7 Ways to Make Your PPC Ad Attractive and Effective

by Katarina Ilic on January 29, 2013

in Pay Per Click (PPC)

Some people think that creating a PPC ad is easy, after all there are only a few words to pick from, right? So how hard can it be?

Well, if you’ve ever sat down to write one, you’ll find that contrary to what ‘they’ say, writing an attractive, relevant and conversion friendly ad can in fact cause severe nail biting, rigorous hair pulling and an unrelenting desire to write a nice long blog post that isn’t constricted by a character limit.

Particularly if writing isn’t your forte, writing for PPC ads can be frustrating. Ad’s are restricted to 25 characters for the headline and 35 characters for each line of description. That’s not much to work with so, you really need to maximise the space you have. The following list will demonstrate exactly how you make the most of the 95 odd characters you have in order to improve not only the click through rate, but also the conversion rate once people have landed on your website.

1. Choose your keywords well

Keywords are at the centre of any search marketing strategy because the right keyword will maximise your chances of delivering the ad to the right person. Because keyword selection will depend on the customer and what they’re likely to search for, make sure that you do your research first before creating your ad. You can read more about this on my previous post on Why You Need Keywords.

2. Create a gripping headline

This is pretty self explanatory. The headline is the first thing people will see so it’s imperative that you get it right. The best way to get the most out of the headline is to include the keyword you’re targeting. By including the keyword, you’re addressing what the user searched for which makes the ad more relevant to them, which in turn makes them more likely to click and convert.

PROT TIP: Just capitalising each word can make the ad stand out as you can see in the image below. Simple, yet effective.
ad copy for an effective ppc ad

3. Highlight your unique selling proposition in the ad copy

What makes your product or service unique? Is it a wide range of brands, free, overnight shipping, a 100 day returns policy perhaps? Whichever one it is, make sure that you highlight it because it will determine whether the customer buys from you and not from your competition.

4. Ensure landing pages are optimised

Now that you’ve determined your keywords and created some kick-ass awesome copy, your ad is most likely looking lovely and clickable. But what happens next? It’s one thing to create an awesome ad that drives massive traffic numbers but if it doesn’t convert, what’s the point? This is where landing pages come in.

The purpose of the landing page is to convert the traffic generated from the ad into a lead or sale. Sure, you can direct the traffic to your homepage but it’s not a good idea because homepages can be overwhelming (particularly on E-Commerce sites) and the user is likely to bounce before making any kind of purchase. Consider for example that you searched ‘red converse shoes’. The ad below turns up:

converse shoes image 1

You think ‘perfect, this is exactly what I need’ so you click on it and you’re taken to…the very busy, very confusing home page with shoes, bags, jackets and pretty much everything else the site seems to offer. What next? Do you do a product search? Do you navigate your way through 4 odd steps to find red converse shoes? Most people would simply get confused and go back to their original search to find a more relevant website and you’re left with no conversions and a mounting PPC bill.

Instead, you want to make it as easy as possible for the user to follow through. To do this, ensure that your ad copy is consistent with the landing page it links to. Appliances Online does this really well. If you do a search for ‘buy bosch dishwasher’ for example, you’re directly taken to a landing page with only Bosch dishwashers (see below) – not one with a range of Bosch, Fisher & Paykel, Miele and LG varieties, nor one with Bosch vacuum cleaners, microwaves and ovens. As a result, buyers will find what they want immediately, and be more likely to head to your checkouts just as quickly.

good ppc ad example bosch dishwasher

5. Include a strong call-to-action

Much like all forms of marketing, a call to action is important for an effective PPC ad. Put yourself in the position of the customer and think about why you should click on the ad that very second. To encourage the user to click the ad there and then, you need to create a sense of urgency and tell users exactly what you want them to do. This is called a call to action.

Some effective calls to action include:

  • Get your free eBook right now
  • Sign up now for 20% off the entire range
  • Call now for your free consultation

Compare this to the more generic calls to action like:

  •  Visit our website
  •  Click here

Clearly the former has a much higher chance of not only encouraging a user clicking on the ad, but also of converting the user into a customer once they’re on the landing page.

6. Make the most of ad extensions

Ad extensions allow you to include more information in your existing PPC ad – without going over the character limit. A discussion of this awesome feature is worthy of its own blog post so I won’t go into too much detail just yet but a few key points are worth noting.

First, ad extensions can increase the click-through rate, decrease the cost per acquisition and improve the conversion rate of the ad, while the cost per click remains EXACTLY the same as it would without the extension. Win.

Second, you can select an extension based on the action you’d like the user to take. For example, a ‘call extension’ would include the business’ phone number so the user can call directly from their mobile without having to go onto the website. This is particularly useful for those emergency businesses like plumbers or the NRMA whose customers are usually in a bit of a pickle when they want to call them. When you have an over flowing toilet or a broken down car, you don’t really want to search through a website to find a contact number so this ad extension is perfect for converting the right customers.

call extension ppc

There are 6 ad extensions to choose from all together, so I suggest having a look on the Google AdWords support page ‘Enhance your ad using extensions’ to get the low down on each one.

7. Test, test and when you think you’ve done enough testing, test some more

Try as you might to put yourself in the customers shoes, your intuition about what they want may not always be the best option. For example, they might prefer a more subtle, soft approach while you fancy direct and aggressive tones. In order to mitigate the risk of alienating a large chunk of your potential market therefore, you should always test different tones. During this experimentation process, create a few ads in each ad group and develop a different message for each. Figure out which one works best by analysing your AdWords statistics and model your campaign accordingly. Easy!

Hopefully these 7 pieces of PPC wisdom will help you maximise your next campaign but if you’re still struggling, fell free to give us a call to see how we can help!

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