10 Best Practices For Writing an Effective Text Ad

August 2, 2017 by Nedim Talović

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Google handles 5.5 billion searches a day. That’s a lot of traffic and a big part of it are high converting queries.

Creating an effective text ad will grab a portion of conversions for your own business.

That’s why I decided a create this in-depth article.

In this blog post, you’ll learn 10 best practices for writing an effective text ad that you should start applying immediately.

I suggest reading this article even if you’re an experienced AdWords specialist because I guarantee you’ll find something useful.

For example, did you know that nearly 87% online shoppers prioritize free shipping over fast shipping.

You haven’t, probably. This kind of stuff you’ll find here.

Let’s see!

#1 Use Drafts and Experiments

A/B tests are important part of every AdWords campaign.

In fact, behind every successful AdWords campaign is A/B test because that’s how you learn what works and what doesn’t.

Every A/B test must be statistically significant which means you need to apply some basic statistics.

One of the ways that you can check easily if the data is statistically significant is using the following Google Sheet document.

A/B Testing Significance Calculator

There, you only need to enter how many visitors (clicks) and conversions you had, and you’ll get the data.

But, how to implement A/B tests within AdWords?

Easy, since Google rolled out campaign drafts and experiments in February 2016.

Drafts and Experiments

Drafts let you create multiple changes (variations) to an existing campaign and experiments let you test drafts you created.

As you could see, you have to choose the traffic share.

For example, if your experiment variation gets really high traffic share, then your results will be statistically significant faster.

But that might be risky when you have really successful campaign, so it might be better option to choose the lower percentage.

#2 Offer Free Shipping

Abandonment rates in e-commerce are extremely high. For instance, consumer electronic has an abandonment rate of 74.1% which is too big.

Abandonment rates in retail

Do you know what are the main reasons for cart abandonment?

Unexpected shipping costs.

Reasons for cart abandonment

Shipping costs are the biggest enemy of online shops.

In fact, some online retailers sell products with more expensive price, but with free shipping. Obviously, that’s a marketing trick that works great.

Here’s how ASOS use AdWords.

iPhone case

Note how they pointed Enjoy Free Delivery.

We don’t have their CTR data, but we can be pretty sure that the phrase has increased a CTR.

ASOS is, among other things, well known for its free delivery.

I’m not telling you that they have increased their prices so they can offer free shipping, because they haven’t.

They’re just the largest online seller so they can deliver products at lower price, which is hard for small retailers.

Finally, let’s say that Deloitte survey has shown that nearly 9 in 10 shoppers (87 percent) prioritized free shipping over fast shipping (13 percent).

Free shipping is the top priority.

#3 Match Landing Page and Ad

Landing page and ad must be in a high correlation because landing page experience is a component of quality score.

Higher quality score means that you’ll pay less per click.

Google has recently made a change that allows us to see how quality score has been changing through the past.

Historical Quality Score

This means that you can understand what changes have an impact on the score.

Another metric that tells you if you’ve matched landing page and ad successfully is bounce rate.

Bounce Rate Overview

Bounce rate is the percentage of people who left your site without any interactions.

Ask yourself why would Google send visitors to your site, even you pay it, if users aren’t interested in the content. It’s much better to make users satisfied and earn from it. Win-win!

How high or low your bounce rate is, depends a lot on the type of the site. Here are some benchmarks:

  • Content websites 40-60%
  • Lead generation 30-50%
  • Blogs 70-98%
  • Retail sites 20-40%
  • Service sites 10-30%
  • Landing pages 70-90

Having a higher bounce rate means that you might be paying higher clicks.

#4 Add Extensions

Extensions are awesome AdWords feature that extends your ads, so you can get more clicks (better CTR), and in the end of the day, pay less.

They are great because they aren’t (technically) must have when creating an ad.

In reality, they’re must have because not every advertiser will use it which means it will provide you a big leverage against competitors.

Extensions are very flexible and can be applicable everywhere.

Here’s how one pizzeria in London leverages extensions.

London pizza delivery

The advertiser uses Site Extensions and Location Extensions.

I’ve already written that this increases CTR, but here’s an example which shows that using Sitelinks can increase a CTR by 64%.

Ad Extensions and CTR

AdWords offers adding manual extensions and automated as well.

Personally, I think manual extensions is a better choice since it gives more flexibility.

#5 Include a Keyword

I’ve already written that landing page experience is a one component of quality score. Second component is ad relevance.

Every ad must be relevant to the search query. For instance, imagine that you’re selling shirts for men.

It’s absolutely logical to include the keyword in the headline and/or description. Here’s one example.

Mens shirt

The query has triggered four ads and most of them are relevant.

I think the second ad isn’t relevant as it should be.

Take a look at the ad description – it says that they’re selling women fashion clothing and the query wasn’t about women clothing – it’s about men’s.

Additionally, there’s no targeted keyword in the headline.

In order to do this properly, you can use SKAG approach.

SKAG stands for Single Keyword Per Ad Group which means that you must create a unique ad for every keyword that you’re willing to target.

Once you start using SKAG your ads will be more relevant and in the end of the day, you’ll pay less per click which is an ultimate goal.

#6 Connect Google Analytics

Analyzing campaigns in AdWords isn’t enough. There are lots of insights in Google Analytics too.

Before we check them out, you need to connect Google AdWords to Google Analytics, so the data can be shared.

On top right corner, click on settings icon and after that, Linked accounts.

iPhone case

There, you’ll see lots of other tools that you can integrate such as Google Analytics, Search Console, Google Play, Salesforce.com, and so on.

Of course, select Google Analytics, scroll until you find your site and click on Set up link.

Set up link

The next step is very simple. You only have to click on Save. Make sure that importing site metrics is selected because that’s recommended by Google.

Connect Google Analytics

Now you can open your Google Analytics account, and click on Acquisition – AdWords – Campaigns.

Acquisition - AdWords - Campaigns

The following data is from Google Merchandise Store since Google has opened the account for everyone.

For example, now we can see the list of ad groups that doesn’t convert well at all.

YouTube ad group has cost $316.90 but bring no revenues.

Ad group results

Furthermore, this way you can find out which ad groups have the highest bounce rate, which landing pages are the worst, and so on.

Simply said, you can segment and analyze the data much better once you connect Google Analytics.

#7 Use CTA

Did you know that 70% of consumers say it’s important to have directions and a call button in ads?

It’s a very high percentage and basically, including a CTA is definitely a must-have.

70% of consumers say its imortant to have directions and a call button in ads

Here are some CTAs you may include in the text ads:

  • Buy
  • Purchase
  • Sign up
  • Get a quote
  • Order now
  • Check out

Since landing page is also very important part of AdWords, it seems reasonable to use tools like Yandex which lets you see scroll map, click map.

Yandex Scroll Map

With this tool, it’s possible to find out what’s the best place for your CTA button.

Anyway, testing is also necessarily because even a small change may have a strong impact on conversion rates.

Here’s one example that shows how changing button text from Create My Account to Create Your Account has decreased conversions by 24.91%, with a statistical confidence of 99%.

CTA Decrease

Simply said, if this page have had 100 conversions per day, it had about 75 after the change.

#8 Optimize For Mobile

We already know that lots of people are browsing the Internet on their phones.

Specifically, almost half of all consumers do that, but unfortunately, only 20% consumers complete transactions on mobile.

Only 1 in 5 complete transactions on mobile

One of the reasons why it happens is a lack of mobile optimization.

In fact, for every one second delay in mobile page speeds, conversions can fail up to 20%.

Walmart has found that every second they improve load speed may increase 2% in conversions.

Staples improved conversions by 10% just because of improving load time by 1 to 6 seconds.

AdWords provide the following Types of mobile ads:

  • Text ads
  • Image ads
  • Mobile app promotion ads
  • Call-only ads

Which type to choose is the question whose answer depends on the marketing objective.

For example, if your objective is to increase the number of calls, then using call-only ads might work the best for your business.

Website mustn’t contain any Flash because Apple devices don’t support it, and Android provides limited support.

#9 Set Up Conversion Tracking

Unless you’re interested in brand awareness, you need you implement conversion tracking code.

Conversion tracking code enables you measuring conversion acquisition cost, identifying which keywords make revenue, which campaign is better, and much more.

Getting the code is ultra simple. Here’s how to do it.

Firstly, in the menu. click on Tools – Conversions.

Tools conversions

There, you’ll get the list of conversion codes, but also you’ll see a button + CONVERSION that you need to click on.

Conversion actions

Next, you have to select the source of conversion that you’d like to track. AdWords offers you the following four options:

  • Website
  • App
  • Phone calls
  • Import

Select the source of conversion you would like to track

Assuming that you want to track purchases, form submissions or other actions on your site, you need to choose Website.

There, you’ll need to enter multiple information, but the most important is value. For instance, if you’re selling multiple products with different prices, you have to select that option.

New conversion action

Finally, after clicking on Save and continue, you’ll get the code you must implement.

Install your tag

Since you selected that product price will change over the time, you’ll have to adjust that in the code.

#10 Avoid Broad Match

Advertising on Google Search is all about picking the right keywords. The process of selecting keywords can be tricky if you make a mistake with keyword match.

Keyword match types help control which searches can trigger your ad.

Broad match type is the type that shows your ad to a really wide audience which what businesses with a small marketing budget might not be interested.

For instance, Entrepreneur has published that small businesses spend $400 a month on their marketing.

For that reason, I suggest everyone to avoid broad match because there will be lots of queries with high search volume, so the budget can be spent very fast.

In case you still want to use broad match type, I suggest considering adding negative broad match keywords.

Negative Broad Match

Negative broad match keywords will exclude appearing in the search results.

For example, adding running shoes as negative broad match keyword won’t trigger the blue running shoes, shoes running and running shoes query.

Once you add negative keyword, you’ll have fewer clicks, but with higher CTR and increased conversion rates.

Negative keywords are lowering cost and increasing revenue

It looks like a win-win solution.

Conclusion

Creating an AdWords campaign can skyrocket your conversion rates, but it also can burn your marketing budget without any benefits.

In order to avoid that, I strongly recommend applying best practices form this blog post.

If you ask me which best practices are the most useful, it would be very hard to do it.

However, if I have to pick the most important, then I’d pick implementing conversion tracking code.

Capturing conversions without measuring is like fishing without equipment.

You won’t know which keywords add value, which keywords waste your money, and so on.

Let me know what you think. What’s the most important tip when it comes to AdWords advertising?

Ask your questions in the comments section.

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