With over 3.5 billion searches every day on Google alone, it’s vitally important for all businesses to have a strong PPC presence.
Recently, we reached out to PPC guru, Co-Founder of Adalysis, and author of Advanced Google AdWords, Brad Geddes for some tips on how you can craft the perfect PPC ads that attract and convert searchers.
Researching and planning your ads
According to Brad, “a lot of thought needs to go into your ad copy.” Remember, this is often the first time many of your prospective customers will have discovered your brand and it’s important to stand out.
Your ads need to be relevant and highly reflective of the user’s search intent and characteristics of your product or service.
Brad suggests following a two-step process to ensure your ads are search relevant and stand out from the crowd:
- Think about the top benefits of your product or service and write them down.
- Look at the ads of your competitors and do a ‘gap analysis’ of what is missing from their ads.
- If your top benefits aren’t listed by others – that’s a great place to test first.
- If your top benefits are listed by others, think about ways to be more relatable to the customer.
Depending on the nature of your product or service, it may be possible to differentiate your ads through more specific demographic targeting. This can include ads for different genders, ages, or locations.
“For instance, if you are a plumbing company that serves an entire metro area,” explains Brad, “instead of using the metro in your ad; go down a level to the city or neighborhood level to connect with searchers at a more personal level.”
For more advanced users, your CRM can also be used to write ads for your current customers that are different to those for prospective customers.
With your key benefits and/or relatable messaging defined, it’s important to test. Brad advises that ad groups should have 2-3 ads, or if you have a large account using multi-ad group testing.
Creating your ad
An AdWords search ad comprises of four editable sections; headline 1, headline 2 (combined are often referred to as simply the “headline”), description, and display path.
Perfecting each section is important for crafting an effective ad, and ultimately, one that gets relevant clicks from genuine prospective customers.
AdWords’ two headlines give a total of 60 characters to catch the eye of searcher and convince them to read further.
For Brad, the two headlines have very different roles:
- – Headline 1 – This line is what initially draws someone attention to your ad. It should be related to the ad group and might contain the keywords and then some way to show off those words such as the geography, discounts, etc.
- – Headline 2 – Your testing playground. This is where you can really be creative with your gap analysis and benefit statements to see what will draw users to your site.
“If you are only trying to draw a segment of searchers to your site; such as a B2B accounting firm that only wants businesses to click on the ad; this is also a good place to add qualifiers to your ads. This weeds out those who you can’t help, and focuses on those you can turn into customers.”
You’ve caught their attention, now it’s time to convince them to click.
“The description line should be more detailed information about how your company helps a user with their search query,” explained Brad. “If the query is product based, you can focus on the product benefits, shipping, price, selection, return policies, and then finish with a call to action.”
Brad’s tips for the perfect description:
- – Stick to talking about one product or service within your description
- – Don’t try to make too many points, just the key highlights
- – Keep the description in focus with the rest of the ad so there is an overall message
Final and display URLs
“Both the URLs and the paths matter,” said Brad. And again, providing the searcher with relevant information and building trust is vitally important for both what’s displayed, and where the click takes them.
- – Final URL – is where a user goes after clicking on your ad. This should be a page of the site that shows a user relevant information about what they searched.
- – Display path – marketing messages letting the user know the type of page or additional information about the page and site in question.
“If you think about a site like IBM.com, they have millions of pages,” explained Brad. “So seeing a URL of IBM.com doesn’t tell the user anything. If the user searched for Blade Servers; then the paths could be BladeServer and showing the user that they will see the type of information they are seeking.”
Don’t set and forget
“Test, test, test,” emphasized Brad, “testing is an essential component of PPC.
Don’t only test your individual ads but also complete a gap analysis on a regular basis to make sure your ads stand out from the crowd.
“You might craft a gorgeous ad that you’re proud of and is different than anything else on the page. But you have no idea which will do best – even though you probably hope it’s the ad you’re proud to have written. Too many times advertiser’s never test their ads to see which does best.
“In the end, standing out is being more relevant to the searcher than the other advertisers. You want to be the answer to their search. By testing ads and thinking about your customer, you can always have highly relevant ads that attract new customers.”
Better understand the psychology behind your customer’s search
Join Brad for a 13-minute sample lesson, PPC psychology of search, to take a deep dive into how and why people search, and how you can craft your PPC ads to take advantage. Simply enter your details to immediately begin the obligation-free lesson.