managing ad texts. Some would argue that bid management, optimizing for Quality Score or a myriad of other activities would take the cake. However, it is imperative that you have a strong first impression with searchers. Consider the following:
Ad copy is the only part of your PPC campaign that a searcher actually sees. A searcher does not see your keyword list, bids, day parting settings, or daily budget. Those precious few words that make up your ad copy are the only insight into your offer that a searcher uses to make the decision to click on your ad.
Within this frame of reference, ad texts essentially become the “lowest hanging fruit” within your PPC accounts. So, how do you take advantage of this to improve your performance? Follow these simple steps:
- Place Keywords in Your Ad Copy. This is the obvious one! Having your keywords within the headline and/or the body of the ad will increase click-through rates. Doing this will also further your efforts to increase your Quality Score in Google and amplify your overall relevancy.
- Test, Test and Test Again. Split testing of ad texts is one of the most valuable tools of the various PPC services. AdWords, MSN adCenter and Yahoo! Search Marketing all allow for split testing of ad copy. To improve your PPC performance, you can test every aspect of your ad copy: messaging, calls to action, headlines, even URL’s! Any of these pieces of the ad text could potentially boost your CTR and conversion rate. According to my Google representatives, most advertisers don’t take advantage of split testing within AdWords. Their straight forward recommendation was to have at least 3-4 ads in active rotation at all times.
- Write Compelling Ad Copy. If you write in generalizations, you will forever be your own worst enemy. Be as precise as possible considering the keywords in your ad group. And beyond merely being precise, you must be compelling. PPC is a competitive business and your ad has to stand out. Write benefit driven ads. In other words, are you the answer/solution to the searcher’s needs? If you can’t answer that question, write a new benefit driven ad and test it out!
There are countless other techniques and nuances to managing PPC ad texts, but these 3 steps will get you well on your way to improving performance. Remember that ad copy is the only part of your campaign visible to your potential customers. Because of this fact, effectively managing your ads can easily and quickly create positive change for your ongoing PPC efforts.