Advanced Media - Internet Marketing and e-Business Review
February 26, 2010 By: Louise Rijk - Bio - Blog - Podcast
Paid Search Advertising
Back to Basics: Writing Effective Ads for Paid Search

Louise Rijk Writing ads for paid search is one of the most important parts of any successful PPC (pay-per-click) search campaign. When a web user searches for a keyword and your ad appears in the paid search results, you have just a small amount of space to make an impression and persuade the user to click-through. Composing and testing ad copy may take some trial and error, but with the current available tools you can easily determine which copy will perform the best for you.

Search Advertising Guidelines
The first thing to be aware of when composing paid search ad copy are the restrictions and guidelines of the search ad network for which you are writing the ads. All ads contain a headline and a description, but character limitations vary depending on a number of factors. For example, the Yahoo search ad network has longer headlines than Google.

Also be sure to follow the advertising guidelines. Most search ad networks have rules about excessive capitalization, use of punctuation, and spelling guidelines. Make sure you're familiar with these limitations and guidelines before you start working on your ads to avoid disapproval of ad text that may put your campaign on hold temporarily.

Ad Copywriting Basics
Basic ad writing has a few best practices. Including the keyword, the user is searching for in the ad text is highly recommended. For that reason most all major search ad networks (Google Adwords, Microsoft adCenter and Yahoo Search Marketing) include some form of dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) that will automatically insert the user's exact keyword phrase into the ad text. However, it's important to use this properly; since it is impossible to predict exactly what a user is typing in the search box every time they search and there is a chance that your ad could be adversely affected if you aren’t careful. Also, be sure to include a call-to-action in your ad that directs the user to a desired goal.

Paid Search Campaign Structure
Next you want to make sure your goals and the user's intent are in line with each other. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure you’re using tightly themed ad groups. Make sure your keywords are closely related and that your ad addresses the intent of a search for those particular keywords. Structured ad groups are a must if you're going to write the proper copy. Always keep the user intent in mind. Ad relevance is the most important part of writing good ad copy for paid search ads.

CRT and Quality Score
Making sure your paid search ads have a good Quality Score is going to help you keeping the click cost down and the ad ranking high in the paid search results. This is something to take into account when creating ad copy as well. The most important component of the Quality Score remains CTR (click through rate) so your ad should be designed to incite clicks. You want to make sure that when your ad does come up, you’re ad copy persuades people to click.

Campaign Goals
The goals of your paid search campaign should have a major effect on how you construct your ad copy. Make sure you're clear on exactly what those goals are. If the goal of your campaign is to generate sales, make sure your ad includes an offer. Time sensitive offers have been shown to work well. If the goal is branding, make sure you emphasize the best qualities of your brand. If the campaign's purpose is to increase loyalty and retention, be sure to offer up something new to a returning customer. You can create paid search ads for up selling as well, just make sure your ad text addresses what your product is and why it offers a benefit to what the user is searching for.

Campaign Monitoring and Optimization
The most important thing to remember is that the search ad networks give you the tools you need to test your ad copy, allowing you to look at the campaign data and to maximize the return from your ad budget. If you're not sure which ad copy to use, you can test your ads by running both and split test them to see which one performs better. How you make decisions about which ad to use depends on what your goals are. Increased traffic and higher CTR may get you a better Quality Score, but it might not necessarily help you achieve your goal. You should be using a web site analytics program like Google Analytics to look at the traffic to your site and learn how to use that program to track the performance of the traffic to your site coming from your search ads. That way you can weigh the performance of your search ads based on goals like time on site, number of sign-ups, sales leads and purchases, and remove poor performing ads.

Testing of existing ads and creating new ads is an ongoing task when running a paid search campaign. Always keep an eye on ad performance and the campaign data the ad network is generating, as there is always room for improvement.

Even if you feel you have composed the perfect paid search ads for your paid search campaign, there is always room for improvement and a better combination of keywords and ad copy that could return a higher ROI.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010 - 8:45 am
Clark University, Small Business Development Center
Worcester, MA
"Social Media, Search and Digital Media Optimization"
Presenter: Louise Rijk
Click here for more info.

Past Presentations

128 Business Expo 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009 - 12:00 noon
Westin-Waltham Hotel
Waltham, Massachusetts
"Twitter and Blogging for Business"
Presenter: Louise Rijk
Click here to play the video

Middlesex Savings Bank Business Success Seminars
Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 7:30AM
Crowne Plaza Hotel,
1360 Worcester Street, (Rt 9), Natick, MA
"Using Internet Marketing to Build Your Business"
Presenter: Louise Rijk
Click here to play the video

Clark University
Thursday, May 14, 2009 - 8:45-12 noon
Grace Conference Room
Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts
“Search and Digital Asset Optimization”
Presenter: Louise Rijk
Click here to play the video.

WebmasterWorld PubCon 2008
Las Vegas
“Integrating Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) into the Advertising Mix”
Presenter: Louise Rijk, Vice President of Marketing and Sales
Click here to play the presentation

128 Business Expo 2008
The Westin Waltham-Boston Hotel
“Using Social Media to Connect with Prospects and Customers”
Presenter: Louise Rijk, Vice-President of Marketing and Sales
Click here to play the video.

495/MetroWest Business Expo
Sheraton Framingham Hotel
Pre-Expo Keynote Presentation
“A Strategic Approach to Integrated Marketing”
Presenter: Louise Rijk, Vice-President of Marketing and Sales
Click here to play the video.

Bentley College, 2008 - Waltham, MA
“Planning and Integrating a Targeted Internet Marketing Campaign”
Click here to play the video.

WebmasterWorld Pubcon 2007 - Las Vegas, NV
“Planning and Integrating a Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) Campaign”
Click here to play the video.

BizAction 2007 - Washington DC
"Email, Social Media and Search in the Overall Marketing Mix"
Click here to play the audio.

128 Business Expo 2007
"Blogging and Podcasting For Business"
Click here to play the video.

495/Metrowest Business Expo
Pre-Expo Keynote
"The Rise of the Internet as a Mass Advertising Medium"
Click here to play the video
If you would like more information on Internet Marketing, Consulting, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Email Marketing, please click here.

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