Ad Creation Part 1
Ad Creation Part 1 You can use this Tutorial to learn about how to create your own Ads in Adwords. You will learn how to write the ads, use different strategies in headlines, and how to split-test ads, which is a very important part of Adwords campaigns.
After most people create their keyword lists for their Adwords campaign, they think that they are done. One of the areas that some people only glance over are the Ads in the campaign itself! Creating Ads and continually testing them are just as important as selecting bid prices for your keywords. Split testing Ads are the only way to know which Ads are the most profitable, and I am going to show you how to not only create, but to test successful Ads in PPC campaigns!
First, I want to reiterate why Ads are so important. One of the main factors that Google uses to determine Ad placement (rankings) is the click through rate (or CTR) of your ad. If you have a compelling ad that is related to a users search, then you will have a higher CTR. People will click on your ad more. If you write better Ads than your competitors, then you will have a higher CTR than your competitors. Google uses CTR as a determining factor of how “good” your ad is. Its simple. Better ads that are more targeted to their users will have a higher CTR. Google rewards higher CTR ads with higher rankings. Lets say you and a competitor have all things equal besides your Ad text (bid price, landing page quality score, campaign history, etc being equal), then the Ad with the higher CTR will be ranked higher. This means that with a good enough ad you can also have a higher rank than people who are even bidding more than you are! The benefits should be obvious…you’ll be able to spend less for more traffic, thus equating to higher profit margins.
How do we create compelling ads?
When you first start creating ads, the most important thing that you need to remember is that they must be relevant with what your users are searching for. I know that this sounds fairly obvious, but it deserves to be stressed.
In order to help ensure the most relevancy possible in your ads, make sure you are using “tight” ad groups instead of large keyword list groups. For instance, if you have an affiliate program promoting an EBook on dog training, then instead of having just one ad group for all of your keywords, maybe you have four ad groups including ->
Dog Training How to Train a Dog Dog Obedience Dog Lessons Now, you can create 4 separate ads, one for each ad group. Your ad for “Dog Training” is going to be specialized for training, while your ad for “Dog Lessons” will be geared towards lessons. The “Dog Training” ad will definitely have the word “training”, since my keywords under “dog training” have the word “training” in them as well. Not only will Google give my ad a better relevance score if I have “dog training” in my ad, but it will BOLD the words as well, further driving User’s eyes to my ad. We’ll see how to specialize ads for adgroups later on.
Creating smaller adgroups with targeted ads also helps Google determine ad relevancy within the Content Network.
Google gives you 5 lines to use for an ad, so lets see how we should use each one.
The first line is your headline. This is the most important line of your Ad. This line has to stand out from all of the other ads on the page. How do you do this? Relevance. If your Ad is relevant, then your ad will stand out from the rest. It will most likely be highlighted by Google for you as well, since it will probably have at least a word or two that are also found in the user’s search. You usually want to make sure that you have your main ad group keyword on this line. For my Dog Training group, I would first start out with browsing the current top 10 headlines in Google under “Dog Training”, which are ->
- Dog Training Career
- Dog Training
- Bad Dog? Know What To Do
- K9 obedience Training
- Petsmart Dog Training
- Professional Dog Training
- Animal Behavior Schools
- In Home Dog Training
- Dog Training Secrets
- Dog Behavior Problems?
- Train your Dog Quickly
Do you see a pattern here? 7 out of 10 have the exact words “Dog” and “Training” in their headlines. When you first start out with a new ad, just roughly copy other advertisers in the top 10. That way you will at least be in the same ballpark as the others.
You might be surprised at what I just told you. You may be thinking that you have to be incredibly inventive with your headlines in order to “stand out”. I would strongly suggest that you don’t first try gimmicky headlines. I encourage you to first write solid headlines built from a foundation of sound advertising principles, then test these ads to further improve their CTR. Once you do that, then you can try more creative ads that you think might stand out more. However, 4 times out of 5 they’ll have a worse CTR than your refined, relevant ad. You might hit a homerun with one however, but try them after you have already tried the basic ads. I’ll explain these “gimmicky” ads later on.
Also remember that when you are picking headlines to mimic from the current top advertisers, you are picking from Ads that have already been split-tested (assuming the top advertisers have had at least some experience with Adwords). You aren’t copying “duds”. You get the benefit of their experience and trials, so you won’t have to spend more money “testing” new headlines and ads ideas. They have already done half of the work for you!
Hopefully I have convinced you to start out with a headline that is highly relevant with your adgroup that closely resembles other top advertising ads. Remember, I don’t explicitly mean “copy” them…I mean “mimic” them. You don’t want a complete duplicate Ad in Adwords! However, a duplicate headline isn’t the end of the world…just make sure your description lines are not the same. Just because someone uses “Dog Training” as their headline, doesn’t mean you can’t either. So, in our “Dog Training” adgroup example, we know that we want to have the words “Dog” and “Training” in our headline. Here are a few examples of headlines that I might first try ->
- Dog Training
- Dog Training Secrets
- Dog Training Revealed
- Looking for Dog Training
- Looking to Train your Dog?
- Want to Train your Dog?
- Dog Training Tips
- All About Dog Training
Once you have created several ads with headlines similar to the ones above (or other advertisers), then you can be confident that you have several headlines that at least give decent CTR. Once you have this foundation, you can start testing new, more creative headlines that if properly tested will be sure to beat your other advertisers. These first headlines can give you a solid CTR that will help subsidize your testing of more creative and risky headlines that will help beat your competition.
Lines 2 and 3 – The Description
The second and third lines that Google gives you are for you to describe your affiliate product. Now, you can do several things with these two lines, and you’ll hear conflicting ideas about what you should do with them. Some people say to list only “benefits” of your product, others say to list “benefits” on the first line, and then “features” on the second line, and some suggest that you use more “gimmicky” headlines that require explanation in these two lines (you’ll see examples of this below).
What I would suggest is that you create two or three ads with the same headline, and then test different 2nd and 3rd line descriptions. That way, you can know for sure what works for the particular product that you are selling. We’ll talk more about that in the “split-testing” section.
For our current “Dog Training” example, lets list some examples of some “benefits” of our example, generic dog training product ->
- Easily Control Your Dog
- Have an Obedient Dog
- Enjoy your Dog
- No More Bad Behavior
- Have your Dog Do Tricks
- No More Chasing Cars
- No More Biting Strangers
- Train your Dog in Days
As you can see, “benefits” are what people will gain from using this product. Benefits help show what people are missing if they don’t use your product.
“Features” are what they actually get when they purchase your product. Here are some generic features that you might find about a “Dog Training” product ->
- 155 page Training Manual
- 60 Minute Training Video
- 24/7 Support
- 30 Day Trial
- Free Dog Whistle
- Satisfaction Guarantee
- Bonus Ebooks
- Expert Audio Tapes
Features are the actual facets of your product. It is what they are getting. From the examples it should be fairly obvious what features are.
So, lets combine benefits and features and create some Ads with headlines. As a site note, if you are going to have features (not just benefits), then put the features first.
Ad example 1 (benefits and features) ->
Dog Training Revealed Train your Dog to Not Bite, Chase and Bark, 155 Page Manual for Cheap! Ad example 2 (only benefits) ->
Looking for Dog Training?In Days, Enjoy a Well-Behaved Dog Trained to do Tricks and More! The possibilities are endless. Here are some tips on creating excellent second and third lines ->
- Try and use as many of the characters that Google gives you for each line. Utilize the entire space the Google gives you. If you are hurting for room, then trim off unnecessary words and only concentrate on the best benefits.
- Use Action verbs. In the first example, my first word is “Train”. I’m telling them to do the Dog Training. People instinctually follow orders, subconsciously. Action verbs help draw attention to your ad. Why do you think during the pop up craze of the 90’s that they were all “Click Here!”? Also, my action verb was Train, which will most likely be highlighted by Google and further increase its effectiveness.
- Use Punctuation! Don’t forget to use Exclamation Points, Question Marks, etc in your description. They highlight words and give more weight to your sentences. Be careful not to use too many or Google will reject your ad.
Now, you also might be tempted to place the actual product pricing in your ad. For instance, the second example could become this ->
Looking for Dog Training? In Days, Enjoy a Well-Behaved Dog Trained for Tricks and More! $19.95 Now, putting the price in your ad is a double-edged sword. The advantage to having the price in the ad is that you are going to weed out all potential clickers that are really just looking for something for free. You are potentially creating the ability to only have interested buyers who already are willing to buy a product at the price you are offering. That’s great! The money you spend on advertising will be more effective.
However, there are big disadvantages. First, your CTR will drop, since you are weeding out potential clickers. And you already know what happens if your CTR drops…your ad rankings will also drop, meaning you will have to bid more in order to maintain the same rankings. Secondly, you are also weeding out potential buyers that are initially not willing to purchase your product, but who would have purchased your product after reading the sales copy on the landing page. By putting the price in your ad, you aren’t allowing your sales copy to do its magic, convincing the user that they have to buy their product since it will solve all of their problems.
Fortunately, with split testing you will be able to test out both strategies and now for sure which ad will yield a higher return on investement. We’ll talk about that later on.
Line 3 – The Display URL
Your Display URL is another important part of your Ad. The domain you display should be highly relevant with your product. For example, while I don’t own any of these domains, these would be excellent for “Dog Training” ->
You get the picture. In your display URL, I would Capitalize the first letter of each word to make those words stand out as well. You can also buy domains that have dashes in them, if someone else has already bought the same domain name without dashes, though I think dashes look less professional. Also remember that if you have your keywords in your Display Url that Google will also highlight those, which is exactly what you want!
Now, for those of you trying to sell affiliate products and who want to spend less on domain names, you can also buy a generic domain name and use Subdomains or Subfolders to sell your affiliate products in. If you are going to do this, then buy a short domain name so that you won’t run out of characters for your Subdomain or Subfolder. For example, lets say you buy proz.com (just a generic name thats short..its already taken though). So, you could have urls like this ->
Most web hosting is rather straight forward nowadays, where it s very simple to setup subdomains, so I would try both ways and see which has the higher CTR. In my personal campaigns where I use a generic domain name, I usually do have to split test this to find out which one works better, since I’ve found out the Subdomain works better in one campaign, but the subfolder works better in another. However, I do usually buy a domain name for each new campaign, since spending $8 for a domain name is usually worth it if I’m willing to spend $50 in advertising to see if a campaign is profitable or not.
Also make sure that your Display url actually does resolve to a landing page if you simply typed it in a browser. If it doesn’t, then google will probably punish you, or disable the ad altogether.
Other ideas for testing of Display urls ->
- Try with a www. and without a www.
- Try capitalizing different words.
Line 5 – The Destination Url
Not too much needs to be said about the destination Url. Its not seen until someone actually clicks on your ad. Just make sure that the display url domain and the destination url are the same, otherwise google will penalize or disable your ad..