“Never let your ads write checks that your website can’t cash.”
– Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist at Google
PPC advertising saw some major shake ups in 2016.
Early in the year, Google decided to kill off right-side text ads. Several months later, the big G announced that Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) would soon be a reality; on Aug. 1, 2016, this promise came to fruition.
Many industry experts hold the text ad expansion as one of the biggest changes to Google AdWords in more than 16 years.
As marketers continue to gain unprecedented access to various PPC advertising methods and channels, the discipline will continue to become more targeted and powerful in its ability to reach consumers at the perfect moment in their journey.
What this means, however, is that there are more PPC options today than ever before. For small business owners, this can be a bit of a quandary considering that they must figure out which avenues will provide the most meaningful results for their businesses.
To help SMBs quickly wade through the data, let’s take a look at which PPC formats are most effective for achieving business goals.
Recently, Hanapin, a PPC management firm, published its State of PPC 2016 – 2017 report. The research covers stats on PPC growth and spending, effective channels and tons of other useful data to help educate advertisers and drive successful strategies.
In this year’s report, 86 percent of respondents claimed that text ads were an effective modality for their brand while 65 percent stated the same in regards to remarketing ads. Additionally, 56 percent of surveyed individuals declare mobile PPC ads to be a powerful channel for their business.
Considering the performance and potency of these ad sets, with text ads as a clear frontrunner, we are going to focus on the best practices for text ads so that you can spend your 2017 generating awareness, leads and sales through the most effective channel in the PPC landscape.
Best Practices for Expanded Text Ads
The first thing we will address here is an all-too-common marketing mistake.
In order to be successful with Google’s new ETAs, you can’t just slap some extra text onto your existing ads and expect increased performance; you need to generate new and unique messages.
If you fail to do so, you will be developing flawed ads that say the same exact thing using more words than before; this tactic doesn’t make adverts more compelling or coercive.
The second most important thing to remember is that a significant portion of your audience will be viewing these ads on mobile devices, meaning that you need to optimize your text ads because ETAs don’t differentiate between devices and there is no option to create separate mobile ads like you could with the older format.
Always be sure to review your ad with the mobile preview feature in the ad editor before publishing.
Outside of these two important reminders, here are some general best practices for creating text ads the yield adequate results:
Your ETAs’ primary headline is going to be the first thing that users see. Naturally, you will want to reserve this space for your most vital information and main keyword that is targeted with the ad campaign. If you are targeting long-tailed keywords, put the entire phrase in this section.
Your supporting (or second) headline should be leveraged for supplemental information. Here you will want to include your product’s benefits or key features. You could also use the field to emphasize the urgency of acting on your offer.
It is important to note that the second headline might get cut off. This is because Google regulates ad displays based on pixel-count. This means that letters like ‘W’ will take up more pixels than ‘I.’ Be sure to pay close attention to this so you are certain your second headline is fully displayed.
If users make it this far, you have successfully caught their attention. Now your description needs to convince them to click-through by differentiating your product of service.
Here you will want to clearly define your offering’s benefits, features, and a clear call-to-action like ‘Buy Now,’ ‘Learn More,’ ‘Download Today,’ or something similar. This is crucial because there are a plethora of stats showing that CTAs increase conversions.
Increase Your Quality Score
In order to succeed using AdWords, a good quality score is essential.
Great quality scores are achieved by developing highly relevant ads as they relate to given queries. Additionally, click-through rates also impact your quality score because this metric provides Google with direct information on how useful people find your adverts.
To attain and maintain a favorable score, conduct in-depth keyword research and include your targeted phrases in your headline and display URL path fields.
Additionally, use a variety of ad extensions to support your promotion. Things like sitelink extension and call extensions not only allow you to take up more space on-screen, but they also help to promote a higher CTR, ultimately improving your quality score.
Ad extensions can be leveraged to expand upon features, landing pages, reviews, locations, and other offers. Extensions can serve to fill the void left by ETAs limited (albeit improved) character count.
With this information, small business owners can develop highly alluring and impactful adverts that will help their company boost visibility, their number of prospective leads and sales. Now go out there and capture some customers.
What is your favorite ad extension? Are you surprised to find most marketers favor text ads over social advertising?