9 tips to write effective Search Engine Ads

Thu 25 March 2010 09:26, Editors

Search Engine Advertising (SEA) or Pay per Click (PPC) advertising is one of the most popular forms of online advertising. I guess everyone visiting this blog knows that. Still, for many businesses writing a good search engine ad for Google AdWords and ‘the others’ is less obvious than it seems. So in this post I’d like to share some tips for writing effective text ads for search engine advertising.  

It’s a challenge to write an ad in of 95 characters (spaces included). So it’s obvious that it’s crucial that your ad is written as efficiently as possible. SEM companies and experts know this, but I thought it was time to remind some tips, since I still see lots of poorly written text ads. So here I go, my 9 tips. Of course they are mine so feel free to share yours, I’m only human.

A search engine ad is not a sales letter

Search engine ads are merely a way to get web surfers, that type in certain search terms to a landing page. The aim is not to close a sale. Realize that when writing the text ad.  

Write your ad with the search engine user in mind

Do not waste characters talking about your business or details about your products, services, etc. Write in benefits to the surfer. Why should he click your ad? Make a promise. Of course: you must fulfil that promise afterwards on the landing page. Think psychology and customer needs, think curiosity, benefits etc.  

Use a relevant and strong keyword in the headline

If you do this, the web surfer sees that there is a link between the search term he used and the ad. So he sees that the ad could be relevant to him. 

Make sure the headline of your text ad is relevant and teasing  

In every type of online content (newsletters, texts for websites, etc.) the headline or title is the main element. It’s probably even more so in text ads. Don’t only use a relevant keyword in the headline but make the headline itself relevant to, both for the search engine user and the purpose of your message. On top of that your headline will have to be teasing and inciting the search engine user to click your ad or, at least, to continue reading it. 

Let go of the words  

Of course you need words, if not you would not have a text ad. But carefully avoid unnecessary or long words. Every word, every character in your text ad is important so don’t use a long word if there is a shorter alternative and avoid all words that really don’t help you in getting the search engine user understand your ad, and most of all clicking on it.  

Tips for the description lines of the ad      

You best use the first description line (after the title) as an additional "teaser" that continues to draw the attention of the web user in the title and urges him to click or know what you have to offer. In practice this sometimes happens in the form of a question. In the second description line, you make a promise and go for the ultimate ‘call-to-action’ (although the CTA should be in the title and the first line too).  

Make sure that your text ad stands out

You're probably not the only advertiser that wants his text ads to be seen for certain search terms. So it’s important to distinguish your ad from all the others that the search engine user sees. Again this is mainly a matter of relevancy but also of being as specific as you possibly can be.  

Don’t forget the hyperlink  

At the bottom of a search engine ad, you can add two links: one that the web surfer sees (aka the Display URL) and the actual link where the ad refers to (the Destination URL). Use this possibility because it can again strengthen the call-to-action and relevancy by incorporating a keyword into the visible link. An example: www.mycompany.com/downloadfreepaper. 

Test your text ads

This is not really a writing tip, but it is very important. Try different versions of your text ads until you find the version that works best. Change the title, whatever. Furthermore, try to serve various versions at the same time. This naturally means that you will analyze the efficiency of your text ads. However, that is something Iassume...


  • Comments (2)
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Comments (2)


    • Rebekah

    This is a great article. I am always trying to find new ways to make our website better.

    Di 30 mrt 2010, 17:39

  • Very beautifully written however one may ausserachtlaßen not the target group and notices for some time I that to 100% to the title do not pay attention affine Internet user, but also for already well-known key words to look. Thus a company name or a product characteristic.

    Ma 19 apr 2010, 13:38


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