5 Components of a Winning PPC Ad

5 Components of a Winning PPC Ad

A text ad is the most basic form of PPC ad available, but it’s often the most effective. In Google AdWords a text ad has three main components: the headline, the description and the display URL (which can vary somewhat from the actual URL of the destination page – but more about that later on).

Text ads are highly effective, especially in a Search scenario where users search for products, services or information. With a winning text ad, advertisers can see click rates of around 1 in 10! And high click-through rates mean more website visits and a lower cost per click. It really is win-win!

But writing a winning text ad requires both creativity and a good knowledge of user search behaviour. Here are five winning tips to help you on the road to success:

1) Match Your User’s Search Intent

Promoting the details of your products and services in a clear and concise manner is one thing, but your customers are searching with a goal in mind. They want to accomplish something.

Where possible, try to match your ad headline to your user’s search intent. If the search term is “Sell my Car”, match it with “We’ll Buy Your Car for Cash”.

Your ads should be phrased in such as way that solves the search query. There are three basic types of search query intent:

  • Informational – searches performed to answer questions or learn something
  • Navigational – searches performed to locate a specific website
  • Transactional – searches performed to buy something

For more information take a look at this article from Marketing Land which explains how you can increase ad engagement by optimising for search intent.

2) Use a Strong CTA

A CTA… say what? A CTA – or Call to Action – is simply a prompt to entice the user to act. In most cases, and in particular with PPC ads, the CTA wants to be short and sweet; ‘Download Here‘, ‘Request a Quote‘ and ‘Buy Online‘ are good examples of CTAs that describe what one can expect after clicking on your ad.

NB – Google’s Inappropriate Language policy states that the use of the term ‘click here’ will result in immediate ad disapproval. Just something to bear in mind when writing your CTAs.

3) Create Unique Display URLs

Often overlooked by newcomers to Pay Per Click, the display URL is simply a vanity link that appears on the fourth line of your ad when it is served.

The display URL serves two purposes – it provides the opportunity to add something interesting or more relevant to the copy of your ad, and it can bolster the keyword density of your ad to make users more engaged.

As long as the root domain of your website is included within the display URL of your ad then you can include almost anything in your display URL. For instance:

  • Good use of display URL:
    Destination URL: www.example.com/products/deals/product123.html > Display URL: www.example.com/special-offers
  • Poor use of display URL:
    Destination URL: www.example.com/products/deals/product123.html > Display URL: www.example.com/product123.html
  • Unacceptable use of display URL:
    Destination URL: www.example.com/products/deals/product123.html > Display URL: www.othersite.com/product123.html

4) Use Active Verbs

The use of active verbs can make your ads more compelling and therefore improve performance. According to marketing software company WordStream: “Active verbs not only sound more dynamic, they can also serve as calls to action in disguise. When writing your ads, imagine that your prospects are saying “I want to…” when performing a search, then complete this thought with your ad copy”.

It’s always better to test this theory, so to get the most from AdWords you should create two or more ad variations for each ad group and test one against the other. To get a truly clear indication of which ad performed the best, make sure your AdWords campaign settings are set to ‘rotate ads evenly‘.

5) Test, Test & Test Again

When you first start advertising with AdWords you are likely to have very little idea of the type of ad text that works best. And considering that most of the performance metrics in your campaigns – such as cost per click and ad position – are directly influenced by your click-through rate (CTR), it’s clear to see why having a well-engaged-with ad is important.

There are basically four things that you can test in your ads; your ad headline, your first line description, the second line description and your display URL.

We would normally start with the creation of four ads per ad group, initially testing variations in headline and description.

The art of ad testing is admittedly complex and can take some time to master, but this article from Search Engine Watch makes a pretty good effort at explaining key methodologies behind the process.

If you’d like to understand more about the art of creating a powerful PPC campaign, contact QliQ for free professional advice.