Adcopy could apply to the language you use in a print ad or the verbiage on a billboard.
But, what I’m talking about is:
Google Adwords Adcopy for Paid Search campaigns.
A Google Paid Search ad has one job, and one job only. To get the person to click on it. Nothing else. This ad is not the “sales person”, nor is it a miracle worker. It’s sole purpose it to try to garner clicks at an affordable cost. Thinking beyond that with Adcopy is already losing focus of the goal. Get the user to feel compelled enough to “see what’s behind Ad number 2”.
Once that person has clicked they have entered the funnel and other elements should be in place, to capture that user date into a list, in order for them to be remarketed to at a later date. (Another story for another time).
Back to our singular goal of getting clicks.
Ever since discovering Paid Search, I had a fascination with Adcopy and how it is literally manipulating you into performing an action. The average rate in which people click a Google Paid Search Ad is anywhere from 1-35%, based on the type of search. There are 3 types of search strategy I am going to talk about today.
For example a Brand Search: “Temple University”, [Temple University], +Temple +University, would have a higher rate of clicks because it’s relevant, appears above the organic search & sometimes has a better navigation by taking a user directly to an application submission page.
While, a more Generic Search: “Digital Marketing Masters”, “Digital Marketing Graduate Programs”, “Internet Marketing Masters”, would have more of 1-3% click rate.
You “win” at Google Ads when you can increase those Generic Search clicks without spending more per click.
Clicks matter because:
1. More traffic to your website and chances for a lead or sale. Of course.
2. Your entire Adwords Account will perform better and your clicks will be cheaper. More Clicks = Higher Position & Less Cost Per Click. This is all determined by quality score. Which basically means, are you delivering what you are promising, to the right audience, with your ad.
This is where the magic (and manipulation) happens.
There are few rules I follow with Google Ads & Adcopy:
- Always use a “Call To Action“. You absolutely have to tell people exactly what they have to do – and why they have to do it.
- Always punctuate (.,!) the end of first line of the description.
- Give the User exactly what they are searching for.
- Take the user to the page they’d expect to go, and always take them as close to the conversion point as possible.
- Always examine the competition and try to use “Unusual and unexpected” language to really stand out from the herd.
- If possible, always use a Registered Trademark or official symbol. This ads credibility and trust to your ad and will ultimately help it stand out.
- Use the Keyword in the display URL. Always utilize every element of the Ad.
- The language of your Ad has to closely match the language on your destination page. The more exact the Headline of your Ad and the H1 on the page, the less likely a user is to bounce immediately upon arrival.
- Use every Ad Extension possible. More extensions means you take up more real estate on the query and take away from your competition. Google favors advertiser that try to use every single one. Here are all the types of Ad Extensions:
- Review Extensions
- Call Out Extensions
- Site-Link Extensions
- App Extensions
- Structured Snippet
- Location Extension
- Try (don’t force it if it doesn’t work) to create urgency & negative or fearful language, always out performs positive language.
- Always create variations & always be testing, every element of the ad. Small variations matter, so it’s important to focus on the details.
- Try the Call to Action on the first line vs the second line.
- Call to action first in the sentence or last in the sentence.
- Logical (Fact Driven) Ads Vs. Emotional (Humanistic)
Hmm… what is missing here? These keywords may be expensive, which is why creating long-tail keywords is a must. A lot of companies will not bid on them, but this is great place for a “Branded” ad – bragging about Temple University. Most of these ads are from less credible colleges, so I’d test out some solid Branded Ads instilling trust and offering a program guide. Ideally, the destination page would have a lead capture form to capture e-mail and phone information. Then, delivering the e-guide via e-mail and initiate a drip campaign.
If we take a look at the above top ads that appear for our Generic Search or “Digital Marketing Masters Program”, we see the top 3 contenders.
The top ad is using a Registered trademark. The keyword is in the display URL, They have a call to action “Apply Online Now” & 3 Call Out Extensions. This is not bad and you can see it has the element that Google favors so the quality score and algorithm would automatically trump the other two ads that are lacking a good deal of impact.
You can increase the amount of clicks on your ad by creating Adcopy that will generate an “emotional” response, by predicting the searchers inquiry intention.
What that means is, when someone Googles: “Digital Marketing Masters” – what are they expecting or looking to find. This search, I would describe, as an informational search, this user is gathering and therefore we need to give them information and yet ask them to leave something in return. Like an e-mail or phone number. Nothing extensive, but just a simple lead capture.
Below are some Ads I would test for the Generic Search campaigns:
“Helpful”,”Solution Driven” (assuming searcher intent is indeed informational), I’m making it easy for them to obtain and read about the values of this program and why the user just needs to be apart of it.
Notice how I slightly vary and move around the words. Some are more vague and some are more direct. As someone who has written thousands and thousands of ads, I have seen trends in how people react to certain language. But, every demographic is different, so I start with best practices and see which ads the users gravitate towards, and I then I enhance those, bit by bit. This is a long process but hey, that’s why clients pay agencies the big bucks!
Now let’s look at the Brand Search top ads.
hmm… no Temple DMM Program ad. Though this search may be too broad.
This would also be a prime locations for a Temple DMM Program Ad.
Here we are, same ad as before.
For a Branded Search I’d also stick with ads that are more “Navigational”, in quality. If they are looking for this program, they can read all about in the organic section of this search result. But, if they ready to apply, let’s make it super easy for them to do so.
I would try an ad like this:
What this ad is demonstrating is something called a “Count Down” ad, which could be used to drive urgency. Generally, a branded ad, should be aimed right for the point of conversion. It should be clear that this ad is how to submit your application for the program and not information about the program.
This ad is more “fun and flavorful”. It’s very human and it would stand out from the competition.
The main point about Branded ads is that they should serve as more navigational and less general. It’s also good to be in the first position for any Brand keywords.
The last strategy I’ll talk is for Competitor Searches. Which means, bidding on the keyword of Temple’s competition: “Concordia” & SNHU”.
Same adcopy as every other ad. Not super impactful or relevant to the searcher intention.
Here are some types of Ads I’d test for Competitor Searches:
As you can see, the ad is offering an alternative of the same program at a different school. If that user is still “informational searching” they’d probably make sure to check out every option before settling on a program.
This concludes my brief overview of how Adcopy is a science and a Paid Search campaign works the best with really targeted Adcopy.
My high level recommendations:
- More Adcopy variety between different searcher intentions.
- Bidding on some longer-tail but broader keywords
- Enabling all Ad-Extensions
- Start some Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Tactics – Read About My CRO Recommendations Here
Thank you for reading. All of the information above is personal advice based on my 4 years of experience with Google Adwords. I have every Google certification and I have a special interest in Adcopy, which is why I chose to share some thoughts. I decided to analyze Temple’s Paid Search campaign because, I feel, a good program should be “showing itself off” more and demonstrating amazing digital marketing tactics to prove the validity of it’s teachings. I am happy to consult further about any Adcopy questions and opinion.