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October 10, 2008

13 Tips to Keep in Mind When Writing Your PPC Ads

1. Heading. This is the most important part of your Ad. The heading is what potential visitors see first when looking at various search results. The better the visitor can identify with your heading the more likely they are to click on your ad and visit your web site. Keep in mind that you headline MUST give them what they want. It must give them the answer they are searching for, if it doesn’t they won’t click. On the opposite side of that. The headline is a good place to qualify your prospects. You don’t just want “lookie loos” on your web site wasting your money by clicking on your ad and not signing up for your product.

2. Use keywords in your title. Use keywords that people are searching for in your ads. By using the keyword in the heading it captures the searcher and subconsciously they think that your as answers their search because you have the keyword in the title.

3. Benefit. The first line of the ad should describe the benefit of what you’re offering. Buyers want to know “what’s in it for them” so TELL THEM! For Example: “new affordable pool equipment” In this example, the benefit is that your equipment is new and affordable.

4. Feature. The second line of your ad should depict a major feature for your particular product or feature.

For Example: “deal with experienced experts” In this example, the feature is that your company is experienced and knowledgeable; “Been is business for over 20 years” is another good feature because people assume that if you’ve been in the business for a long time than you know what you’re doing (which may or may not be a good assumption on their part!)

5. Display URL vs Destination URL. Google give you two places to note your URL, one is seen on the ad (the display URL) and one is the actual web site a visitor is taken to when they click on your ad (the destination URL), both are very important.

Since the space you are given to get your message across is so small, the display URL is another place that viewers can subconsciously see your information. So, make it simple on them to read and consider using the keyword (of it fits) as a subdirectory of your URL.

For example: www.YourWebSiteHere.com/PoolEquipment For the destination URL, make sure that the landing page (the page your visitor is taken to) gives them the answer to their search. If they were looking for pool equipment, DO NOT take them to the home page. Instead, direct them to a page that lists all the different pool equipment you have available. Simply by doing this one trick you will decrease your bounce rate (or the number of people that leave your site without visiting any other page on your site, more importantly the confirmation page that tracks your conversions!)

6. Capitalize EVERY word! Although these ads may say the same thing, but which stands out more to you? For Example: Pool equipment New affordable pool equipment deal with experienced experts. www.yourwebsitehere.com

For Example: Pool Equipment New Affordable Pool Equipment Deal With Experienced Experts. www.YourWebSiteHere.com

So, which do you think is going to attract the eye of the potential buyer?

7. Keyword Methods. There are several methods for choosing keywords

1. [Exact Match]- The search has to match exactly to your keyword with no additional keywords. For example: if [pool equipment] was searched, your ad would only be displayed someone searched for pool equipment and not new pool equipment.

2. “Phrase Match”– Your ad appears when that exact phrase is searched. Your ad will come up even if additional words are used, but you search has to be shown in the exact order.

For Example: if “pool equipment” was searched, your ad would come up new pool equipment, pool equipment store, but not for equipment for your pool.

3. Broad Match- If you do not put your keyword(s) in brackets or quotes, then Google will come up with results for all possible matches of your keyword(s).

For example: if some searched for pool equipment, your ad would show up for new pool equipment, pool equipment for your home, pool equipment store, etc. Unfortunately, there is no one “best way” to match your keywords. You must take a look at your business and decide what works for your product or service. One more tip- if you decide to use broad match make sure you use negative keywords, such as free. This was your ad would not come up when someone search free pool equipment (unless you really had free equipment to give out- and if that’s the case, let me know and we’ll talk).

It is quite easy to note the negative keywords. For example, if you didn’t want free you would write – free in your list of keywords. So you may have a list that looks like this:

[pool equipment] pool equipment – free

And yes, you can most certainly list exact, phrase and broad match keywords.

8. Don’t forget the “www.” Make sure that your use the “www” is your display URL. No, it is not necessary and the visitor will still reach your site without it; however, today, our brains are so systematic that by including the “www” it not only draws attention to the web site (and the ad) but it allows our brain to process that we are looking at a URL and thus we should remember what we are looking at.

9. Short and to the Point. You are VERY limited in the amount of characters you get for your ads. Therefore, keep your ads as concise as possible… GET TO THE POINT!

10. Price. We all know price drives a person. Even in real estate if your home isn’t selling than what’s wrong with it? The price. If you have competitively priced your product or service to be the lowest in your market, consider putting the price in your ad title. If a potential buyer sees your low price they’ll probably click on your ad to see what you’re all about.

11. Free. I like free- don’t you? People inherently like “free” things. So, if you are truly giving something away for free (like a free consultation, free bonus, free trial) than consider putting free in your title. Again, it will grab the attention of your potential buyer and encourage them to visit your web site.

12. Two things to look at: CTR (Click Through Rate) and Conversion Rate. Both of these elements are key when you are analyzing the success of your keywords and ads. You must find a “happy medium” between the two elements, because without it, your ads will fail. For Example: If you adjust your ad focusing solely on your conversion rate, although you may be converting more people and thus probably spending more money If you had 1,000 impressions and 4 visitors your CTR would be .04%. Of these 4 clicks, you had 1 conversion for a conversion rate of 25%. Not a bad conversion rate and you’re spending less money to get it. Good right? Well, kind of. Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on the way you look at it) Google places rank of CTR and those ads with a higher CTR will be shown more often (keep in mind this is not the only factor but is one of many). So, although you may think you’re doing better because you’re spending less money and getting more leads/conversions you may sacrifice you position with Google.

13. Test, Test and Test AGAIN! Unfortunately, even after spending all the time in the world to make sure you have the best possible ad for your product or service you cannot just “set the ad and go.” You must keep testing the ad to see what works. Yes, at times, this re-testing can be a daunting task, but if you don’t continually test your market, ads and keywords you will loose the game because I guarantee you, your competition is still testing.


Known as the “Online Celebrity Producer,” Lindsay Glass helps her clients tell their stories in the online world. Lindsay began freelance writing in 2000 and soon after launched her own PR firm that thrived by offering an in-your-face “Guaranteed PR” that was one of the first of its type in the nation. She is now a founding partner of DNG Media Group, LLC. For more information, please visit http://www.dngmediagroup.com

4 Responses to “13 Tips to Keep in Mind When Writing Your PPC Ads

    Sounds like this can take lots of time to tweak and make sure you get the best bang for your buck, but better to do do this the right way then waste money.

    avatar Tom says:

    Your article was very helpful, especially the information on negative keywords, thank you.

    avatar Mel Menzies says:

    I liked your article on 3 Simple Tips To Keep In Mind . . and followed the link to this one. I don’t actually use ads, but I’m very interested in keywords. As an author, my focus is much broader than most bloggers, so I have to be sure that my net has some hooks in it. Mel http://www.melmenzies.co.uk

    avatar tom says:

    Your final comment regarding Testing is extremely important, I was able to double my CTR as a result of diligent testing.

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