When you are running an AdWords campaign, your ads are your first chance to impress and attract a prospective customer. You should create your ads based on your campaign goals and continuously test new ads to find better performing ads. Every successful AdWords campaign will have a good ad testing and optimization strategy.
Text ads are the simplest version of AdWords ads. A standard text ad will include a title (the title will be a clickable link to your website or landing page), two lines of description text and your website address in green.
The basic rules
When you organize your campaign, always create tightly themed ad groups. This will help you to write very specific ad copies as per the keywords in your ad groups.
There are strict character length limits applicable to the parts of a text ad.
Headline – 25 Characters
Description line 1 – 35 Characters
Description line 2 – 35 Characters
Display URL – 35 Characters
Editorial and Professional Requirements
Your ads should have high professional and editorial standards in order to provide quality user experience. Some of these requirements are
- The ad message must be clear and professional in appearance.
- Superlative or comparative claims must be supported by third-party verification on the landing page.
- The website or landing page should be easy to navigate and it should load quickly.
- Do not use exclamation marks in headline. Do not use a very generic call to action such as ‘click here’
- The spelling and grammar should be correct, and excessive punctuation is not allowed.
Ingredients of a Good Text Ad
- Clearly explain about the product or service that you are promoting.
- Explain the features and benefits of your product or service.
- Include offers and discounts.
- Tell your customer what makes you unique.
- Encourage customers to take action - Include a call to action
- Write specific ad copies as per the keywords in your ad group - Include keywords in ads.
- And the most important part – link your ad to the most specific landing page, which has the products/services and offers that is mentioned in the ad.
Writing Ads that standout from the rest
One of the many things that influence your click through rate (CTR) is your ad position. Having a higher ad position is good to grab instant customer attention. But when you are accompanied by similar ads in the search results, just having a higher ad position is not enough to get the clicks and customers. Your ad must stand out from rest of the competitor ads if you want to get more attention from you prospective customers.
Some of the suggestions below will help to create ads that get more attention from the rest.
- Use numbers in you ads. Include prices and discounts. Using numbers will also help you to save space for more text.
- Use symbols, another easy way to grab user attention – Use registered and trademark symbols (™, ®). Use currency symbols with price ($, £, €). Use can also use other appropriate symbols in your ad (%, &).
- Writing Text Ads? – Yes, test using question marks in your ads. It is another easy way to stand out from the rest.
Check the few text ads below which use symbols and question marks very effectively.
4. Use the power words like Expert, Specialist, Guarantee, Authentic, or official.
5. Use all appropriate ad extensions & customize your display URLs to get more attention. Using ad extensions will also help you to improve your quality score and reduce your cost per click.
6. End description line 1with proper punctuation. If your average ad position is high then your description line one can be promoted with the title, which gets a lot of attention. Check the ad above.
Ad Testing Opportunities
You should continuously test new ads to find more profitable ads. You can test every element in your text ad. Test different titles, description lines, offers, call to action or display URL. The testing opportunities are endless. Creating ad variations for testing is not too difficult. At times you can easily create ad variations by telling the same story in different ways.
Consider you are going to sell a $10 product for $5 for a limited period. You can present this offer in many different ways in your ads.
All these claims tells the same story, but in different ways. And until you test all these variations you will not find the one which is more appealing to your customers.
And if you can combine an offer like this with a message which creates urgency like “Offer Ending Soon” or “Limited Time Offer” it can produce some great results.
Consider these When You Test Ads
Enable conversion tracking in your campaign. Without accurately measuring the results (conversion/sale/lead) it is impossible to optimize your ads.
When starting, use more than 1ad in your ad group (3 to 4 will be good) with different messages.
Always try to test only one element in an ad. If you test multiple elements in a single ad, you will find it difficult to determine which new element in the ad is responsible for the change in performance.
Use ‘Rotate evenly’ setting when you test ads (Settings > Advanced Settings > Ad delivery > Ad rotation). This setting will give equal opportunity to all the ads in a test. If you use optimize for clicks or optimize for conversions setting, the system will decide which ad will be showed and the percentage served. This can influence the outcome of a test.
Use labels to mark the ads in a new test. This will make data analysis easy. One the ads are labelled, use Dimensions tab to analyse the results with ease.
When you analyse data after a test, always select the correct date range. Keep in mind when you started the test. Analyse data for a time period when all the ads were running at the same time.
Always consider your campaign marketing goal when you analyse the data after a test. For example just an increase in CTR will not be good enough to declare a new ad a winner, if conversion (lead, sale, sign-up) is your campaign goal.
I am a freelance AdWords account manager and strategist, helping businesses worldwide. I have been a paid search account manager since 2007. And I specialize in AdWords account planning, management and conversion rate optimization. My interaction with the AdWords community started few years ago. Ever since, it has been an amazing journey interacting with my fellow AdWords users, learning more and helping others.
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