Keywords and bids are over-rated, while search queries and text ad copy is under-appreciated. We’ve talked about the first three already, and now it’s time to talk about text ads.
As described in the book, text ads don’t offer a lot of space and yet have a huge responsibility. They’re the answer to those questions, the reason for your organization, the driver behind your quality scores, and almost certainly the most under-allocated aspect of your paid search campaign in terms of time and resources.
In a perfect world, you’d spend perhaps 50% of your PPC management time working on ad copy. My guess is the industry average is way below 5%.
This is true because the complexities of keyword selection, campaign organization, match types, quality score, bidding, and just about everything else we’ve discussed thus far consumes too much of our time and energy. We’re simply out of resources (time and energy) when we get to the point where we should hunker down and be creative.
There’s also an amazing dearth of good tools for managing the process of creating and reporting on good text ads. There are dozens or hundreds of keyword tools. There are nearly that many bidding programs or algorithms. Where are the tools that genuinely help paid search managers write, analyze, and test creatives?
Talk about a crying need in the market.
The Job Text Ads Must Do
The central premise of High-Resolution PPC is that every search is a question, and our job as paid search managers is to get the right answers in front of the right questions and pay the right amount for the priviledge.
Delivering good answers is the key to success. Of course there are many ways to answer any question. To make the problem even harder, the answer needs to suggest that the unqualified move no farther forward (don’t click) while at the same time trying to persuade the qualified to drive ahead (please click).
….and do it with just 70 characters plus the headline.
…while positioned next to 6-8 other ads (and another dozen organic answers) all vying for the searchers attention.
What’s so hard about that?
The Many Messages Of A Text Ad
Ad copy can fight for clicks with humor or wit. They can focus on features or benefits. They can be direct or indirect. They can push prices or discounts. They can ask for the click or promise great benefits on the other side of the click. There are probably 50 or more different kinds of messages that could be fitted into those 70 characters.
More often than not, the right answer is to include two or three different messages. One seeking trust, one confirming benefit, and another suggesting a good deal – for example.But that’s the challenge. Deciding the strategy and the tactic and then executing.
It’s a very tough gig.
One simple way to reduce the complexity is to structure the writing process. Most ads are written ‘stream of consciousness’ while staring at a blank page form or page. The complex sets of needs listed above are synthesised in someone’s head, and a few lines come out.
That method can work, obviously, but it requires a very gifted writer. I think that’s a very rare gift.
Creating Ads with Copy Blocks
A more deliberate method is to consider each of the messaging options and write copy blocks to express each of them. So for example you would write 3 to 5 ways to talk about the benefits, 3 to 5 ways (or more) to talk about features, 3 to 5 ways to establish trust, 3 to 5 ways to promote pricing, 3 to 5 calls to action, and so on.
Now assemble ads by combining some of these elements. This ensures that your copy testing spans the range of contextual options. It forces you to consider each messages you want to use. It allows you to think about how your ad compare to those of your competitors. And it sets the stage to find those copywriting breakthroughs that deliver hugh CTR gains.
This is far from the only copywriting strategy. It is, however, one that can be used along-side of others. There are many great resources for text ad copyrighting advice, and I suggest you seek them out.
The core advice is simple:
- Increase the percentage of your time spend on text ads.
- Define a strategy for writing ad copy
- Learn and use tactics and techniques to find and develop the best ads – don’t just ‘sit down and write em.’
Give ad copywriting the respect and resources it deserves, and your PPC results will benefit.
What Do You Think?
This blog post is part of a series extending and amplifying the ideas in our free ebook ’21 Secret Truths of High-Resolution PPC’.
What they’re saying: “Everything you know about AdWords is the basics Google wanted you to know. Just enough to get you hooked. But what if there was fundamental secrets that they neglected to share? Would you want to know them? Now you can! 21 Secrets Truths is what you must read, no, act on, before your competitors do.”
- Bryan Eisenberg Conversion Expert and New York Times Best-Selling Author ’.