By Guest Blogger Brad Geddes, Author of Advanced Google AdWords
One would think that writing a good ad would come naturally to writers. Rarely is it true. Most writers are too skilled at grammar and punctuation to write a good ad.
When you conduct a search on Google, you often see ads that line the right hand side of the page. These ads are a maximum of 140 characters. They are short and concise. Yet a good ad needs to perform these tasks to be successful:
- Call attention to itself
- Showcases a benefit
- Incorporate a call to action
Doing all of this in the space of an inch of text is possible, if you check your grammar and ego at the door.
Call Attention to Itself
Many search results contain up to twelve ads. When you combine that with ten natural results, and possibly other links from Google products, there can be more than thirty options on a search page. It is essential that ads stand out in this crowded page of links.
This is the first place where most writers get stuck. There is more to writing a catch headline than just choosing the correct words. Most writers naturally use sentence casing.
For many demographics, title casing is more effective than sentence casing. As a general rule, the younger the audience, the better title casing performs. The older the demographic, the better sentence casing performs.
Writers need to let go of their preference for proper casing to write a good headline when reaching younger demographics.
Showcases a Benefit
There are two items you need to know about when writing ads: features and benefits.
- A feature is a component of a product or service
- A benefit shows how that feature will improve your life
For instance, the statement “The Sony Z Vaio has a six hour battery” is a feature. It just tells a searcher that this laptop computer will last for six hours before the battery dies.
Features are easy to list, they are the bullet points you see listed on the side of a product’s packaging. They are simple to write, and outside of comparison shoppers, no one cares about the features.
Consumers spend money based upon how they perceive a product will improve their life. This is known as the benefit. A benefit shows someone how a feature will improve their life.
The statement, “The Sony Z Vaio has a six hour battery life so you can be productive on a cross country flight” is a benefit to business travelers.
Turning a feature into a benefit is simple. Take the benefit and finish the sentence.
Incorporating benefits into ad copy almost always increases its performance.
Incorporate a Call to Action
The best written Google AdWords ad is useless if it does not receive a click and send traffic to the advertiser’s website.
Many ads showcase benefits, but a benefit just highlights what a product will do for the searcher. A benefit is educational, not actionable.
Your ad should direct someone to take action. What would you like the searcher to do?
- Buy a new Plasma TV
- Subscribe to our newsletter
- Call us for a free consultation
These are calls to action.
However, they are boring calls to action that are taking up valuable ad copy space. You can combine benefits with a call to action.
- Bring the Cinema into your home by Buying a New Plasma TV.
- Signup for Powerful Marketing Tips
- Call us to Look Younger in just 10 Days
Did the capitalization of those ads annoy you?
Did you focus on the words: Buying New Plasma TV, Powerful Marketing, Look Younger?
By combining mixed casing, with benefits, with calls to action your ads can both stand out from the crowd and bring higher revenues to the advertiser.
You’re Never Always Right
A single sentence inside a 500 page book rarely matters if the words are not precise. As a writer, you are immersing the reader inside your world and have the other thousands of sentences to make up for one poorly written line.
When the ad only contains three lines, each line matters. The ad must move the searcher forward from glancing at the ad to clicking on the ad to visiting the website to performing the desired action (such as checkout, filling out a form, or calling a company).
However, there is no way to know what lines will resonate with the searchers if you only write a single ad.
In AdWords, it is simple to test different ads and messages. Instead of focusing on a single ad, you should write a few ads for each product. You do not have to know which is best, the searchers will tell you based upon what ads they are clicking that lead to sales.
This is where you can harvest the power of the internet and creative writing.
Creative writing gives you ideas.
The internet gives you statistics (such as sales, clicks, and revenue).
By combining these two together, you can be creative in your ad copy writing without having to worry about the end result. You have to give control to the searchers. Most writers hate this. When you write a book, you have control over the world. When writing ads, ‘best’ is generally based upon sales of the product, not how many people like the ad copy.
Just remember, no matter how good of a writer you are you will not always write ads that searchers like.
That is OK. If you can give up control, the statistics will tell you which is the best overall ad.
Writers can create excellent Google AdWords ads by following these simple guidelines.
The hardest part of writing AdWords ads for writers is giving up some creative control to statistics.
Brad Geddes is the author of Advanced Google AdWords, the founder of Certified Knowledge and bg Theory which are internet marketing training companies, and the only Advanced Google AdWords Seminar leader officially supported by Google.