Adwords Made Easy - 8

Your Template for Writing Successful Ads

In the previous section we learned three very important concepts on writing successful ads:

  • Targeted keyword list
  • Focused ads
  • Quality salesmanship

As we breakdown the ad template into 5 separate components, keep these three concepts in mind and see how you can use them to help you write better ads.



Your headline's main purpose is to attract attention of your target market. By wording it correctly you can avoid "curiosity" clicks, but the best part is that when you start targeting specific keyword sets (subtopics instead of general terms), you can use the headline to target your specific market and thus gain a considerable edge over competitors who are not using targeted keyword lists.

Whenever possible, use your main search terms for that ad group in the headline the reason for this is that whenever terms in your ad match the searched keywords, they are put in bold by Google. This way your ad automatically attracts more attention. This works better with low-competition terms than for main keywords (where everyone has put the keywords into their headline).

First Line

This is not a "hard and fast" rule, but it has been proven to work effectively. There are two kinds of reasons you can provide a prospect into clicking onto your ad benefits and features. The first is an emotional, psychological argument, where as the second one is factual and logical.

And when it comes to salesmanship, emotional arguments work much better than factual arguments (possibly because facts can be countered by other facts, but emotions area difficult breed to beat).

But you cannot survive without having both. That's why you have to find a way to fit them both into the 2 lines you have (70 characters in total).

Stick your biggest, most powerful benefit in the first line in the ad example I showed in the last chapter which is reprinted down below), the benefit is expert help on how to set up home theater systems. This plays on the idea that anyone looking to make such a huge expense would want to seriously research the market and would welcome advice over a sales pitch. No matter what your level of knowledge, the chance to get input from an expert (in this case, free advice) is hard to pass up.

Your benefit will be your best guess on what people are looking for when they search on your main keywords. For a high-value item like home theater system, people tend to shop around before buying, so you want to pull them in with an informational benefit.

Second Line

Put your most important feature in the second line. In this case, it is a free report available for immediate download. In this case, anyone reading that ad knows that the report is short to read (24 pages) and that they can start reading it within minutes. In other words, expert advice, in your hands, within minutes. That's what this ad is selling.

Your feature will be a specific offering that matches your previously stated benefit most closely.

Display URL

This shows the site's URL it's simple enough to put your main site url in this line, but by being creative, you can use this space to give 'extra space' to the stated benefit or feature.

In our example, the display url points to the "free guide" but if I were writing it differently, I could also change it to "experts corner", or something else that emphasized the benefit of the ad.

Use every little space of thread that you can. You don't have much of it to start with as it is.

Destination URL

The second line is the actual url where the prospect will be redirected to. Don't send your traffic to the main page for each type of ad, you're targeting a different section of the market. Make sure you send them to specially targeted pages (in this case, the download page for the free report).

If you are sending traffic directly to an affiliate's site, the destination url would your affiliate page, whereas the display url could be the main address of that site.

Playing "Beat the Control"

One of the most important numbers in your Ad stats is the click-through-rate (CTR). This is one of the major factors that determines the quality score of each keyword, which in turn determines (along with other factors such as bid pricing) the positioning of your ad.

What that means is if you have a high CTR for your ads, you may be able to get our ad in a higher position than a competitor who is bidding more than you, but has a lower CTR. You can, effectively, rank higher than your competition but spend less to get there just by improving your CTR.

In competitive markets, this is an edge you should always be fighting for.

A proven system for constantly improving your CTR is to use split-testing a method where you run two alternating ads and after a certain number of clicks (enough to prove that one ad is going to perform better than the other) you discard the ad with the lower CTR and write a new one (making only marginal changes) to try and beat the better performing ad.

You should ideally repeat this process all the time, right from the start of an ad campaign. Write two ads, run them to get enough clicks, establish which ad is the 'control' (one that performs best) and then try to "beat the control" by writing better ads.

You shouldn't be changing too much of the ad during split-testing the purpose is to change around certain sections of your ad and see how small changes can make a difference. Making small changes also allows you to pinpoint the exact change that causes an improvement in CTR, and if you can figure out what takes your CTR higher and what brings it down, you can essentially write class ads from the word go.

How to do Split Testing in AdWords

For each ad group, make sure that you're running two ads at the same time. Google will alternate between your ads for that group, and once you have enough clicks (30 is a good number) for each ad, you can determine effectively that the current CTRs of both ads will remain relatively the same (for very close CTRs, you might want to let them run a bit longer).

How did we reach the number '30 clicks'? It has to do with statistics and confidence levels…let's just say that it's not an arbitrary number but in fact a scientific estimate. There's an excellent online tool that helps in all this intuitively, it's named Split Tester.

Split testing is a must if you want to continue improving your CTR. The goal here is not to make rapid changes, but small measurable ones so that you can figure out which change causes improvements and which change causes a decrease in CTR. This way, you will soon be able to determine what type of ads work best in your niche and thus create effective, compelling ads.