So, You Want to Run a PPC Campaign … What Should You Know About Ad Copy?

January 21st, 2013

by Mandy Lauman

Congratulations! You’ve made an important leap for your business by deciding to invest in a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. But, this is only the beginning! One of your next important steps is writing ad copy. This can be tricky as you have to write compelling ad copy while making sure to follow the publisher’s guidelines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.).

For today, we’ll just focus on some of the more important tips to get you started:

1) Character Length: On Google, each ad has 1 line for a headline and 2 lines for the description. The headline will only allow up to 25 characters and each description line will only allow up to 35 characters. Keep in mind, a character includes letters, numbers punctuation and spaces. With a character count limitation, it’s important to be as direct and to-the-point with your ad copy as possible while being compelling at the same time. (Sidenote: Yahoo!/Bing allows for 25 characters in the headline and 71 characters for ad text.)

2) Incorporate Your Keywords in Your Ad Copy: For PPC campaigns, you can bid on a single keyword or 1000s of different keywords. To maximize your ads effectiveness, find the best performing keyword(s) and include it in your ad copy. By having high-quality keywords in your ad copy, you can help your ad stand out to the people searching for that term.

3) Include a Call-to-Action for the Customer: Even though you have a limited amount of space to get your message across, it’s important to tell your customers what action you would like them to take. Think about how you’re going to judge the campaign’s success. Is it by the number of phone calls or form submissions? Use a call-to-action that supports your KPI (key performance indicator) in order to maximize your efforts. Some example phrases that you can use in your ad copy are, “Call Today” or “Apply Online.”

4) Match Your Ads to Your Website: It’s important to note that any promotions, prices or offers mentioned in your ads must be prominent on the landing page (a landing page is the URL that people will be sent to when they click on your ad). You don’t want to lead them to your site unless you can back up the offer that brought them there and most people don’t like to dig around to find what they’re looking for. By having a well-designed landing page with proper content, you lessen the chance of having someone click away from your site, which always costs you money in the end. By providing the potential customer everything that they’re looking for up-front, you’re maximizing the opportunity for a conversion. They get what they’re looking for and you get their business. It’s a win/win situation!

5) Create Several Ads: Don’t limit yourself to one ad. It’s important to include different ad variations and then see which perform the best. It doesn’t cost extra to experiment! You can always pause ads, rewrite them or add new ones at any time.

Keep in mind that writing good ad copy is only one step in building a successful PPC campaign. By having strong ad copy, you’ll be well on your way to beating your competitors in search engine marketing.

Do you have any questions or tips on writing ad copy? We’d love to hear from you!

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