One of the biggest challenges with Google AdWords is to create compelling advert copy in just 95 characters – and that count includes the headline!
What your AdWords adverts should be doing
It’s not all about the volume of clicks. If you are using pay per click, regardless of the platform, the primary objective is usually to gain new visitors to your website. However, getting clicks is the easy part. What you really need is great quality clicks – clicks from people who want to buy from you. This is what we help our customer do with our Google AdWords management service.
The building blocks of an AdWords advert
The advert itself is made up of 5 parts:
- The headline. You have 25 characters to grab your audience’s attention.
- Description line 1. Expand on your headline. What problem are you solving? Why should people buy from you? Why should they visit your website? What are the benefits of your product of service for the searcher? You’ve got 35 characters – make the most of them!
- Description line 2. Call to action. What should they do next? ‘Click here’ is rather superfluous, assuming you are running a search network campaign, the viewer is already of a mind to ‘click’ the right result for them. So use something that motivates them to take your desired action, ‘Start now and get a 10% discount!’. Again, you have 35 characters to use to best advantage.
- Display URL. This is the URL searchers will see on your advert. Use your keyword if you can – but make sure the URL you display actually works.
- Destination URL. This is the URL you will send people to when they click. Typically a landing page URL is too long for the Display URL. If you haven’t enabled auto tagging you will want to ensure you are using a tracked URL to test the response rate.
Performance – a tale of two halves
For your adverts to perform well they need to work well in two ways. First, they need to appeal to your prospect – the person searching. Secondly they need to fulfil Google’s criteria for a good advert.
Why both? Surely the searcher comes first?
This is true, fulfilling the needs of your prospective customer is always number 1. However, if your advert is poor quality you will appear lower in the results; or you will be paying a higher cost per click and your budget could stretched too far so your ads are not displaying all day. Either way, your visibility to prospects could be limited.
It is worth paying attention to Google’s view of your adverts. Remember, Google is evaluating millions of adverts, and their performance, daily. Google knows what a good advert is. The largest contributor to Google’s view is click through rate, so if you’re appealing to your customers – and they’re clicking – you’re already on the right track.
What your prospects need to see in your advert
- How will you help me?
- How will your product/service solve my problem?
- Why should I buy from you?
- What makes your product/service better than other peoples?
- What should I do next?
What Google (and your prospects) need to see in your advert
- Consistency of language and message – from keyword to advert copy to landing page content.
- Clarity – clear, concise language. Simple is better.
- Strong calls to action. If you want a searcher to do something tell them what that something is.
How many adverts should you run?
At least 2. Always test different versions of your advert. You don’t know which variation will work the best until you try. Once you’ve tried a few and chosen your best performer, write a variation of that and test again. Always test and then test again.
What makes a great performing advert?
There are two main considerations here:
- Which advert generates the highest click through rate
- Which advert leads to the most conversions
Volume of clicks is just the start. Once you have traffic flowing into your website you need to be sure it’s the right traffic. Carefully crafted adverts can increase or decrease the volume and quality of your leads. We recently tested the advert copy for one of our clients, a simple change of language decreased their click through rate by 5.85% but increased their conversion rate by 22.6%. So they paid for fewer clicks but won more sales – that’s Smarter Marketing.
Setting up an advert test
Running more than one advert in AdWords is easy.
Select your campaign > Select your AdGroup >
Click the Ads tab > Click + AD
There is another setting you need to check. In your campaign settings you will choose how Google should show your adverts. By default Google will select the advert most relevant to the searchers query and the advert it believes will most likely win a click.
If you want to split test your adverts you will need to change this setting to rotate your adverts evenly. By doing this your adverts will receive the same number of impressions and therefore the number of clicks and click through rate can be compared in a like-for-like scenario.
A word of caution here – if your AdGroup contains many keywords part of the selection process by Google will be to match the advert to the searchers intent. If you plan to do a strict rotation of adverts you must ensure you have segmented your keywords into smaller groups to ensure you maintain congruency between the searchers intent and the advert you display.
Drafting your adverts
We’ve already discussed the limitations of AdWords adverts. You have a lot to talk about in 95 characters and that includes spaces and punctuation!
Crafting your adverts takes time and doing this in the AdWords interface can be challenging. We recommend drafting your adverts offline and when you’re happy with the variations copy and paste them into AdWords.
We have set up a handy Excel template for creating advert drafts. Download your free AdWords Advert Template Here
What could you test in your advert copy?
There are a multitude of things you can test in your copy from the language you use to the features and benefits of your product that you promote. Here’s a quick list of some of our favourites to get you started:
- Craft new headlines, wherever possible use your top keyword(s) here. The searcher will instantly recognise the relevancy of your advert to their need.
- Create one advert for each benefit of your product or service
- Be specific – what problem are you solving? How are you helping your customers? Create one advert for each problem you solve.
- Why should they buy from you? Choose 3 reasons and create an advert for each.
- Try different calls to action
- Buy Now
- Find Out More
- Learn More
- Get Started Now
- The list is endless….
- Capital letters. ‘An Advert That Is Written Like This’ can stand out in the search results more than ‘an advert that is written like this’ – try it, see if there is a change in your results.
When will your test be completed?
How long you run a specific test for will depend on the volume of searches your keyword has, the volume of traffic you need to determine a clear results and many other factors. If you want to compare the results and determine if a clear result has been reached we recommend using http://www.splittester.com/
If you can see a clear winner I recommend creating variations of this advert and testing again.
If you have inconclusive results take one advert and test against something completely new – be more radical in your advert copy with two distinctly different adverts.
There are many benefits derived from advert copy testing, some of which we have discussed here. Everything you test, from keywords to advert copy to landing pages will help you win more sales, save on click costs and focus on where you can extract more value from your pay per click campaign.
If you need help getting started or need a professional review of your campaign request your free consultation now.