How Not to Write Your Ads

SERoundtable had a poll this morning that I thought was interesting, its a ‘What is your highest CTR’? poll. Just about anyone who runs any kind of paid search account would tell you this is such an arbitrary question it can’t possibly be accurate. Account Level? Campaign level? Keyword level? Ad Level? I have a 90% CTR on a keyword for the month of January ’08, do i win? Sure its a branded word but no one said that didn’t count!

Anyway, as I was checking out one of my clients high performing ads, i happened across a semi-competitor’s ad and nearly spit out my drink from laughter.

This is a classic example of how to NOT write your PPC ads:

Some Clarification on “Inceasing your clicks by 25%”

Shoemoney posted this article about how he bolded keywords in his Adwords ads and increased his clicks by 25%.

In theory he is exactly right, having bold words in your ads will definitely increase traffic but only to an extent. I also don’t believe his > reason is exactly the reason why he saw an increase in traffic. Any Adwords rep will tell you they recommend using keyword insertion in ads in order to help increase CTR. Keyword insertion helps customize the ad towards the users actual search query by inserting the search query into the ad in bold. This helps draw the users attention and also helps your ad stand out. In the example he used “Google search for Shoemoney, you can clearly see how his ad stands out. No other advertisers who are bidding on this keyword have a properly organized account or focused ad, so Shoemoney’s ad really stands out. Take a search such as Life Insurance and you can see how many ads have bold words and where I doubt using his “>” technique would increase your clicks 25%.

So What Does this mean for me?
Well, first I completely agree that using bold in your ads will help your CTR, clicks, quality score, etc but the key question is how to do it. There are 2 ways to achieve bold words in your ads, you can do one of the following ways:

  • Use keyword insertion on your ads
  • Organize your keywords into specific adgroups with targeted ads

  • I’ll go into more details on these two in upcoming posts, they both deserve dedicated posts to fully understand them.