This article was originally published April 3, 2008 on the Tatum Marketing blog.
Looking for an easy way to write pay per click ads that produce massive traffic to your website? Sorry. It’s going to take some thinking. I’ll give you basic guidelines, but to be truly persuasive you have to get inside the mind of the person you want to click on your ad.
Being persuasive in a four line ad means you don’t have room for any extra words. You don’t even have room for extra characters. You’ve got to get right to the heart of what the searcher wants to see.
Before you start writing your ad, ask yourself these questions:
1. Who is the person doing the search? What role do they play in purchasing your product – user, technical expert, economic buyer, champion?
2. Where are they in the buying process? Are they just becoming aware that they have a problem? Are they researching solutions? Are they looking for alternatives?
3. What do they want – general information, specific features, product comparisons, pricing?
Stay in this mode – thinking like your prospect would think – as you write your ad.
So, what are you going to say in your ad?
There are plenty of Adwords experts out there. One of the best known of these is Perry Marshall who recommends a simple formula for writing ads that get clicks. If you take the time to first figure out what your prospect wants, you’ll find that this formula works.
1. Whenever possible, use your major keyword(s) in the headline. This is so your ad will be in context with what the searcher is thinking. Pay-per-click makes this easy. You know what keyword phrase the searcher used because you’re bidding on it. Now repeat it back to her to show her that this is what she’s looking for.
2. Put a benefit in the second line. This should be what you’ve identified as the most likely thing people want to find when they’re searching on your keyword phrase.
3. Use a feature of what you’re offering in the third line.
4. The final line is the display URL. Believe it or not this URL can have a big effect on your click-through rate. But, Google has just made it harder to use creative display URLS. As of April 1, 2008, the display URL must match the landing page URL.
Let’s look at an example. Let’s say you’re writing an ad for keywords “project management software”. Your first ad might look something like this:
Simple Project Management
Powerful software, easy to use.
See a demo and get a 30-day trial
Hold on. You’re not done – and this is how you get your best ads.
Will the example ad above work? Maybe. But maybe something else would work better. Adwords makes it very easy to test ads against each other. Sometimes subtle changes make a big difference. Sometimes you have to take a different approach.
Maybe the searcher is looking for a different benefit. You could try a second version like this:
Easy Project Management
Web-based tool uses any browser
See a demo and get a 30-day trial
You can run these ads against each other and find out which one gets the most clicks. Then drop the losing ad, write a 3rd ad and run it against the winner. Repeat. In fact, you should always be testing two ads against each other. That way you’ll keep building your traffic – and learning more about your prospects.
I’ve been looking at a lot of pay-per-click campaigns for new clients lately. Many of these clients are outsourcing management of their pay per click campaigns to agencies. I’m continuously surprised at how many of these agencies are not testing multiple versions of ads. If you’re outsourcing your campaign, don’t assume that the testing is being done. Better ask.
Have you tried testing ads? Does it work for you?