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The Google School of Ad copy

A matter of ROI

2:27 am on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You have 3 lines of 25/35/35 characters to make an ad that creates min. 1% CTR - on the right side of the page, which is the last part of the page to be looked at according to eye tracking reports.
Hard odds...

Google want's you to make: "selling ads" (clicked on) AND "informative ads" (describing the content) at the same time, can't argue with that!

This is an exceptional oppertunity to learn how to write a killer Ad.

Real people testing it, Google Editorial Staff to review it, your own experience to improve it, what more do you want?

1:56 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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but unfortunately we are the most EXPENSIVE in our industry

teehee Shakil, I won't tell you what flies through my head in the guessing of what your site(s) are about... -aV-

1:58 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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how about the wierd logic of trying to make your ad not first on the page but 2nd or even 3rd because people gloss over the first few entries on the left anyway if they enter too general of a search phrase? any sense to that thought?
4:57 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You have to find the 'trigger'.

Many times, I have seen price as the 'trigger'. People often use the web to bargain hunt.

But, if you can't compete on price, then you have to find something else as your trigger.

I worked for one company who manfactured a widely used product and the 'trigger' in the ad was to tell the consumer that the product came 'Direct from <Manfacturer_Name_Here>'.

People put a lot of value in that particular brand name, and found it important to buy directly from them, even though it may cost a little more. They knew if they had a problem with the problem with the product, they could get service for it.

Once you find the 'trigger' for your particular product, then you gear everything to it: adwords copy and overture ad copy, even looksmart and Yahoo directory copy.

2:17 am on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the intro Shak. I do indeed live and sleep this PPC stuff.

It's such a buzz when you nail a campaign.

The thing is that strategy for each will be different, results across sectors will be different, keywords that work on one PPC may not work on others, there is the anomalies of mispellings, you have 70 characters on Google but 190 on Overture.

Keeping a campaign at the top is a constant thing. Experiment with title/description combos. Tweak the copy on the landing page, you are in no danger of a Google PR0 de-listing if you use seperate pages just for your PPC. Track the activity of the guests you invite into your site, give them the Big Brother treatment, look at their behaviour and adjust the words/desired actions according to this feedback you get.

Play with the price you pay, and get a campaign running so you make ROI on every keyword you have.

On some campaigns you need to include prices, on others (like Shak's case) you need a different angle or USP. Eventually you will find what works for you (or pay someone to find it for you), and once you get to that stage assuming you have other products to sell, then replicate the formula.

Always build the cost of the clicks into your ROI calculatioms, always factor in the time spent managing it also, whether you do it yourself or outsource, always measure the ROI from the bottom line and not as some people do from their sales ledger. if you only make 10% margin on a $100 sale then you only have $10 to play with, so don't think you can spend $3 a click and make a profit.

Your first soiree into PPC will always involve a certain amount of R & D budget, be prepared to make some mistakes, some costly. But learn from them.

You can achieve fantastic things with a 25/35/35 or 40/190 ad.

In the UK there is a product called "Ronseal Quick Drying Woodstain" and it says it does exactly what it says on the tin. Your PPC ad should do the same. If you want someone to buy something then make sure the word "buy" is in your title/description or both on Overture. If you want someone to subscribe, then have the word "subscribe". If someone needs to register on the site before they can do anything then tell the prospective visitor and then you won't get tire kickers costing 50 cents a throw.

Above all else, if your ads are losing you money then don't blame the PPC providers, if they deliver clicks and you don't convert it's YOUR fault, with the way you have written your ads or the keywords you have chosen.

2:24 am on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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great post webdiversity, we have found the same too.

for us, the no-frills (ronseal) approach works not just for the PPC text but also for the title and description.

but this too may depend on the products offered, ours are generally "no frills" products.

3:49 am on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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There is one thing that has been left out. Make your ad count for the keyword. Don't dump a 1000 keywords into the same ad. No amount of great copy will get the results you want. I see this mistake all the time with my comp. It's a lazy PPCer's way of listing. Take the time to create a different ad for each keyword group. In my experience, a keyword group, including misspellings should average out around 6-10 keyword phrases, maybe a bit more if people really mispell the main keyword.

Anyway, example would be, if you sell all the types of widgets there are in the world, one of which is name brand Sprockets, don't put up an ad that says "We sell widgets, all kinds o' widgets" and then have your keywords list have all the different name brands of widgets. Take the time to make a different ad for each brand name. "We sell Sprockets widgets." with Sprockets and any variations on Sprockets as your keywords.

It's time consuming,I know, but DO IT. Your CTR and ROI will thank you for it.

4:59 am on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This might sound strange but I capitalized the first letter of two extra words (that were likely keywords) on an ad I had running and the CTR went up consistantly 0.5% per 1000. Google's editors didn't complain so I was happy (try adding a "!" at the end of your header and you will definitely hear from them) -aV-
12:19 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Each business is different - as stated by others. I am always looking for "trigger words" that works with each business. The funny thing is that it is often words with no meaning at all that improve the CTR the most.

One example is in marketing shopping portals where I have found that adding the word "shopping" almost double the CTR.

The problem comes when the trigger words that give you higher CTRs don't give you better ROIs so make sure to monitor both :)

6:39 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Going back to the earlier posts in this thread about putting the $price in an ad, I suggest that this might well improve CTR even if your product is not price-competitive.

I see the main benefit of putting $price in an ad as being to emphasise the "available for sale right now, no hassle , one click" message. I reckon that often most prospects will probably not have looked at the price of competitors, and so you may gain more CTR than you lose by putting the price in, EVEN IF you're more expensive.

7:13 am on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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one of the things that works extraordinarily well for me - for keywords that are highly competitive, that feature a full page or more of ads - is to NOT list the main keyword in the title of the ad.

for instance, if you're selling widgets (as everyone seems to be on this board) and your keyword is a variation of "widget," it's likely that nearly every ad will say "widgets for sale" or "the very best widgets" or "widgets: none better."

to the user (your prospect), all the ads blend into a meaningless sameness.

but if your ad title features a "Specific Product Benefit" or if it says "Save Blah Blah Blah," the eye is immediately drawn to it because it's title is significantly different than all the rest and there is NO bolding.

make sure of course that the product benefit or offer you state is compelling and specific to the search. and it also helps if you do include the term "widgets" elsewhere in the ad.

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