For this month’s series PPC Hero decided to go back to the basics, but with a twist.  We’ll be tackling all of the standard best practices for bids, ads, and keywords.  But we’ll also share some of our personal insights about what works, what doesn’t, and what you can apply to your own accounts.

Yesterday, Eric discussed how account structure is vital to making sure your PPC accounts are as prepared for the competitive marketplace as they can be, and he’s right! If the structure is off, no other account element will be able to function as needed, given their reliance on the structure. Ad copy is no exception to this rule, but if the structure is there to back you up you’re already one step closer to ad copy success. Follow these back-to-basics and advanced ad copy suggestions and you’ll be even closer! In no particular order (either by difficulty or back-to-basic-ness):

Dance with who brought ‘ya…

Use keywords from the ad group in the copy. And don’t just let DKI do the dirty work. This is blunt and direct, but it is serious! Far too often I get in an account for an audit and see two ads running per ad group (almost…), both using DKI (not quite!). Dynamic keyword insertion certainly has its place in ad testing, but don’t assume it’s the best headline or in-copy route. Further, once you have tested its success, you should be testing something else against it, so make sure not all your active ads are using DKI. Finally, you should be directly inserting the keywords from your ad group in the assigned ad copy. This is another place where Eric’s account structure tips will help you out tremendously because your ad groups should be so tightly relevant that terms are nearly interchangeable throughout the copy.

Plan for next month now.

And the next month. And a few more months after that, if you can! I fully believe the biggest thing standing between 99.9% of all account managers and proper ad testing is time, in the moment, to come up with/implement/optimize a new (and creative) idea. It’s much easier to make yourself sit down with a few hours once every few months for mapping out your ad copy testing schedule than it is to pin “Write ad copy” to your monthly task list the first Monday of the month. You’ll skip it, because even you know it’s not direct enough to keep your attention! What about that shiny enhanced campaign over there………SEE! However, if you have “Swap Feature A for Feature B in ad group X,” you’ll remember the purpose behind the test and go grab your pre-formatted spreadsheets for upload and implementation.

Message overhaul.

Find the oldest ad copy you have running…how many more times is it in your account? Break it down and see how much you rely on the same or similar benefits, value statements or calls to action for the brand. Find new ideas you’ve never tried before that fit what you’ve got to market and make yourself test one of them a quarter (if the traffic warrants it, of course).

Go, go gadget ad!

Extensions……right?? Guys?! It was funnier in my head. Back to the topic at hand, I’m referring to ad extensions, all of them to be more or less specific. While ad extensions themselves are not the newest of all PPC features, there are facets of them that are still pretty fresh and some account managers may be avoiding due to lack of information. Or there’s the “I’ve already got sitelinks, I’m good” mentality. The world does not begin and end with sitelink extensions. Start working tests with social and offer extensions in to your regular task schedule. I would feel bad if I didn’t mention the changes to ad extensions and the way they’re managed that accompany enhanced campaigns, so make sure you’re starting to plan for those changes now, or the push live will surprise you.

Make your life a little easier and write a script.

Our very own PPC Hero team has been uncovering some new and exciting things in terms of scripts through AdWords and how to use them to assist in automating account optimization and reporting. One of the more time saving, in my opinion, is the ability to use scripts to pull account segment reports and graph them for tracking. Obviously setting these up to pull ad copy test data so you can have it sent directly to your email at periodic intervals is super helpful. They are pretty new, but I strongly encourage you to get on the scripts bandwagon sooner rather than later.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ins and outs of ad copy, so what are some of your favorite basic or advanced ad copy techniques and methods? Share your ideas in the comments section below, as well as any questions you have about specific strategies you haven’t used yet!