How Do You Create an Optimized Ad?
When visitors do a web search they are served with a multitude of ads, the chance they’ll click all of the ads in the search results pages is pretty slim. This is the exact reason why your Google AdWords Search Network ad needs to be optimized for visitors so they find what they were looking for and click to your post-click landing page.
So, how do you optimize Search Network ads?
Before we discuss the optimization principles you should use for your AdWords text ads it’s important we know the components that make up the ads.
Components of a Google AdWords Search Network Ad
A Google Search Network text ad has three main components:
1. Headline:The headline is the first thing visitors see in the ad, your text ads have two headlines that are separated from each other by a dash. Each ad headline can have up to 30 characters.
2. Display URL: The display URL consists of the domain from your final URL (which ideally should be your post-click landing page).
3. Description text: You can use the description text to describe details of your offer, it can consist of 80 characters. A call-to-action in the description text helps visitors take action and click the ad.
Optimizing Search Network Ads
Optimization is the process of improving a campaign or part of it (web page, advertisement, post-click landing page) to the point that it’s as near-perfect as it can get. Optimization starts with continuous testing, and data collection, and ends with making improvements to campaigns based on those results.
Testing and data collection are an integral component of optimization, however, if you’re just starting out you need to begin somewhere before you have data. This is where the following ad optimization best practices come in:
Think Like Your Customer
Visitors click ads because they’re looking to get something done, your ad’s job is to make it loud and clear that your offer is what they were looking for. To get this done you need to think like your customer and craft ad copy that includes phrases that your audience is likely to search for and include those in your headline and description text.
Think about your offer – what does your service do, how does it help visitors solve their problem, what differentiates you from the competition and create ad copy that answers these questions.
For example a user searching for a copywriting agency, will see the following ads:
All the ads generated in the results have relevant headlines which means the visitors is likely to click them. You should include at least one keyword from your ad group in your ad headline, to establish relevancy and increase the chance of getting a click.
Include a Statistic in your Ad
Numbers speak louder than words – because they’re able to showcase value without using up a lot of space, which is crucial in AdWords as you don’t get much space to begin with.
You can use your pricing plan in your ad to immediately communicate to visitors how much they’re going to have to spend, or you can include numbers that invoke the principle of social proof and convince them to click, like the count of your current customer base.
Someone searching for affordable healthy meal options would ideally want to see how much meals are going to cost them right away, this is what Sun Basket does when mentioning their $11.49 price, however this isn’t the route Delivery Italiano takes with their ad:
Which ad do you think the user is most likely to click?
Add Details that Help Your Audience Reach a Decision
There’s a huge possibility that you and your competitors have somewhat the same ad copy. See case in point:
All of the real estate agencies have similar headlines and description text, ‘homes for sale’, ‘houses for sale’ and ‘free mortgage calculator’.
When this is the case whether your ad gets clicked or not depends merely on chance, however, if you add specific details about your service that differentiate you from the competition you have the opportunity to make your ad stand out and get a click.
This is exactly what Pipefy’s ad does compared to Capterra’s ad:
While the latter has the same generic ad text, the former mentions social proof ‘companies from over 150 countries manage their processes with Pipefy’ and even includes Techcrunch’s customer testimonial. Which ad do you think the searcher will be more inclined to click?
Add Relevant Ad Extensions
Add extensions help expand your ad with additional information, adding more description for your service and increasing the chance of getting a click. You can use the following extensions with your ads:
1. Location Extension
Showing your location with your ad increases trust for your business. Moreover, if a visitor wants to actually visit you they can quickly get the information from your ad.
The following is an example of a location extension:
2. Callout Extension
Callout extensions promote unique offers to your visitors, like ‘free shipping’ and ’24 hour customer service’:
3. Call Extension
Call extensions mention your contact number with your ad so visitors can call you if they have additional questions about your service. Adding a phone number to your ad increases visitors’ trust in your service.
4. Review Extension
This extension allows you to add quotes or ranking from your previous clients, reviews from renowned companies work best with your ads.
Getaround uses the review extension to highlight a testimonial by Huffington Post:
Rotate Your Ads
As we mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, optimization heavily relies on testing and data collection, ad rotation is the best way to test and collect data on your AdWords ads.
Ad rotation gives the option to rotate your ads to find out which ones have a higher clickthrough rate. When you create more ads in your ad groups you have the opportunity to rotate the ads and accumulate data on which ad is outperforming the others. As Google collects data on the ads it automatically starts favoring ads that statistically perform better. When you evenly rotate your ads you increase the chances of high performing ads to be served to your visitors.
Optimizing Display Network Ads
Display network ads give you a little more room to be creative as they include additional formats, such as image, video and rich media types. To create effective display ads, make sure that the image and copy are relevant so the visitor can make a natural connection among the contents of the ad.
Another thing to take care of in display ads is branding, make sure that your branding is on point, so when the visitors click through to the post-click landing page they know they’ve come to the right page.
Including a CTA button in your display ads helps guide visitors toward the click.
Disruptive Advertising has an optimized display ad:
- The headline has a statistic which adds credibility to the service
- The CTA button is contrasting in color and has personalized copy on it
- The branding is consistent
Make sure your ads are relevant, have action-oriented copy and are descriptive so that they stand out and the visitor feels compelled to click them.