Pay-Per-Click Fundamentals
Illustration by Richard Downs

Pay-Per-Click Fundamentals

with Elizabeth Marsten

Video: Writing compelling ad copy

Writing ad copy is one of my favorite things about doing PPC. Make sure to use a keyword from the keyword Think in terms of benefits and features.
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  1. 1m 14s
    1. Welcome
      1m 14s
  2. 10m 9s
    1. What is pay-per-click (PPC) marketing?
      2m 2s
    2. Understanding PPC's role in your marketing mix
      2m 12s
    3. Pros and cons of PPC
      2m 30s
    4. Things to know before you get started
      3m 25s
  3. 14m 10s
    1. Creating a Google AdWords account
      5m 56s
    2. Creating a Bing Ads account
      6m 13s
    3. Setting up your account structure
      2m 1s
  4. 19m 32s
    1. Setting up campaigns in your new account
      6m 38s
    2. Choosing geographic targets and location-based settings
      4m 56s
    3. Setting daily and monthly campaign budgets
      3m 52s
    4. Creating ad groups without going overboard
      4m 6s
  5. 18m 32s
    1. Researching keywords
      5m 5s
    2. Selecting keywords
      5m 2s
    3. Selecting the match types for your keywords
      5m 4s
    4. Selecting negative keywords
      3m 21s
  6. 17m 13s
    1. Understanding what makes a good ad
      6m 31s
    2. Writing compelling ad copy
      4m 35s
    3. Testing your ad copy
      2m 49s
    4. Using dynamic keyword insertion in ad copy
      3m 18s
  7. 11m 41s
    1. What is quality score?
      3m 52s
    2. Using and improving your Google AdWords quality score
      4m 50s
    3. Using and improving your Bing Ads quality score
      2m 59s
  8. 16m 2s
    1. Using Google's Display Network
      7m 58s
    2. Understanding the Google and Bing search partner networks and how they work
      3m 51s
    3. Using the Bing Ads content network
      4m 13s
  9. 26m 43s
    1. Reviewing your metrics
      4m 32s
    2. Interpreting results
      6m 7s
    3. Installing conversion tracking
      8m 46s
    4. Troubleshooting common performance problems
      7m 18s
  10. 13m 14s
    1. Using the AdWords desktop editor
      2m 41s
    2. Using the Bing Ads desktop editor
      3m 9s
    3. Tips and tools for using offline editors
      7m 24s
  11. 1m 12s
    1. Next steps
      1m 12s

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Watch the Online Video Course Pay-Per-Click Fundamentals
2h 29m Beginner Apr 28, 2014

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Learn how to develop, launch, measure, and optimize winning pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns in this detailed course. Author and search engine marketing expert Elizabeth Marsten shows you the fundamentals of PPC advertising to help you drive targeted traffic to your website. The course begins with an overview of the PPC world, walks you through setting up Google AdWords and Bing accounts, shows how to set campaigns, explores how to craft compelling ad copy, and helps you measure and leverage results. You'll also learn how to use display and partner networks to increase your reach on other popular websites. Dive in and learn how to leverage this crucial, effective marketing channel.

Topics include:
  • What is pay-per-click marking?
  • Understanding the pros and cons of PPC
  • Creating AdWords and Bing accounts
  • Setting up campaigns
  • Setting daily and monthly budgets
  • Researching and selecting keywords
  • Writing ad copy
  • Understanding Quality Score
  • Leveraging display, content, and partner networks
  • Using offline desktop editors
Google AdWords Bing Ads
Elizabeth Marsten

Writing compelling ad copy

Writing ad copy is one of my favorite things about doing PPC. It gives you the chance to be creative and is one of the easiest things to test and measure in terms of success for your paid search efforts. However, when it comes to writing ad copy, before you get too creative. There are a few cardinal rules that you want to keep in mind. Make sure to use a keyword from the keyword list in the headline or the body copy whenever possible. If you can't get it into the body, the headline is the most important. Don't forget that if the query is on the keyword list and in the body copy, it displays in bold text on the search engine results page. Think in terms of benefits and features.

What is the advantage of buying from you? Do you have multiple features or assets that you can talk about in the ad? Always have a call to action. Entice searchers into performing an action is response to your ad. Remember, you can't use click here or make claims like the best or number 1 without a third party that can substantiate that claim. If you do mistakenly violate an editorial guideline such as this, the ad will be disapproved and won't run. You'll need to edit and resubmit. You can shorten and use common abbreviations like etcetera. Or an ampersand instead of an and or for a plus sign.

You can not, however, use numbers like 4 to replace the word four in order to save space. You cannot use special characters like snowflakes or clovers. Those will get kicked back after review. You can and should use dollar signs, percentages, asterisks, and tildes, common symbols found on the keyboard to help differentiate and clarify the contents of your ad. Sometimes Google or Bing gets a little bit overzealous in the editorial review, and will disapprove or throw up a warning. Just click the little request an exception link and type in the issue. For example, I had a client with the name Revolution.

In their name. For some reason, adware thought we were trying to incite political upheaval. Let's walk through a couple of examples of good and bad ad text. Here's a bad example. Take a second here and look at this ad, and see if you can figure out why it's not a good ad. Let's pick it apart. First and foremost, there's no keyword in the headline or copy. There's no call to action. Trying to use numbers as words. And there is no punctuation at the end of the first line of body copy. Alright? How about some examples of good ads. Take a second here and see if you can find out why these are good ads. Alright, why were those good ads? Well, for one thing, keyword usage.

Both in the headline and in the body copy. There was a call to action included, specifics around pricing and dates, and benefits and features were mentioned. Getting creative with your ads is a must. What a person responds to in the three seconds that they take to review your 105 character total must be eye-catching, compelling, and relevant. Here are some ideas you can try when crafting your own ad copy. Use initial caps for all words that aren't connectors. This one is a must. Time and time again, I have seen initial caps copy, albeit ad copy, that uses all lower case. Use hyphens to separate important phrases and create open space around your call to action and keywords.

Using pricing in ad copy is a great way to test how audiences respond to certain price points, and a great way to pre-qualify people before they even click, by discouraging or encouraging bargain shoppers for example. Ask a question in the headline. People love to click on this one. People also love to search by asking entire questions in their query. Such as what should I have for dinner? And if you've got the answer to that question, use your ad copy to get their attention. Using a URL in the headline works especially good for ads that focus on brand terms, or have a keyword in the URL. There's still a large population out there, including my mom, that thinks that an ad with a URL is the official or organic listing for that site.

So take advantage of that. People love free shipping. They love it even more than a percentage of dollar amount or discount. I've tested this. They'd rather have them free shipping, probably because it doesn't include any math, than a discount, even if the discount is worth more than the free shipping. So if you have a free shipping offer, whether that's all orders or over a certain amount, flaunt it. Use trademark and copyright symbols. If you've got the ability to do this, it is a very powerful thing to put in ad copy. Try it on the same ad copy with and without and you'll see the one with the symbols beat the other ad out every time.

And don't forget common abbreviations. While you can't do things like use the number two in place of one of the many variations of the two words, you most certainly can save yourself some character space with common abbreviations. This is my go to list for whenever I am writing ad copy. This was just the tip of the iceberg for ways to write compelling ad copy. There's so many ways to write ad copy that attracts and converts searchers into customers. But you have to do the homework of testing to find out what works for your business personally. Stick to the cardinal best practices here and you'll be on your way.

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