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04 Mar 2013

Ad Copy Optimization: Improving Click-Through-Rate

Creating a basic PPC campaign is relatively easy. Pick relevant keywords, set keyword bid, and then wait for the revenue to roll in, right? Well, not exactly. It’s true that just about anyone can start a PPC campaign, but it takes careful consideration to build it into an effective marketing channel. If you’ve put a lot of time and energy into your current campaign, but you don’t seem to be getting the click-throughs that you expected, it’s time to make some changes to your approach.

You should start by examining the base of any great PPC campaign: your keywords. The important thing that you must remember is that keyword lists must be managed carefully. Unfortunately, this means you can’t just set them and expect AdWords to finish the job for you. You should be analyzing your keywords often. Testing is key and you can learn a lot from trying out different match type combinations, or swapping out keywords depending on highlighted offers, at a given time. However, you also need to give your strategies some time to breathe. If you don’t see immediate success, it doesn’t mean that your keyword is an automatic dud. It might just mean that you need to give it some more time to marinate with your potential customers. If after a few weeks you’re still seeing low click-thru-rates, it could be time to consider weighing your options.

Next, you should remember that no matter how concise, your PPC ad should exist with a goal. If you look at your ad as a piece of web content (no matter how micro it may be) instead of just an ad, this should help you focus the message and create a piece that generates clicks and hopefully more revenue for you. Every great ad has a voice, an offer and strong message.

With that in mind, remember to utilize some of that limited ad space for a strong call to action. Your ad may cover the “who, what and where” of your business, but if you don’t connect a strong reason for the customer to follow through with a click, then you’ve lost a potential sale before even starting the conversation. This is your chance to pitch an offer that can’t be refused. Craft your message so that customers feel compelled to learn more.

If you have certain campaigns that might benefit from an extended format, consider applying Google AdWords extensions to the existing ads. Extensions are URLs, contact information, addresses, reviews and more that can be added to a basic text ad to make it more enticing. Basically you’re giving a potential customer additional information up front so that they are more likely to click through and convert.

Considering the tips provided here, you now have plenty of options to test for your PPC campaigns. If your CTRs are still on the disappointing side, try applying ad extensions to see if additional information drives response. Different bidding strategies can positively affect your ad positions. You may be surprised to see how much position plays a role in attracting clicks. If you feel like your ad copy doesn’t lend itself to a strong call to action, consider revising the ad message so potential customers just HAVE to learn more. Don’t let yourself get discouraged early on. With careful attention, it’s only a matter of time before your campaigns are performing at rock star levels.