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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?

Tor

11:50 am on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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It`s simply a exeptional opportunity for us to learn the art of ad writing. I spend hours every week to try to improve our different ads and to monitor their performance. :)
12:10 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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A bit out of date, but this sure put me on the right path in the early days

[useit.com...]

Shak

Tor

12:14 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thank`s alot Shakil. Very useful input for me. :)
12:19 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Adwords are cool :)

I must change mine about twice a week, its nice to have the control :)

1:01 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Tor,

no problem mate.

no doubt, my dear friend "Webdiversity" shall be along with a detailed explanation on writing killer copy any minute now :)

this guy lives and sleeps PPC copy and will be able to shed a lot more light on the whole situtaion, rather than my 1 liners.

Shak

1:12 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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That was a decent article. Without posting your own site URLs (against policy here) can anyone share their most radical adwords text change that generated a nice improvement in CTR? I have been tinkering for a couple weeks now and just decided to try a more agressive title line. I'd love some more before and after examples. -aV-
1:21 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My best change was a simple addition of the price to an ad. Took my click thru rate on that ad from 2% to almost 30% with a 40% conversion. We were underselling the competition by $5 on the product. Now I put the price on all of our ads and we have seen a very healthy (all though not as healthy as that) increase in clicks and conversion.

Tor

1:39 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Shakil:
no doubt, my dear friend "Webdiversity" shall be along with a detailed explanation on writing killer copy any minute now

Let`s hope he sees this tread...

1:44 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My best change was a simple addition of the price to an ad. Took my click thru rate on that ad from 2% to almost 30% with a 40% conversion. We were underselling the competition by $5 on the product. Now I put the price on all of our ads and we have seen a very healthy (all though not as healthy as that) increase in clicks and conversion.
============================================================

I can see that working, but unfortunately we are the most EXPENSIVE in our industry, and therefore have to use slightly different tactics.

Shak

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.

Tor

11:26 am on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Very useful information webdiversity. I`m learning something new every day. ;)
3:02 am on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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ukstages, I can understand why "different" may work in some cases (when nothing is bolded) but all I can say is I just tried reworking an ad to where the keyword was on every single line, and the CTR went up 0.5-1.0%!

So far for me, capitaling as many words as relevant, and making sure the keyword is repeated on each line possible has caused a definite improvement.

Now I am working on adding more negitive words but its getting hard to figure out how people are thinking (up to 20 negitive words so far). I don't want to block a possible sale!

There have been some good negitive word lists posted, anyone have any more suggestions? The best ones are the ones dealing with "cheap" or "free" and any kind of photo.
Any other approaches? Thanks for any help! -aV-

10:07 am on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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amznVibe, we had a bunch of adwords ads disallowed a couple of days ago for using the keyword in the title plus one of the other lines.
12:31 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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WebDiversity, whatever happened to that adwords tutorial you were going to bring out last year, did I miss it?

Tor

2:03 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I bet he forgot it... ;)
2:17 am on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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glengara it's working it's way to the top of the pile.

Monday we move offices.

This month we get a new web site. (We also got Overture UK SEM accreditation woo hoo!)

But the tutorial is definately still on, we are building the library of stuff, tips etc..but we might hang on to the information until Google decide to introduce some sort of agency recognition.

amznVibe would it be useful if you could see the exact search term that was used (including the syntax), to help you build your own pesonalised negative keyword list, rather than trying to guess? This list would double up as a list to use to exact match phrases increasing the CTR dramtically on those too? (It's late, so sorry if that made no sense).

Drop me a sticky and I'll give you the details of the answer to your problem.

 

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