Nailing Mobile PPC through Ad Copy

Fast forward to 2018: m-commerce transactions = $669 billion. Why not claim your slice of the m-pie?  

In my last blog post I went over the mobile shift and how it’s crucially important to adapt by being there, being quick and being useful as a brand. This next 2-series post will be re-emphasising the importance brands need to place on mobile ads and how Google’s Ad Copy and Ad Extensions can make your conversions and brand take off! As there’s an overwhelming body of literature on this – including do’s and don’ts, strategies, tips, discussions – I will be splitting this post in 2 parts. Part 1 will focus on Ad Copy, what it is and how you can make the most of it with a few simple yet targeted strategies. In the next post, we’ll be going over Ad Extensions to establish how you can make them work for your mobile ads.

What is PPC?

Pay-per-click (PPC) was launched by Google in 2000 through AdWords, a PPC programme that now results in about 95% of all of Google’s revenue. So if Google is focusing its efforts on PPC, trust me so should you!

Why mobile PPC?

Over 50% of e-commerce traffic is now driven by mobile.

93% of people who used mobile to do research went on to make a purchase.

53% of mobile searches result in purchases.

Online pre-purchase product research will drive USD1.8 trillion in retail sales by 2017!

I think we’ve established there’s no turning your back on mobile optimization and PPC –  the question now is what can you do to jump start your mobile PPC strategy? For starters, you focus on Ad Copy! Below I try to offer a simple explanation of what Ad Copy actually is and how you can make the most of it.

In its most basic terms, Ad Copy is the main text of a clickable advertisement, generally the second and third lines of an ad displayed on a search engine results page, and is found between the title and the display URL. Most advertisers use ad copy to describe the advertisement, and to also insert the keywords that the ads have been created for. Ad copy is a brilliant way to describe where the advertisement link leads, and to also to make the advertisement seem as persuasive as possible to any visitors who might be interested; especially given the fact that they have searched for a particular keyword hence why the ad was brought up on the search results.

While ad copy is only two or three lines long (this is changing – and I go over it at the end of this post), it is a crucial component of the PPC advertising package: it is what catches the visitor’s attention and makes them either click on the URL to learn more, or simply move on to a different ad or organic result on the search engine results page.

Here are 3 key tips to ensure your Ad Copy is reaching its utmost potential:

My number one rule would be: don’t make empty promises! Best example: FREE SUBSCRIPTION! You eagerly click as it’s yes FREE and enter the landing page you discover it’s just a FREE 30 DAY TRIAL! It’s happened to all of us and it’s not nice! All you end up with is an annoyed user that probably won’t be coming back. So, stick to what you can fulfil. A free trial is awesome, but when you overstate your offer and then show a potential customer a different offer it actually triggers the part of the brain associated with pain. No one wants their customers associating their brand or product with pain!  Respect the click as Oli Gardner puts it. When you’re sincere about your offer in your ad copy, qualified leads click through to your landing page and there are no horrid surprises: everyone gains. FREE definitely gets our attention, but it sets the wrong expectation. It is vital you respect the consumer in order to win their trust and create a positive perception of your brand – don’t sound deceptive just to earn their click.

Another serious offence is having exactly the same copy as everyone else. If you want your ad to stand out from the rest you’ve got to avoid ‘choice fatigue’, as Roger Dooley describes it. What do we mean by this? Well, if all the headlines coming up on a search look exactly the same, think of what this means for an average user: they have to stop and investigate to determine the differences. Too many choices then mean the user won’t be able to recognise what makes your product/service different and hopefully better than others’. Even though ad copy best practice highlights that the search term should appear in the headline, how about also trying dynamic keyword insertion, as well as testing new custom ads which are tailored and more relevant to your users’ needs.

The general guidelines remain the same (check out my previous blog post for more detail). Stick to mobile-specific wording, always highlighting immediacy, and always thinking of user intent: identify their loves and hates and relate your brand to this. FOMO (fear of missing out) is also a method used to install urgency – countdowns are a cool method of doing this. Emotional triggers, personalized YOU language, even being a bit bizarre and quirky can work! Lastly, repetition; it’s usually interpreted as accuracy and reliability so use it as regards your trademark, your logo, etc. As for landing pages, I would sum them up by suggesting: make them brief, legible, able to load quickly, click friendly, and stick to simple forms.

The future of Ad Copy: What’s changing?

Well, Google’s text ads are about to undergo a significant change. Referred to as new expanded text ads, headlines are going to get much bigger – two 30-character headlines, up from a single headline of just 25 characters. Google has already begun testing and found that this change increased click-through-rates significantly – by as much as 25%. This change is huge – literally, particularly with so little space on the smartphone screen.

Google is also increasing the number of characters that can be in the description line to 80, versus the existing duo of 35-character description lines. You’ll also notice that the display URL will be removed, as AdWords will automatically extract the domain from the final URL. Advertisers can then add in one to two paths to enhance the display URL. These larger ads are coming to both mobile and desktop so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity right away rather than let your competitors beat you to it.

The reality is your Ad copy is the only part of your mobile PPC campaign that your target audience sees; it’s all you’ve got to highlight your unique selling proposition, engages your customers to take action, and actively promotes your brand identity. So, why not do it the right way?

If you’re looking for ways to improve your PPC Ad copy give us a shout at [email protected] just because we’re the biggest PPC nerds around!




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