The paid search marketplace can be very competitive, so it’s important to make the most of the limited space to ensure you stand out from your competitors. With Google accounting for 90% of search volume in the UK, this article focuses primarily on improving Google Adwords performance, although some of the general principles can be applied to other platforms.
Given that space is limited within an advert, which consists of a headline (with a 25 character limit), two lines of description (both with a 35 character limit) and display URL (again with a 35 character limit) how can you maximise this small space?
Here are our 5 top tips for helping you make the most out of your PPC creative.
1. Make your ad stand out
It’s important to try and ensure your ad stands out, especially if you’re appearing within a competitive sector such as car insurance. There are various ways you can help differentiate your ad from those of your competitors to help increase CTR. These include:
- Ensure your keyword appears in your ad headline. After all, this is what the searcher was looking for. If someone searched for ‘denim jacket’, those words will appear in bold type and will ensure your ad appears relevant to the person searching.
- Include USP’s that will help you stand out from your competitors. If you offer free postage, highlight this within your advert, as many of your competitors may charge extra for this.
- Use title case (capitalised first letter of each word) within the body of your ad. In direct A/B tests, we’ve found that using title case can significantly improve CTR. However don’t capitalise minor words such as ‘and’, ‘the’, ‘in’ etc.
- Give your advert authenticity. This can be achieved by using ‘Official Site’ on brand related terms. This will help customers looking for your brand identify which ads are yours. This is especially important if you have lots of competitors appearing on your brand terms. You can also utilise symbols such as ™, ®, and © to demonstrate that your brand terms are registered terms.
2. Include a compelling offer with a strong call to action
Customers are bombarded with advertising, so it’s important to get your offer in front of them as clearly and concisely as possible. Due to the character limitations this is even more important for your PPC ads. You need to ensure your customers have a reason to click through on your ad and a strong offer combined with a call to action will support this.
If your offer is only available for a limited time then highlight this within the ad as it provides a stronger reason for the customer to take immediate action. The combination of a strong offer and the fact that it is only available for a limited period of time should increase CTR.
3. Utilise the Breadcrumb Display URL
This tool within Google allows customers to see where on a website they will be taken within the display URL. This provides a searcher with a greater understanding of the relevancy of the website before clicking on the ad, thereby improving CTR.
There are certain criteria that an ad must have in order to benefit from breadcrumb navigation in the display URL. These are detailed below:
- The ad must appear within the top 3 ads that appear above the organic listings
- This is currently only available on desktop search
- The landing page must have mark up from Google which can extract the breadcrumb information
- The ad must have the top level domain set as its display URL
4. Dynamic Keyword Insertion
This is an advanced AdWords feature that dynamically updates the text of your ad to include one of your keywords that matches a customer’s search term. This is done by inserting a piece of code in your ad text which is then automatically replaced with the keyword that triggered your ad appearing.
So, if you wanted to show the same ad for people searching for “blue shoes” “red shoes” and “green shoes”, you could dynamically insert “red” “blue” or “green” depending on what the user was searching for, making sure your ad is relevant to the individual search.
The benefit of this tool is that it allows you to have one ad that will appear differently depending upon what a customer typed in as their search term. This ensures that your ad will be relevant for a wider selection of related keywords.
5. Utilise Ad Extensions
Google Ad Extensions are a useful tool that allows companies to enhance their PPC activity by displaying additional information about the business or service being advertised. The different types of ad extensions available are:
Google +1 allows visitors to recommend your content on Google search and share it on Google+. When a user is logged into their Google account they can click on the +1 button that appears next to the ad to demonstrate their approval of the listing being provided.
The +1 button appears next to the display URL as seen in the example below.
These are hyperlinks that appear under your advert that direct customers to various pages on your website.
In the example below Aviva is providing customers with site links through to the various insurance products that they offer. The benefit of this is that customers will be able to click through directly to the product that is of interest to them thereby reducing the length of time it takes them to get to the relevant information they require.
These allow customers to find your nearest store location or phone number. These are particularly useful for mobile/tablet campaigns when customers are likely to be on the go.
These include your online business or product ratings within your ad. As more and more people are trusting online reviews when they’re researching, this could be a valuable tool.
Product extensions allow you to display various products within in your ad. In the example below, the customer searched for ‘tennis shoes’. The highlighted product extensions allow the company to display a range of tennis shoes they offer, including pricing information.
Whilst this is not an exhaustive list, hopefully it may provide some ideas on how you can test and improve your PPC ads. Let us know if you have any other tips!