This third article in our series on PPC basics looks at how to write ads that get more traffic to your site - and sell more of your products and services.
Now we’re at the part where AdWords gets fun! Now we get to take all the organizational work we’ve done, and turn it into fun, engaging ad copy. In the last section, I talked about breaking up your campaigns into a product group or service. I’ll use the sports shop as an example again here to talk about how to set up your ad groups.
Here’s the list of products that would fall underneath ‘tennis’ again:
For each of those products, I would create an ad group. The reason being that the more centralized and targeted your ad groups are, the more likely your ads are to be ranked higher, while paying a lower CPC (cost per click). Consider this, if you performed a Google search for “buy tennis balls” and you came across these two ads, which one would you click?
|Ad A||Ad B|
|Buy Tennis Balls Online||Tennis Gear Online|
|Top Brands Penn, Wilson & More||OR||We Carry All Tennis Brands|
|Get Free Fast Shipping, Order Today||Order Today For Free Shipping|
Ad A is extremely clear about what you’ll be getting if you visit the website. You can safely assume that by clicking the link, you’ll be taken to a page that carries tennis balls, and it even mentions some of the brands that are carried. That’s an easy click for me.
Ad B makes no mention of tennis balls, it simply states that they carry all tennis gear brands. As a searcher, I have no way of knowing what kind of gear they carry. Maybe they only have apparel. The point being, I’m clicking on ad A every time if I’m looking for balls.
If you come across an ad like ad B, what is likely to have happened is that the advertiser just made one ad group for all their products and threw all their keywords into one group. This is a poor approach as you'll end up wasting your budget on invalid clicks by being so vague.
If you’re the owner of Ad B and you don’t carry tennis balls, but people still click on your ad, you’re paying for an unsatisfied customer. Now, not only have you spent money to bring someone into your store who won’t make a purchase, but chances are they’ll look elsewhere when searching for anything related to your products because of the experience they had with you.
Writing your first ad
Okay, now that you’ve picked an ad group to work on, let’s work on your first ad. You’re working with a fairly limited space when working in AdWords. Your ad headline can be 25 characters, followed by two lines of 35 character text and a display URL up to 35 characters. To help you make the most of your characters, I’ve put together some helpful tips.
Write a catchy headline
Your ad is going to be competing with several other ads, as well as the organic results for the click, so make sure yours sticks out among the rest. One way of doing this is to use a benefit of your product in the headline. For example, if you were selling a weight loss supplement, your headline might read “Lose 20 lbs in 5 weeks!” Don’t just draft something completely inappropriate for your brand, please exercise your creativity within reason.
Use your keywords
You may have noticed that when you come across ads, some of the words are bolded. This is because they correspond with a keyword in your search query. In addition to standing out among the rest of the results, this helps the searcher see that your ad is relevant to their query. (Where have these keywords come from - the Wordtracker Keywords tool, perhaps?)
It’s especially helpful if you can include a keyword in the headline. It’s also very helpful to include the keyword in your display URL like I did in the tennis ball example. Your display URL does not have to be the exact URL on your website, which is important to note. For instance, tennisdepot.com/tennis-balls could lead to http://www.tennisdepot.com/category/accessories/balls. As long as the root (tennisdepot.com) is the same, you can play with the rest of your characters as you’d like.
Make your benefits clear
This is fairly simple if you’re offering a product, the shopper mostly wants to know you have what they’re looking for. With a service, it’s more important to make sure the searcher knows how they’ll benefit. If you’re selling CRM software, some benefits might include better organization, time saving, and more sales.
Use a strong call to action
Once you’ve grabbed the attention of your potential customer and explained the value of your product, you need to close the deal. Phrases like “Order today,” “start now,” “buy now” all create a sense of urgency. You can also experiment with a closing benefit, “order today for free shipping” is a good one if you offer free shipping, even if you’ll continue offering free shipping tomorrow and the following days. As with the headline, make sure it’s appropriate for what you’re advertising.
Landing page correlation
The landing page (destination page of your ad) should be relevant to the advertisement. This is something that Google checks and will penalize you with a lower ad rank if you’re sending traffic to a page unrelated to your ad, so please make sure you’re sending your visitors to a page that they actually want to go to.
I recommend running 3-4 ads in each ad group at a time, because this allows you to tailor your ads to the different values of your product. One ad might focus on the price, while another might focus more on the benefits of using your product. Over time you can determine which ad is working best and choose it to appear more often. AdWords is all about testing, so you may find yourself writing new ads on a regular basis to keep improving.
Ad rotation and scheduling
There’s a good chance you don’t want your ads shown at all times, unless you’ve got an online store, open 24/7, so how do you make sure your ads are being displayed at the right time? Under campaign settings, you’ll see 'Advanced settings'. Ad scheduling is in there. This is only available if you've selected the 'All features' option in 'Campaign type' as shown in the picture below:
And Advanced Settings are only available on the campaign level, so if you have a specific ad group that you want to run on a special schedule, you’ll need to actually make it a separate campaign.
The numbers in this image refer to each of the functions described below it:
1) In Ad scheduling, you can choose the hours you want your campaign to run in, so if you close at 5pm, it’s easy to make sure that no ads are shown again until the next day.
Right underneath scheduling, you’ll find 2) Ad delivery. This applies when you have more than one ad running at a time within an ad group. You can choose for the ads to rotate evenly throughout the day, for the ad with the highest CTR to appear more frequently, or for the ad with the best conversion rate to show more frequently. It’s common for advertisers to choose to rotate evenly at first, then choose one of the other two options once they have enough data from testing.
Lastly, I’ll touch on your 3) Ad delivery method. This option is actually underneath the 'Bidding and budget' section of your campaign settings. You can choose between 'Standard' delivery or 'Accelerated' delivery. Standard delivery ensures that your ads will be shown evenly throughout the day, while accelerated delivery will make sure that your ads are triggered as often as possible until your daily budget is exhausted. If you’re interested in visibility, standard delivery will probably be your best bet, because with accelerated delivery, its entirely possible that your ads will only be seen for a couple of hours in the morning.
Of course, if all you care about are sales, then you may not mind that, as long as those clicks are converting.
That’s it for the basic structure and set-up of your first AdWords campaign, but AdWords is much more complex than this. In the next article, I’ll dig into some more advance strategies you can use, even as a PPC beginner.
Read more in this series:
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