Our latest white paper, co-authored with the good folks at Hanapin Marketing, is now available for download! Below is an excerpt from the guide. Click here to download the full text of this new, free guide.
If you want to sell products or generate leads online, a user-friendly, conversion-optimized website is Step 1. But when it comes to search engine marketing, it doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is if people never get there.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements placed in search engine results and on other relevant sites can be an extremely effective means of driving qualified traffic to your site – one that more than pays for itself, if you’re doing it right.
Even though you have to pay for each click on one of your ads, it’s important to aim for a good click-through rate (CTR). CTR – the ratio of clicks to impressions – represents the percentage of people who see your ad and then click through to your website. Lots of impressions without a lot of clicks is a sign that your ad isn’t speaking to the people who see it. This could be because you’re bidding on the wrong keywords, but almost always, you can significantly increase CTR – and ROI – by writing stronger ad copy.
A great PPC ad is a combination of best practices and little details that get you noticed. In this guide, we’ll share ten tips for crafting more compelling, more clickable text ads, including information to help you develop:
- Eye-grabbing headlines and descriptions that scream “I’m relevant to your needs!”
- Specific calls to action that reinforce desires and create urgency
- Well-structured ads that earn high Quality Scores and boost your whole PPC account
Don’t neglect this core component of your PPC campaign! Read on to learn how you can start writing stronger, more clickable ads today. We’ll start with some basic ad writing best practices, then move on to more unusual tricks you may not have thought of.
Let’s get started!
1. Include Features, Benefits & a Call to Action
At the end of the day, the most effective ads will have three components: They will tell the features, sell the benefits and have a call to action (CTA) for the product or service being advertised. No amount of keyword stuffing (inserting the search term you are bidding on into the ad and landing page as many times as possible) or other tricks will get you as much lift as an ad that is selling compelling benefits and has a strong call to action. For suggestions on how to write compelling calls to action, check out Dan's post on call to action examples, which contains several examples of great CTAs and explanations of what makes them so irresistible.
Creating these ads, however, isn’t as easy as just sitting at your computer with an open spreadsheet and hoping inspiration strikes. It takes an in-depth understanding of your business (or your client’s) and your unique selling proposition (USP). A great way to accomplish this is by using a Feature-Benefit Matrix spreadsheet to uncover the USP and the strongest points to convey in an ad.
The Feature-Benefit Matrix looks like this:
You simply list your features to the left, then list out a few benefits of each feature, and on the right you fill in your most compelling calls to action for your PPC ads. Then you go back through and identify you strongest 2-3 combinations, and you have an ad!
2. End Description Line 1 with Punctuation
If you end the first line of your ad after the headline with a period or other end punctuation, and your average position is in the top 3 spots, you will get a single elongated headline that has a lot of pulling power.
Take a look at the sponsored results for a Google search for “Pet Insurance”:
You can see here that the top ad has a long headline that includes the first description line and ends with a period: “Pet Insurance in Colorado – Top Rated Pet Insurance.”
The second ad, on the other hand, has “9 out of 10 veterinarians recommend” pulled into its headline – this is great copy, but it would have been even stronger if that headline was a complete thought. Instead, the end of the sentence is under the display URL (the full thought being “9 out of 10 veterinarians recommend VPI”).
3. Make Full Use of the Display URL
The display URL is a great way to find some extra space in a PPC ad for a compelling call-to-action or benefit statement, or simply to increase relevancy by adding in the search term ...
Click here to download the full guide, "Tricks to Get the Click: 10 Tips for Writing Better PPC Text Ads" (it's FREE!)