Create a Killer PPC Advertisement

Make Pay Per Click Advertising Work for You

PPC AdsWhen it comes to Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising there are only two ways to decrease your spending. You can lower your cost per click (which will lower your position and your click through rate (CTR)) or you can improve your PPC advertisements (which will increase your CTR and your position).

Great ads will attract more clicks for a given amount of impressions, which will be rewarded by Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing with lower bid prices or higher rankings.

The real secret to writing the most popular PPC advertisement on the page is to ruthlessly test and track multiple ads - which is called split testing. By doing this, you will improve your advertising skill over time, and will eventually have a great performing ad with a very high click through rate (see our article Pay Per Click Advertising Tips).

To get a high click through rate your ad must be designed in such a way that it attracts the eye of potential customers so here a few tips on how to design the perfect PPC advertisement.

1. Write ads for small groups of keywords

You should try to get yourkeywords to appear multiple times in your ads so that you can take full advantage of keyword grouping. You could even include the keyword in all four lines of the PPC ad for maximum effect. But make sure this does not detract from the advertising message you are trying to put across.

And also by grouping your selected keywords very tightly, and writing your ads specifically for those keywords, you will give yourself a large advantage over your main competitors. Many people do not seem take the time required to do this job properly, yet it is something that will always increase your click through rate (CTR) every single time!

2. Create an attention-grabbing headline

Nothing in your advertisement is more important than your headline. The problem with PPC ads is that you don’t get much space for it.

For example, Google allows ad titles to be only 25 characters long.

Layout your headline wisely, but don’t stress over it too much, as you will probably be split testing many different variations before you find the one that performs really well.

3. Write ads with your audience in mind

When you write an ad, ask yourself “what is my audience looking for when they search for this particular keyword?” If you can write an ad that 'solves a problem', people with that problem will be instantly drawn to your ad.

You do have much space when it comes to writing your ads description as Google limits the two description lines and display URL to 35 characters each, so every single word you use is important.

4. Give the ads some visual appeal

This takes some additional creativity and planning, but can really help your PPC ad to stand out. For example you could make each line progressively longer (or shorter) for a cascading effect or you could alternate lengths to create a visual “arrow” or “reverse arrow” shape within your ad. You could even make your ad extra short. All of these ideas could help make your ad stand out from the rest and will hopefully increase your ads click through rate.

5. Ask the audience a question

This is definitely a good strategy for certain markets. If you can work a question into your headline or description, test it out and see how it performs. If someone is searching for something, and then you confirm what they are searching for, they are far more likely to click on your ad. Additionally, the tone of the question, along with the question mark, helps differentiate your ad from all the others.

6. Use specific numbers

Numbers create interest and specific numbers create curiosity. They won’t always perform better, but try to test the impact of including numbers in your advertisement. Always include whole numbers such as 31% rather than numbers including decimal points, like 31.13%. In other words, round up or down rather than using decimal points.

7. Borrow ideas from others

A copy writing principle that has been in practice for decades is borrowing ideas from other ads. If you only take “ideas” (such as rewriting an ad about “fish” to work with your “pc repair” keywords, you should not get into any trouble copying the ideas of direct competitors. Take some of the top ads that are being shown for your keywords and mix them up to create something completely new. It they are at the top of the listings, they probably have a pretty good advertisement, or are paying out a lot of money to have it appear in the top position.

8. Emphasize the benefits of your offer

Your audience doesn't care how many features your are offering or how great they are - all they want to know is “What’s in it for me?” If you can tell them, you will likely have a hugely successful ad.

9. Use words that evoke emotion

If you can get people to feel emotions when reading your ad, they will probably feel compelled to click it. The list of emotion words is very long, so here is a nice wikipaedia guide to emotion words.

10. Test multiple versions of your display URL

You can certainly experiment with capitalization (i.e. “DomainName.com” vs. “domainname.com”). You should also experiment with “www”, sub domains and pages.

Including your keywords in your domain name can often increase your CTR. You can essentially do this one of two ways: “Key-Words.DomainName.com” or “DomainName.com/Key-Words.”

11. Be cautious with prices

Although prices do have their place as negative qualifiers, they will usually be detrimental to your CTR.

Unless your price is definitely the lowest on the block, it's probably best to leave it out of your PPC ad. You can, instead, perhaps state the savings your product provides as a benefit to your potential customers.

12. Include a call-to-action

Sometimes, the most effective way to get someone to do something is to simply ask them to do it. That’s the principle behind the call to action. Because you have such limited space in a PPC ad, the call-to-action might not be beneficial, but it is at least worth a test. Just including something like "Click here to receive this benefit" or "Get your free copy now" is more than sufficient to test this idea.

13. Don’t waste space with useless words

The space available to you in a PPC ad is extremely limited. Although your ads should be grammatically correct, they do not need to be sophisticated sentences. Keep them simple and concise so that it is easier for the reader to quickly understand what you are offering.

14. Use negative keywords

Negative keywords permit advertisers to specify when ads should not be shown, such as when a keyword has multiple meanings or is part of other popular queries. You will be able to do this from within your PPC interface.

Although negative keywords are not directly related to how you write your ads, they are important. If you don’t use negative keywords, your ad is going to be triggered by keywords that you did not plan for. When this happens, your ad will not match what the consumer was searching for and will result in lower CTR and a lower placement.

To find out more about negative keywords see this Google page - How can I find the right negative keywords to benefit my campaign?

15. Make the ad relevant to your landing page

Although your landing page does not affect the CTR of your ad it can affect what you receive from it, in terms of a product sale or in sign ups for your service. It is therefore very important that you make your ad relevant to your landing page.

If a visitor reads a particular offer or benefit in your ad, they are expecting to find it when they click through to your landing page. Give them what you promise in your advertisement and you will experience a higher conversion rate. Give them something that doesn't match the ad and you will have a lot of confused visitors who will quickly reach for the back button.

16. Always double check spelling and grammar

This might seem obvious, but is can be very easy to make a stupid mistake. Having a grammatical or spelling error in your ad (or any document) hurts the credibility of your advertisement and will most likely get it disabled by an editor, costing you valuable testing time.

So there you have it. Sixteen tips on writing killer PPC ads.

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