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Great Text Ads Start with Great Headlines

Posted by in Pay Per Click (PPC)


Having a perfectly structured campaign, amazing offerings, a massive budget and a genius bidding strategy could be useless if you have rubbish copy. A somewhat dramatic statement perhaps, but the importance of creating good text ads often goes overlooked. When I say ‘good’ I mean relevant, specific copy accompanied with a call to action.

For instance, you might be generating a heap of impressions courtesy of your keywords and budget, but if no one is clicking your ads, your click-through rate (CTR) will lead to a low and often poor quality score, which will in turn give you a higher cost per click and a campaign with wasted ad spend.

How do I create a good text ad?

You’ve got 4 lines and 130 characters to catch the user’s attention and their click. A good ad generally includes:

  • What makes your brand/product offering so unique (a Unique Selling Point)
  • Any specials or promotions you are offering
  • Highlights what the searcher should do after reading your ad (call to action)
  • A keyword
  • Information in the ad matches your landing page

That’s a lot of information for such a small space, and testing is an important part to getting it right.

Testing Ads

As a general tip Google suggests experimenting with text ads by running 3-4 ads per ad group and evaluating which ads perform best. Testing allows you to build around ads that work, and pause/delete those that don’t.

Where to Start?

Besides other features such as Ad Extensions and Dynamic Keyword Insertions, the headline is the first thing searchers will see when a search prompts your ad to appear. If your headline is irrelevant or unclear, it is likely that searchers won’t bother reading the rest of the ad nor will they click on them. When you’re trying to attract the correct audience it’s also important to consider your brand, audience and offerings. In addition, here are a few types to consider and try when creating headlines.

5 Headline Types from Copyblogger:

  1. Direct Headlines get straight to the point, without using any clever tricks or fancy gimmicks:
    Direct Headline Example
    Direct Headline Example
  2. News Headlines broadcast news such as available updates, product announcements, and improved versions:
    News Headline Example
    News Headline Example
  3. The How to Headline is popping up everywhere, basically because it works. “Many advertising writers claim if you begin with the words how to, you can’t write a bad headline.”
    How-to Headline Example
    How-to Headline Example
  4. Question Headlines asks question that users would like to see answered in their search queries:
    Question Headline Example
    Question Headline Example
  5. The Command Headline boldly tells the reader what they need to do. The first word should be a strong verb compelling action:
    Command Headline Example
    Command Headline Example

Incorporating your keywords into headlines not only shows the right people your ad, it shows that your ad is directly relevant to their search. This can help in grabbing their attention and their clicks.

Next time you create a text ad, take some time to give these headline types a try.

About

Sterling is passionate PPC strategist; he is determined to generate the right traffic for the right organisations via paid search marketing. He is constantly striving to improve through research, applying new skills and testing.

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