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Writing Effective PPC Ads Is All About Seeing The Big Picture


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In many of my previous posts, I often relate the evolution of Paid Search  to our older, more seasoned media channels such as Print, TV & Radio. Funny, when it comes down to it, it’s all about interacting with the user and persuading them to engage themselves with your messaging tactics. Now, with regard to PPC, this is far different than the Best 10 Super Bowl Commercials of the past that were usually awesome, creative, innovative and downright hilarious.

However, the one main similarity is that in PPC, we are catering to mass audiences and the "call to action" needs to reflect the product or service. Writing a great Ad/creative doesn’t mean anything unless the product or service you are selling converts visitors into buyers. So, how can you try and test Ads/creatives without getting to complex and continue to lose $$$ when you are trying to find the best Ad? Here are some quick things you can do to minimize your testing investment and maximize your results.

Analyze the website for potential audience segmentation:
Before we can make assumptions, we need to do a little research, which is quite similar to the folks at FutureNow with their Persuasion Architecture. It’s all about identifying with the customers. The better you can relate to the demographics and psycho-graphics of the user, the better chance you have to win right out of the gate.

This could be something like two to four (2-4) different types of audiences who buy your product or service. From my experience in the Automotive After-market Industry, I have seen Jeep Owners who were classified as the following

  1. Soccer Mom Type who like little "soft, decorative products"
  2. Gear Heads who can rebuild an transmission with their eyes closed.
  3. Yuppie Jeepers who enjoy the look of an "Off-Roader" but cannot install complex parts
  4. Potential Jeep owners trying to understand the Lifestyle.

Launch PPC campaigns with multiple "very broad CTA" Ads/Creatives:
So with that said above, you will need to launch a new PPC campaign with four (4) totally different Ads per adgroup. I have seen much success in this, as it gives you an idea of the following:

  • Which overall audience is reacting better to your Ads
  • Which Ad structure for all Adgroup offers the best potential to improve.
  • Identify and Understand which Adgroup (product/service) reacts to certain Ad structures
  • What types of "buzz" words are performing well (CTR% and Conversion)
  • What types of "buzz" words are NOT performing well (CTR% and Conversion)

So how long do we wait to see the results?
This part is a little tricky and I know there are people in the industry who throw out all sorts of numbers to achieve a good sample size. First make sure Ads are set to ROTATE and NOT Optimize. I usually let it run for at least 2 weeks, monitor KPIs for massively losing Adgroups and hope to gain some good insights quickly.

What Happens After the Results:
Once you have a good idea of what is working and not, Choose the Top 2 ads, understand the similarities and create 2 more Ads based on those similarities. There is no reason to get complicated here. Obviously something "clicked" with the searcher and it’s best to leverage what you have learned and duplicate it elsewhere.

In conclusion:
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Paid search often seems very intimidating with talk about algorithms, complex multivariate testing plans and in-depth strategies, but I truly believe it’s all about the relationship of the customer with the business. When it comes to getting new customers, it’s especially even more important to make a good impression. Understanding what Messaging works best with your customers and prospects is more important than writing and testing 10-20 different ads with the only difference being a few words being moved from description line #1 to line #2. It’s a "bigger picture" out there and I hope that as things get more complex in PPC, Search Marketers and Execs alike don’t lose track on what really matters which is simply identifying with new and existing customers.

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7 Responses to "Writing Effective PPC Ads Is All About Seeing The Big Picture"

  1. I love this article! Far too many folks just build a campaign and only research the keywords that are used – no attention is paid to the demographic, buying cycle, or ad copy.
    I am curious, however…when do you start A/B testing and multi-variant testing? With 4 ad copies I would imagine that would get a bit sticky. Do you typically decide which ad(s) is the ‘winner’ and begin testing from that point?

  2. Greg Meyers says:

    Hey, thanks for the comment. Yes, you are right about over complicating the test. When running an A/B or Multivariate test on the Ads/creatives only, you should only create different versions of the original top Ad. In fact, this strategy is very similar to Phase II or III of an Ad test plan that I have written already.
    However, if the A/B test was specifically for the landing pages, you should 2 Ads in which the Top Performing Ad is then copied so you have 2 identical ads running where the only difference is the landing page.

  3. sk-rt.com says:

    Writing Effective PPC Ads Is All About Seeing The Big Picture

    his article discusses the importance of writing multiple, completely different CTA Ads/Creatives for each individual Adgroup so you can learn and identify which of the audiences are best effected by the messaging. It also talks about how we cannot lose…

  4. sk-rt.com says:

    Writing Effective PPC Ads Is All About Seeing The Big Picture

    his article discusses the importance of writing multiple, completely different CTA Ads/Creatives for each individual Adgroup so you can learn and identify which of the audiences are best effected by the messaging. It also talks about how we cannot lose…

  5. Brian Carter says:

    Greg, great post- thinking through the audience segments is common sense if you think about prospects as human beings, but I keep running into companies who have a really hard time understanding that all their customers are not the same! Of course, we’re the advertising people, so it’s our job to know that, right? Rock on, my friend. B

  6. Nice post! The ideas and insights are very worth reading. You really gave me valuable information. Thanks for sharing it!

  7. PPC is very broad in nature, I want to expand my knowledge regarding this. I’m interested with PPC advertising as well as PPC marketing. I hope you will post more articles about this.
    Thank you and more power to you.
    -faith-

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