Pay Per Click (PPC) adverts such as Google Adwords or Microsoft adCenter ads can help you generate plenty of traffic and sales, so wording is crucial in getting people to click through to your website. Below we’ve outlined some tips to help your ads succeed.
Price or features?
The first thing to decide is whether your ad will be price-led or feature-led. If you’re confident you have a great price for a product, then a price-led ad can be extremely successful and is usually the better choice. If you know for sure that you have the cheapest price for that product, don’t be afraid to say so in your ad. ‘UK’s cheapest’ is a phrase that attracts attention and is historically very successful; just make sure you actually do have the cheapest or you’ll have a lot of disgruntled visitors!
Mentioning exact prices can also work in your favour if you’re offering a low price as you’re likely to pick up customers who are doing specific price research and are closer to buying. Similarly, ‘In stock now’ and ‘Next day delivery’ often attract more clicks for physical products.
Feature-led ads are better for bespoke products and services (e.g. web design, gardening, baking), where you’re not offering something identical to your competitors. You may want to stress quality, or unique/unusual selling points (USPs). If you can, try to get across that your product/service has more features, or your website has a lot more to offer, which will pique people’s interest.
Start with a strong sales message and incorporate only one or two core keywords to prevent your message being diluted. It’s tempting to cram your ad full of keywords, but remember that at the end of the day you need to appeal to people and present a cohesive message.
Keep it simple
PPC ads are extremely restricted in terms of length, so stick to one key sales message and make sure your point is clear. Put keywords at the beginning of the title and description where possible; it’s typically the first few words which grab people’s attention and most people scan text quickly in search results so you want your ad to catch their eye.
Match the style of your website and services to your ad. If you’re selling something cheap, then don’t be afraid to use a more colloquial tone and an obvious sales pitch. If you’re selling something based on quality, then make sure this shines through with carefully chosen words.
Take some time out to review competitors’ ads (particularly ones that reach the coveted top results above the organic search) and see what kind of messages and language they’re using. There will always be other factors to take into consideration – such as budget – but it’s still interesting to see what other people are doing and get some inspiration.
Checking spelling and grammar seems obvious, but it’s surprising how many ads contain errors in such a short amount of text. Missing full stops, misspellings, inconsistent capitalisation and confusing grammar will turn potential customers away. Although many won’t notice, the ones who do will be put off and it’s your only chance to make a first impression!
Repeating your chosen keyword in the title, description and URL of your ad can get you bonus points with Google in addition to helping visitors spot you more quickly. Boost your quality score by co-ordinating your landing page keywords and text as well.
Use A/B testing
Google Adwords in particular is ideal for testing different styles of ads, so try setting up two differently-worded ads for the same URL to see which is more successful. It’s rarely more expensive than one ad, and it’s great for seeing what kind of tone and sales messages searchers in your field respond to. If your PPC campaigns are long-term, it’s worth keeping a running analysis of your ads and their successes and failures.
Heart Internet customers can claim a free Google Adwords voucher and a free Microsoft adCenter voucher when signing up for web hosting, reseller hosting or a dedicated server.