Thursday, September 18, 2008

Writing effective AdWords ads

One thing is to have your ads appearing on the pages you want them to, be it google's search engine page or the content network, but you'll probably be alongside loads of other ads, too, especially if you're in a competative sector.

So how can you make your ad stand out from the rest? Well, the Ad type is fairly strict, and you may have already made an ad, and then been told that it doesn't meet the guidelines, and have had to rectify. But there are some ideas you could impliment to try and make your ad stand out from the rest.

Capitals are not allowed in Google's Adwords, or at least not all capitals. However, making the first letter of each word in capitals, apart from non-action words (prepositions like on, by, at, with, etc.) can often make a difference and make your ad stand out. Consider:

brand new iphone cover in gold!

Brand New Ipod Cover in Gold!

See the difference? It's small, I agree, but can make a difference against maybe 10 or 11 other sponsored results.

OK, so the title can grab your potential customer's eye, but what about the rest of the information ? you have very little space in your ad to say what you want, so sometimes eliminating certain words doesn't harm - sacrificing grammar for that all important keyword can be worth it, and people always understand that classified ads in a newspaper for example, are small.

One thing I would advise against is the use of abbreviations. Don't assume that everyone understands the abbreviations you're using. GSOH is a frequent one in personal ads, but there are loads and I think I'd get lost after a while. I remember one time seeing an adwords ad with an abbreviation I didn't understand and clicked, though, so maybe it has the reverse effect, too! No, realy, not something I would reccomend.

The CTA or Call to action is also really important. Think of your target audience - use the correct register - if you were selling expensive watches, don't write things like "Check us out!" for example. It has been proven that for example "now" or "immediate" are good words to include in a call to action, as it implies that the customer has already found what they are looking for. "Free" and "download" are also winners, although DON'T just use these words if you do not have anythig completely free on your site. Free is a flagged word for Google, and it may be checked.

Also remember that the display url and the destination url can be different - in fact, using your ad variations, it's always a good idea to experiment with a few different destination urls, or "landing pages" to see what works best. The display url needs to be short, usually the home page, as you are effectively creating branding, and want people to remember your website name rather than a huge url which directs you to their product.

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