Google AdWords: Writing The Perfect Ad (Part One)
Your headlines are the most important part of your text ads. Without a “clickable” headline, your ad will languish and die. Your description line, display URL, and ad extensions only exist to complement the headlines.
Where are your eyes drawn to in the ad below?
With the prominence given to the double headlines, many searchers gloss over the other text.
It’s important to take up the additional real estate (as ad extensions do help to improve overall headline CTR), but the majority of searchers are going to click your ads based upon your headline messaging.
It’s imperative to include your targeted keyword(s) and call to action in the headlines.
It’s also good to include any competitive differentiators, promos or urgency messaging if they will fit. Don’t save your most important messaging for non-headline text.
1.Write a great headline that attracts your reader’s attention and is relevant to their search.
Description 1: Use this section to tell people about the benefits of your product or service, or your Unique Value Proposition.
Description 2: Use this section to further outline benefits, or to give your readers an incentive to click. This is where you’ll call readers to action.
To get better at writing these ads, write three versions of your ads. In the first, you’ll write an ad that explains “what’s in it for me,” and discuss the value of your product and the outcome of using it.
The headline will contain the keyword, and you’ll make sure to show the benefits before putting in your call to action in the second description section.
The second ad will focus more on the services your business provides. What is the solution, what is the pain point you’re solving? Be very clear about what it is that your product offers.
And for the third ad, this is where you can start to get creative and just do something different from the first two ads. Experiment with clever headlines, and creative ad copy.
Now you can run your ads, and start testing them to see which one works the best. You want to know which one resonates most deeply with your audience, and with three to choose from, you can start to find out what message is going to reach your target market in the best way possible.
2. Test your ads to learn what words convert best.
Testing is the key to AdWords conversion success. You need to determine which of your ads are going to get the best results, so you A/B test your ads to find the winner.
Using the word you makes your reader the focus on your message. Using more instances of ‘you’ than words like ‘we’, ‘our’ and ‘us’. You is the cornerstone of customer-centric copywriting that’s the kind of copywriting that converts readers into customers.
When you use a word like imagine you invite your reader to take a quick holiday into their happy place. A place without pain or sorrow, frustrating or irritation. Painting that kind of scenario is a great way to open your copywriting, or deliver the solution.
5. 64 power words that add rocket fuel to your copywriting
Words to use in your headlines, offers and calls to action:
Words About Newness:
Words About Exclusivity:
Words About Urgency:
Words That Reassure:
Words About Caring:
Words About Saving:
Words About Pain:
Your “Magical” Word: “Because”
The Ultimate Persuasion Technique:
Over the past few years, I’ve devoured a slew of books about traditional sales, marketing, and advertising. One of the best so far, in my humble opinion, is “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini.
Cialdini distilled the thousands of sales, influence, and compliance-seeking tactics he observed down to a handful of techniques that he calls “weapons of automatic influence,” or the common denominators found in most of the methods he studied.
He claims that each of them is based on a human psychological principle that has the “ability to produce a distinct kind of automatic, mindless compliance from people, that is, a willingness to say yes without thinking first.”
Applying persuasion principles taps into the auto-pilot programs under which we operate every day — programs that enable us to make decisions quickly and survive a busy [and sometimes dangerous] world.
Given how many decisions we make in our lives (and have had to make to ensure our survival), it’s not surprising that we are conditioned to avoid over-thinking every single scenario we encounter.
In his book, Cialdini explores the most effective ways we can influence people to comply with our requests. He writes, “A well-known principle of human behavior says that when we ask someone to do us a favour we will be more successful if we provide a reason. People simply like to have reasons for what they do.”
The strategy itself makes sense if you think about it. We don’t like to be told things or asked to take action without a reasonable explanation.
So when you need people to be receptive to your thoughts or requests, always give a reason why. And the most effective transition word when giving a reason why is because. People are simply more amenable to influence with the addition of this simple word.
The ‘power of because’ has been well-documented by social psychologist Ellen Langer. Langer performed an experiment where she asked people queued for a copy machine to cut in line ahead of them.
Langer’s study illustrates the persuasive “power of because”
She tested three different ways of asking people the same basic question and recorded the results:
- “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”
Result: 60% said OK
- “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?”
Result: 94% said OK
- “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?”
Result: 93% said OK
By providing a reason — and using the word ‘because’ — Langer’s desired compliance rate improved dramatically.
More surprising perhaps is the fact that in case #3, it didn’t really seem to matter what specific reason was given (surely making copies is the most obvious reason to use a Xerox machine!).
The word ‘because’ triggered an automatic response in the participants and changed the outcome. This technique is well-known amongst direct marketers and ad copy writers.
Since all we’re talking about is adding the word ‘because’ and a reason to your online requests, why not test the theory out for your next campaign?
Test it in your email subject lines… or Web page headlines… or primary calls to action — basically anywhere you would like visitors to comply with your request.
If you want to persuade someone to buy your product or complete a task, give them a reason. Of course, a good reason will likely be more effective, but even if you think your reason is less than compelling, the research suggests that site visitors are more likely to comply than if you had given no reason at all.
Giving people a reason to do something is incredibly powerful. The surprising thing is that it doesn’t even have to be a great reason.
Because is a powerhouse.
What have I missed here? What tips do you have for writing great ads?
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About Phil Adair
Phil Adair is the host of one of the most downloaded online marketing podcasts on the internet (go here to subscribe and listen to The Online Marketing Strategies Show.)