Search Ads

By charles kirkland | blog

Feb 18

In this Checklist we will discuss what kinds of ads work in AdWords, what are the restrictions, what are the best practices, etc.

Here are some points you need to keep in mind before creating Search Ads.

1. Visibility

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Since your ad is the only thing which your buyers will see, make it stand out and visible. People will click on the ad they fing attractive and visually appealing.

2. Get To Know Your Customers

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Do some market research and get to know who your customers are.  What are the thought process of your customer? Stand in their shoes and figure out what they need. Climb into their heads to understand what kind of conversation they are likely to have.

3. Be Relevant

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This is the golden rule. If you are not relevant you won’t make it. Your ad costs will be high, your Quality Score and ad positions will be low, and you will not stand out anywhere. That is why we need the most relevant ads to show to our prospects. Since we have already told you how to structure your campaign with tightly themed AdGroups. If you follow that process, making relevant ads are quite easy. Make sure you add keywords in your ad to make it even more relevant.

4. Focus On Your Prospects

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Focus on your prospects. Write ads in their local language, don’t use the industry language. You need to talk to them in a way they understand.

5. Use the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) /Benefits in the Ads

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You need to tell your prospects why they should they choose you. You need to include the benefits or the unique selling proposition that makes you different from the other advertisers. For example, a USP for a restaurant could say, “24/7 Home Delivery,” or a Repair Shop could use, “Get Your TV Repaired in Just 2 Hours.”

So these were the points that you should always keep in mind while making search ads. The following is the format of Search Ads.

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This is what you will see when you create your new ad.

Here is how you make your first ad:

1. Headline

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These are some points to take into consideration when choosing the Headline for your search ad:

  • Character limit is 25. Hence do not exceed the character limit or else you won’t be able to save the ad.
  • Make sure the Headline is a catchy one. According to studies, most searchers click on ads by just looking at the Headline.
  • Do not use a full stop or an exclamation mark at the end.
  • Do include Keywords in the Headline.

2. Description Line 1 (DL1)

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  • Character limit for DL1 is 35.
  • Include Benefits or USP here.
  • Do add a full stop (.) or an exclamation mark (!) at the end so that when your ad is placed at the top the DL1 is attached with the headline. This feature is called extended headline. Here is what it looks like:

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3. Description Line 2 (DL2)

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  • The character limit for DL2 is also 35.
  • Do use a Call to Action (CTA) to tell the prospect what to do next. NOTE: You cannot use Click Here as a CTA, it is against Google’s policy.
  • If there is any additional benefit, put it in here. For example: 100% Free Estimates. Call Us Now!

4. Display URL

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  • The character limit is 35.
  • You cannot use a different domain other than the landing page domain.
  • You can add keywords after the domain name. For example: Ishayoga.org/Learn-Yoga

5. Destination URL

  • The Character limit is 1024.
  • The page should not give a 404 error.

6. Follow the Rules

  • No Spelling or Grammar mistakes.
  • No Superlatives (#1, Best) Though you can call yourself best if some third party organization has awarded you a certificate stating that you are the best in this field.
  • Do not write in CAPS.
  • No Excessive use of punctuations.
  • Do not include phone numbers.
  • Do not use click here as a CTA.
  • Do not use any trademark in your ads, though you can use it as a keyword.

For more information on Policies you can visit this link: AdWords Policies

7. Get Ideas From Competitor’s Ads

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The above screenshot is taken from Spyfu.com, which we have already discussed during the keyword Research checklist. You can use Spyfu to look for your competitor’s ad and get ideas for your own ads. Spyfu is a paid tool, but it lets you see some of the ads for free. Just head over to Spyfu.com, type in your keyword and scroll down to the end of the page.

Extensions

We have already discussed some Ad Extensions but now we will go into deep detail for each. Mainly, there are two types of extensions.

Manual Extensions, which you have to set it up on your own; and Automatic Extensions, which AdWords sets up on its own.

Ad Extensions are free to use and come at no extra cost.

Manual Extensions

There are 6 types of manual extensions:

  1. Sitelinks
  2. Calls
  3. Location
  4. Callout
  5. Apps
  6. Reviews

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Picture Credits: PPCHero.com

As you can see in the above screenshot, all 6 manual ad extensions are used by the publisher to make their ad look bulkier. Ad Extensions even have a part to play in the calculation of your AdRank, therefore it is always advised to use Ad Extensions for your ads.

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You can add Ad Extensions at campaign level by clicking on the Ad Extensions tab and then selecting which ad extension you want to use. Next, click on the +Extension button. We will walk you through the setting up process:

1. Sitelinks Extension

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Sitelinks are links to other pages of your website. Most of the time the sitelinks would look similar to the sitelinks in the right screenshot, but if you have a very good Quality Score, your description might come up too.

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When you select sitelinks as an extension and when you click on +Extension, a dialogue box appears. Here, you need to click on +Sitelink. At this point, the dialogue box shown below will appear where you need to put in the details.

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You have to use other links to your website. In this screenshot, we have used Google.com.

2. Location Extension

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For location Extension you need to put in your physical storefront address through Google My Business. Just sign up at My Business, Locate your Business, connect the account with AdWords and you are done. Below is the screenshot of the same:

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3. Call Extension

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Call Extensions help your prospects reach out to you by calling you. Your phone number is displayed in the ad itself when you use call extension.

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By clicking on +New phone number you’ll see the following dialogue box:

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Here you have to input your phone number along with the country. You can even use Google Forwarding phone number in which Google will provide you a number, which the customer can call and will further redirect to you. This service is free of cost and is useful when you want to track the conversions and the number of minutes each call lasted. You can even select the device preference as mobile. In this instance, your phone number will only show when your ad is triggered on a mobile device.

4. Callout Extensions

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The callout ad extension lets you include additional text with your search ads. This lets you provide detailed information about your business, including products and services you offer. Callouts appear in ads at the top and bottom of Google Search Results as shown in the screenshot above.

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When you click on the +New Callout button, you will see a dialogue box just like:

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You can add 4-5 callouts just like this and make your ad stand out from the rest. Callouts can be some extra benefits that you are providing to your customers. Using callout extension is totally free of cost.

The other 2 extensions – Review and App Extensions can be added in a similar fashion.

Automatic Extensions

Here is a table that explains the types of automatic extensions that are available:

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Some of the Automatic Ad Extensions are not available globally because of some restrictions. Let’s discuss all of these extensions in the following section:

Consumer ratings

Show off what customers appreciate with high-quality survey data.

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Previous visits

Show people if they’ve clicked through to your website from Google Search results before.

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Social extensions

Show how many Google+ followers you have.

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Dynamic structured snippets

Dynamic structured snippets show additional landing page details automatically with your ad on Google search.

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Dynamic Keyword Insertion

We can include the keywords in the ads using the Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI). It is a special feature in which Google itself will replace the default text with the keyword which triggered the ad. We will walk you through all of the details about DKI.

For DKI, we input a special string which is {KeyWord: Default Text}. As you can see, if a search query triggers our ad and if that query is a keyword in our list, then the default text is replaced with that keyword, hence making the ad more relevant.

Let’s say you’re advertising a chocolate shop. You could use a keyword insertion code in your ad headline:

Headline: Buy {KeyWord:Chocolate}

AdWords will try to replace this code with one of your keywords in your ad group (“dark chocolate,” “sugar free chocolate,” “gourmet chocolate truffles”), but when it can’t, (if the search query is bigger than than character limit either in Headline or the Description Lines) it’ll use the word “Chocolate.”

Note that the person’s search term isn’t always the same as the keyword.

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As you see that the keyword gets replaced with the search query. You can use the DKI in any of the tabs such as: Headline or Description Line 1, Description Line 2 and Display URL.

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As you can see in the image, the capitalization depends upon the syntax of the word “Keyword,” therefore you need to take care while working with these.
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As you can see in the screenshot, you can automatically choose the Title case, Sentence case and the lower case and give a default text whenever you type in {Keyword:        } syntax. Hence, you need not to worry about the capitalization of K or W in Keyword.

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