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October 15, 2007

Who Else Wants to Know How-To Write an Effective Advertisement?

Webmasters struggle everyday with the question of how they should advertise their website. There are so many advertising venues; it is hard to know which is the right venue or the right combination of advertising venues.

The answer to this question is actually simple. The right venues are the ones that allow you to earn enough sales from the placement of your advertisement to make a profit. Your advertisement should earn more money for you than it cost for you to buy the advertisement.

Choose Your Words Carefully

“If it takes a lot of words to say what you have in mind – give it more thought.” — Dennis Roth

With advertising of any type, you must learn to choose your words carefully.

Most online advertising is in the form of a classified ad. With a newspaper, you can choose any size of advertisement to communicate your message to readers. The newspaper charges you based on the number of words in your classified ad.

Online, you don’t get the option of buying additional words. Instead, you buy an ad, and the publisher tells you how many words or characters you are allowed to use in your advertisement.

Here is how the different search advertising options break down:

ExactSeek.com through the ISEDN.org network:
Headline Length: 30 characters
Description: 100 characters

Google Adwords through Google.com:
Headline Length: 25 characters
Description first line: 35 characters
Description second line: 35 characters

Overture.com through the Yahoo network:
Headline Length: 40 characters
Description: 190 characters

As you can see from these numbers, you generally do not have that much space to tell your story so you need to select words that best tell your story, using as few words as possible.

Most products or services cannot be sold in just a few words so your goal should be to get people to your website and let your website do the selling.

On your website, you can tell your story in the way it needs to be told. Your website can also answer all of the questions that the reader might have about your products or services.

Choosing The Right Formula For Your Advertising

In your own mind, you might think that people need to know all of your credentials. But, advertising should not be viewed as a “brag fest”. People do not care what you have done; they only care about what you can do for them.

So tell them how you can help them and give them a reason to visit your website for more information.

If you understand why your customers buy your products and services, then you can answer their questions and help them solve any problem they might have.

If you can solve their problems, they will buy what you are selling.

Pre-Qualify Your Visitors

If you are engaged in PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising, you definitely need to pre-qualify your visitors in your advertising. Why pay for people to visit your website if they are not likely to buy what you are selling?

If you are engaged in selling wholesale products to retailers, why would you want to pay for visitors people whose sole intention is to buy one of what you are selling at retail prices? You wouldn’t, would you?

Provide enough detail in your advertisement to help people make an informed judgment as to whether you can actually help them accomplish what they want to accomplish.

Give your prospect enough information to skip your advertisement, if he or she will not benefit from your offer.

Even if you are using other types of advertising like pay-for- inclusion, you will still want to pre-qualify your visitors, because if you don’t, it will skew your website conversion numbers. Too many unqualified visitors to your website might give you the erroneous idea that your sales copy is not performing as well as it should.

Use Power Words In Your Advertising

“Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in a few words.” —
Aprocrypha

Copywriters are always talking about “power words” or “power phrases”. These are word combinations that influence the reader to take an action.

One example of using power words in your copy is to substitute the word “children” for the word “kids”. Parents are more influenced by the reference to children than they are by the reference to kids.

“Guaranteed” is another power word. It gives your reader an added incentive to buy what you are selling. Prospects take comfort in the idea that if they discover later that they have made a bad decision, they can always get their money back.

“Proven” is another power word. It tells your reader that you can back up what you are saying with “proof”. Your prospect can see “scientific” or empirical “evidence” that you are telling the “truth”. These are more power words for the person who is paying attention.

Power words attract attention, spur reader curiosity and compel readers to take the action that you want them to take.

Pay More Attention To Your Headline

The 25 to 40 characters that are available to you for your headline are the most important part of your advertisement, hands down.

On most websites, the headline is in bold print. The truth is your prospect will not see your description at all, if their attention is not captured first by your headline.

“Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood.” — William Penn

Test and Track Your Results

If you do not take the time or effort to track your advertising, you will never know what is, or is not, working for you.

Set up different landing pages for your ads to determine which ads are producing results and which ads are failing to deliver on their promise.

This one step will save you more money than you can imagine. It will allow you to dump the dogs and build upon your successes.

Shades Of Gray

Ad tracking will enable you to pinpoint the effect of the slightest changes in wording and presentation.

Changing one word in your headline or description could make the difference between selling one unit and selling 500 units, but without a tracking system that might never be apparent.

Let’s compare two headlines:

* Read Our Wealth Tips,

* Read Our Wealth Secrets.

Which of these two headlines is more compelling to you?

Do you see how much of a difference one word can make in your copy?

Play around with your copy to find text that is more likely to compel your reader to visit your website.

The words you use in your copy can make all of the difference in the world.

Stand Above Your Competition

The PPC advertising companies are going to hate me for telling you this, but you don’t need top placement in their search advertising results, if your ad is written better than the ads of your competitors.

The company with the most compelling headline is going to draw the attention of the reader. It’s not uncommon for the advertisement in position five or six to get the click because of a compelling headline and an attention grabbing description.

Fortunately for you, most of your competitors probably do not understand how to write an effective advertisement. This will allow you to quickly jump to the head of the class without spending more money for those higher spots in the PPC bidding process.

Start Small and Take Care With Your Advertising Budget

When you are testing new advertising copy, you should start small. You don’t want to spend $1 a click in a pay-per-click advertising venue, using an advertisement that hasn’t been tested or proven successful. To do otherwise is a waste of valuable resources.

Google Adwords ( http://adwords.google.com ) and Yahoo’s Overture( http://www.overture.com ) systems both require you to start your bidding at five cents a click.

At http://www.7search.com , you can buy advertising for as little as one cent per click.

At http://www.ExactSeek.com, the founding member of the ISEDN
(http://www.ISEDN.org), you can build an ad around a specific keyword phrase for as little as $12 per quarter or $36 per year. Your ad is then displayed through more than 200 ISEDN member websites.

After You Have Mastered The Art Of Advertising

After you have mastered the art and science of advertising, you will learn the most important lesson of all.

All venues can produce exceptional results, if you have written a compelling and effective advertisement.

When you write effective advertising copy, you will be able to convert anyone’s traffic into sales.

Author:  Bill Platt is the owner of http://thePhantomWriters.com He has been ghost writing articles for clients since 1999. And he has been providing his article distribution service since 2001. Bill can be reached by phone from 9:30am to 6pm CST, Monday through Friday at: (405) 780-7327. If you would like to learn more using article marketing to promote your online business, Bill’s website is a treasure trove of information. You may now register at his site to receive daily, weekly or monthly summaries of the articles he distributes for his clients.

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