ppc ad copy – rules of engagement

We all know about the metrics that reign supreme in measuring a Google Ad’s account’s productivity.  We love our CTRs, CPCs, Conversion Rates, Visits, Impression Share, and Average Position…  Measuring these stats and keeping a close eye on them is what ensures a good quality account.  These are most of the top stats we as ad campaign managers depend on in keeping the account tight. So what other “stats” are important?  Like a broken clock, we keep coming to the same answer.  That answer is Ad copy.  Ad copy really ought to have some concrete guidelines that govern effectiveness.  Like a store window, how can you attract your customers to enter? Here’s what we came up with:

ad appearance + aesthetics

Many times this area is ignored.  Sometimes we see advertisements that use all 35 characters in the one line, and use only 20 or so in the other line.  This just makes the ad appear unbalancedTerrible Example of a PPC Ad and ugly.  An ad should have all appropriate words capitalized too; much like authors capitalize words in a book title especially in the headline.  Further, ads should have correct punctuation so that they look professional.  This ad is a great example of how not to consider your ad’s appearance or aesthetics.  Not only did they not capitalize their headline, they did not capitalize any word in the first line of ad copy either.  They only use 24 characters in the first line too, and by using 32 characters in the second line, the ad just appears lopsided.  The fact that there are no commas or periods simply give the ad an unprofessional appearance.

send a clear cut message without over doing it

It’s best not to make potential customers confused before they even visit your site.  Stick to one clear idea and go with it.  If an ad has two ideas, products, or competitiveCluttered PPC ad advantages, split the ad into two ads and make each ad focus on one central theme.  Remember that a successful ad only has enough space to elaborate on one idea.  Throwing in a bunch of keywords can make your ad appear a little nonsensical to the user who doesn’t know everything about an industry.  Avoid clutter and extra keywords.  This ad sort of just throws in 5 powerful keywords and expects them to catch attention while offering little in the way of substance.  This ad appears okay.  It has proper spacing, appropriate words capitalized, and it is punctuated.  The problem is  if one doesn’t know what “mining” is then the entire first line of ad copy is essentially wasted.  Further, an average user with questions about your product may not know what exactly “Engage & Leverage” means.  Engage how?  Leverage who?  I think this ad should be broken down into at least four different ideas: 1-expert mining, 2-expert reporting, 3-strategy, 4-engagement and 5-leverage.

absent call-to-action phrases

The call- to-action is so important because it tells the user what they can expect.  A simple “Learn More” or “Contact Us” can go a long way.  The connotation of “Learn More” orPoor Example of a PPC ad “Contact Us” implies that the user can expect to gain necessary knowledge on a product or service.  Both calls-to-action are strong indicators that the website commands a certain amount of respect in the industry and can help a user get where they need to go whether it be buying an apartment or renting a car.  This ad has no call-to-action and leaves information on the table.  Is this site promoting this address?  Is this the address where the actual apartment is located?  Is this just a rental office?  A simple “Rent Now” or “Find Your Apt” would speak volumes. And again we see a lopsided ad where there is poor capitalization, no punctuation, and valuable unused space.

good ad copy makes all the difference

Ad copy is made up of many different components, all of which hold their own weight.  The statistics these ads generate are where PPC account managers earn their stripes so the better the ad, the better said numbers will be.  Stick to these three concepts and the ad will perform well.  Ignore them and you’ll end up with poor ppc copy.  While ad copy is only a small part of pay per click campaigns overall, it should be looked upon as the eye candy in the front window display that brings in shoppers!

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