It seems to be a phenomenon. You try Google AdWords Select, your ad gets “disapproved” by the powers that be at Google, you count your losses and give up. It doesn’t have to be that way.
There are two primary factors to succeeding at Google AdWords. The first is getting the right keywords. The second is writing little tiny ads. Neither is all that easy, but they can both be done.
I think Mark Twain said it best. “If I would have had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter.” The point… it takes much more skill, and much more time to write short copy than long copy.
Let’s go through the process together and I’ll show you a few tricks of the trade that have brought me AdWords click through rates of 7.1% and 8.0%.
Step One – You would be very wise to either use a benefit or an end result in your headline. In order to do this, you’ll have to be aware of the difference between features and benefits. Start by making a list. I’ll use the example of an online shoe store.
Here are a few features:
- huge inventory
- wide selection of sizes
- discounted prices
- free shipping
And here are the benefits associated with those features:
- hundreds of styles to choose from
- hard-to-find sizes in stock
- save money
- free shipping (free is free!)
Step Two – Know what your customers are looking for. YOU may feel that one benefit outweighs another. However, your customer might feel differently. Be sure you understand what is important to your customer before writing your headline and your ad. You have no room to waste so it is vital that you find a so-called nail and hit it right on the head.
Step Three – Work in your keywords. If you’ve used Overture pay-per-click engine before, you know that there is a greater click through rate on search results that use the exact key phrase the surfer types in. The same holds true for Google’s AdWords program.
While the following have by no means been researched, we’ll assume that some optimum keywords for our shoe store are: women's shoes and sandals. We’ll want to include these in our ads.
Step Four – Start big and narrow it down. Begin by writing a few sentences or a paragraph about what you’d like your customer to know. Perhaps:
You’ll find everything you’re looking for in one place! Hundreds of styles to choose from including hard-to-find sizes in stock. You’ll save lots of money because our regular prices are far below that of other stores. Plus shipping is always free – regardless of the amount of your purchase. Check out our excellent selection of women's shoes and sandals.
Now, go back and take out every word that does not absolutely need to be there. You probably came up with something like this:
Everything in one place! Hundreds of styles, hard-to-find sizes. Prices far below other stores. Shipping free. Women's shoes and sandals.
That’s a LOT smaller and still gets the point across. However, it is still too long for AdWords. Your headline must be less than 25 characters (including spaces). Your copy can only be 35 characters per line. (You get two lines.) Now is the time to begin rearranging words to create an ad that will match Google’s guidelines, include your keywords, and draw a crowd to your site.
Here are a couple I came up with:
100's of Styles-Low Prices
Big savings on women's shoes. Plus
free shipping! All sizes in stock.
Discount Women's Sandals
Latest styles at deep discounts.
All sizes in stock. Free Shipping!
Step Five – Test, test, test! Put them up and give them a go. See what happens. Believe me, Google will notify you quickly if your ads aren’t performing. Those that get lower than a .05% click through rate are immediately “disapproved.” You are notified that your ad has been pulled and that you need to make changes.
Use the information in the AdWords campaign section to track the results. I’ve heard countless tales of those who have changed one little word and gone from a .07% CTR to a 5.0% CTR. If your ad is pulled, make simple changes to start with. Swapping out the word “savings” for “discount” or “big” for “huge” can be all it takes to catapult you to the top of the list.
When you write extremely short copy, remember to stay focused. There is not enough room to sell the customer within your copy, but there IS enough room to pique their interest. Use the limited space you have to punch up the biggest benefits or end results your customers are looking for and you ’ll see bigger returns on your AdWords investment.
© 2002 Karon Thackston