Live from #SMX East: How To Create Great Text Ads

By Lindsay Keller | Sep 15, 2011
More Articles by Lindsay


This session focused on the new best practices for creating great text ads, favorite copywriting tips, and all the new text ad formats and extensions presented by  #SMX East Speakers, Noran El-Shinnawy and Bibi Mukherjee. Noran El-Shinnawy is a Senior Marketing Manager at Acquisio, the world’s leading Performance Media Platform, helping marketers buy, track, manage, optimize, and report on media across all major networks, and Bibi Mukherjee is the founder of Curve Trends Marketing, a digital marketing agency.

The session was opened by having the entire audience draw a picture of what they think makes their customers happy. The winner was a…giant dollar sign!

The basic text ad can have 25 characters in the headline, 70 characters in the description, and 35 characters for the display URL. Bibi Mukeherjee asked the question that we all wonder, how do you fit all your messaging in 95 characters?

1. Highlight what makes your brand unique.

  • Do you offer free shopping?
  •  Do you have a large inventory?

2. Include price and promotions – If you like the price then you will click and buy but the product or service. However on the other hand, it also works as a filter, if someone doesn’t like the price then you saved the expense of them clicking on your ad. Including the price and promotion has proven to increase CTR and conversion rate.

3. Call to Action – Be sure to set the right expectation.

4. Keywords – Use the best performing keywords in your ad text. When just starting off, look at analytics for organic searches to determine what the best performing keywords are. Then once the PPC campaign has collected enough data, use those high performing keywords in your text ads.

5. Ad text and Landing Page – What you promise should be delivered on the first click that the user makes.

6. Test Multiple Ad Copies – Test 2 to 3 ad copies in each ad group. This will reveal what resonates with your customers.

What can I use to improve my ad copy?

  1. Keyword Insertion – If someone searches for a keyword that you are bidding on, Google will replace your ad title with that keyword. The default tag within the brackets of keyword insertion will appear if the search query is too long.
  2. Display URLS – You can include your keyword in the display URL after your domain
  3. Use as Many Ad Extensions as you can - Site Link Extensions, Location Extensions, Product Extension, Call Extension

Noran El-Shinnawy then started off her presentation with discussing three main points:

  1. It’s not always about the keywords as much as it’s about the searcher psychology (put what you think matters most to consumers on the first line of the description, you must also think about the gender that you are targeting)
  2. Always use multiple copy writers so you get different perspectives.
  3. Always be testing

Want a quick fix?

3 step formula to check your ads against:

  1. Relevance
  2. Value Offer
  3. Call to action

Elizabeth Marsten describes text ad copy as poetry in marketing.

Tips and Tricks:

1. Writing for your audience – would my mom click on that? Your audience is most likely not going to understand technical terms.

2. Look at your keyword list – what keyword best represents your ad group? Include it!

3. Van Wagner Ad Set Optimization Model

  • One great ad isn’t enough
  • 2-3 ads in an ad group

4. Dynamic Insertion in Display URL – insert the keyword at the end of the display URL (separate the words with a plus sign)

5. Use Site Links – Get creative and tell a story, start a conversation, or list promotions.

6. Display Ad Builder – pictures are a good way to grab attention and Google’s Display Ad Builder is easy to use.

7. What’s your tone?

8. Use a hashtag – a good way to stand out and cross promote.

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