Your ad is the first impression your organization makes on each individual searcher. It’s also the strongest tool you have in your PPC Management Toolbox that will directly influence your ad’s click through rate (CTR). Ad copy is the “face” to your organization, and it is instrumental to ensure that the first impression searchers are presented with is compelling and created with the intent to drive clicks to your site.
There are two main components of PPC ad copy: the ad headline and ad text. Think of your ad as a team that works together as one cohesive unit towards the same ultimate goal. If one part is not optimized to reach your CTR goals, then the other parts aren’t going to be as impactful either. You’ll then experience a domino effect on your ad effectiveness. If you don’t have a strong headline, your ad text won’t be as likely to be read by the searcher and will be less effective; therefore it won’t drive the amount of clicks you may have ideally wanted. Conversely, with a strong headline, your ad text is then more likely to be read; therefore being more impactful, driving more traffic to your site.
Writing Engaging Headlines
The most important fact to always keep in mind when writing headlines for your ads is that these 25 characters are the first portion of the ad the searcher will read. So it’s even more important to ensure that the headline is speaking to the exact audience you want to target. If you are a Roofing Contractor whose intention is to capture leads for residential projects, speak to Residential Roofing within your headline…i.e. use your headline as a tool to help pre-qualify the traffic you want to build.
Another resource to help ensure that your ads are highly targeted to your searchers is using Dynamic Keyword Insertion headlines. By using DKI in your headlines, you are able to have a headline that adjusts to each individual searcher’s query, therefore making your ad highly targeted. However, one incredibly important point to keep in mind when using DKI in your headlines is that you want to be 100% certain that the keywords you’re bidding on are going to bring in the type of targeted queries that would be most likely to convert. For a deeper look into using DKI in your ads, visit the Adwords Help Center.
Ad Text Matters Too
This is the bread and butter of your ad copy, where you have 70 characters to convince searchers whom have read past the headline to click on your ad. The absolute, most important component when writing ad text to ensure quality clicks is the call to action in the ad. Another important thing to note is the ad relevancy/keyword use within the actual ad copy.
Similarly to the Roofer example above, if a Roofing Contractor is looking for Residential projects, the most effective way to bring in those leads is by speaking to experience, mentioning promotions, or including any other call to actions directly dealing with Residential work. Other than the obvious relevancy benefits the help to pre-qualify traffic, using your keywords within the ads and keeping the ads targeted to your chosen keywords, you are likely to cause an increase in your keyword’s quality score. For a complete overview on Quality Score, see Google Adwords Back To Basics – Quality Score.
So now that we’re positive that the text within the ads is relevant and follows the best tactics to ensure quality performance, one more factor comes in to play: formatting. Google has been presenting longer ad headlines for ads in the top positions by either inserting your Display URL, or the first line of ad copy. Not as many advertisers as you would expect are taking advantage of this feature, even though this can dramatically alter the CTR performance of the ads. To ensure that the first line of ad copy is shown instead of the Display URL, add a period at the end of Description Line 1 and this will give you control over how the ad actually displays within the top positions of the search results page.
Lastly, do not underestimate the importance of completing a competitive analysis to give you a holistic idea of what the competition in your market is doing with their PPC campaigns. When analyzing this information, keep the following questions in mind:
- What would cause my ad to stand out from the competition?
- How can I differentiate my ad?
- What are my key businesses main benefits?
Pro Tip: Don’t Forget About Landing Pages & Ad Extensions
Your ad is only as effective as the landing page you’re leading people to. Driving in traffic to a relevant landing page is the most efficient way to ensure that you’re bringing in cost-effective leads. Additionally, including ad extensions may not directly increase your ad’s CTR, but including them does cause your ads to take up more real estate on the page. By pushing other ads lower on the page, you’re increasing your chances to drive clicks to your ad and indirectly increasing your ad’s CTR. For further information on making best use of ad extensions, see our Ultimate Guide To Adwords Ad Extensions.