Google Doesn’t Care About Your Marketing Department’s “Creative” Ad Copy

By Tad Miller | Sep 8, 2007
More Articles by Tad


It never fails; your client has a top notch marketing department that insists on writing “creative” ad copy to help with “branding” on the PPC ads. Heaven forbid that searchers don’t get the appropriate branding message… Most of these ads were usually snippets of text that worked great in recent print ads.

The problem is most marketing departments have never heard of Google’s Quality Score; much less understand how it works and how important it is.

There are also significant competing issues about the importance of “Branding” versus what actually converts searchers into customers or leads. If conversions are your goal, then using ad copy that converts is more important than the “message” that brands your product. It’s the eternal debate between Online Marketing vs. Marketing.

Your focus for ad copy needs to be on 1. What converts most effectively 2. The Click Through Rate of your ad copy and 3. Matching keywords in your ad group to your ad copy text.

Going with ad copy that converts best is a no brainer and not really worth elaborating on. The importance of Google’s Ad Rank is what the marketing departments need to understand.

On Google’s search network Ad rank = CPC bid x Quality Score. Their are several different Quality Score’s on Google but for Ad Rank Quality Score, click through rate, the relevance of the keyword and ad copy to the actual search query and “other relevance factors” are the determining factors. Your landing page is NOT a factor in Ad Rank Quality Score.

To understand just how much Ad Rank Quality Score can negatively affect your Campaigns you need to run a Campaign Report and check some extra boxes under “Advanced Settings” when you create the report. You need to check “Lost IS (Rank)”. This will show the amount of impressions you missed out on as a result of poor Ad Rank Quality Score. If you’re using that marketing message ad copy you’re likely to find that Google is really severely limiting how many times it’s showing your ad as a result.

The solution: Obvious stuff…make small keyword specific Ad Groups with ad copy using those keywords as much as practical. Don’t use too much ad copy per ad group – 2 to 3 ads is enough.

If your keyword is “Used Cars” use the words Used Cars in your headline and ad copy. A marketing department might prefer that you call those used cars something like “certified pre-owned vehicles” to avoid any stigmas about buying a used car. But searchers looking for used cars are more likely to click the ad that says used cars. Additionally, the words “used cars” will be bold in your ad which makes it stand out more.

To convince everyone your right you have to use the report. The data will set you free! If you’re missing more than 50% of your ad impressions because of Quality Score it resonates with everyone.

Google is not a group of people who reward cleverness of ad copy. It’s a machine that bases all of its decisions about how many times it shows your ad and what position it shows it in based on your click data and bids and nothing more.

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