July 24, 2014

Creative Relevance in PPC Ads

Food Inc PPC ads

News Flash: To get better CTR and conversion rates, your PPC ads need to be relevant to the search term and the user intent.

Okay, so that’s not really news so much as it is common sense. But before you dismiss this post, consider the following PPC ads for the search term “Food Inc DVD” (which is obviously a very specific product name):
Food Inc PPC ads

As you can see, Barnes & Noble and eBay hit the nail on the head. My exact term is in the headline and therefore bolded. eBay even takes the extra step and puts the search term in the ad copy to reinforce the relevance of their ad. However, look at our friends from DealOz.com. They may brag about their 70% off DVDs and free coupons, but I don’t even know if they have Food Inc. (in their defense, all three ads go to a search results/product page for Food Inc.)

Easy Way – Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI)

Our eBay and Barnes & Noble ads weren’t written with my exact search term in them. They use DKI to insert my term. For those of you not familiar with the syntax, in AdWords you simply put {KeyWord:Default Copy} into your ad and AdWords will automatically put the exact search term into your ad (as long as it fits the character limits). Instant relevancy, but be careful. Make sure to monitor your negative keywords or you could end up with an embarrassing faux pas like this:
Target PPC ad

Last time I checked Target didn’t sell infant body parts and they definitely didn’t qualify as furniture.

Hard Way – Static Ads in Tight Ad Groups

Every PPC campaign has a handful of top-performing keywords. You know, the 20% of your keywords that deliver 80% of the results. Take these keywords and place them in very tightly themed ad groups (like 2 or 3 keywords/ad group). Then right static ads using the keywords directly. This will ensure relevancy and allow you to put 2 or 3 relevant mentions in the ad (headline, ad copy, even the display URL). With a highly relevant ad, you can then work on your landing page to make sure you’ve established a strong chain of relevancy.

Chain of Relevancy in PPC

Everyone knows that marketing is both art and science. Search engine marketing is especially heavy on the art because of the mysterious search engine algorithms. However, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising provides relief from the mystery because you can circumvent the algorithms and work with dollars and cents. Or at least that’s how it used to be until Google announced their quality score. They weren’t about to let it be easy for you.

What is the Chain of Relevancy?

The chain of relevancy has three links. The first link is the keyword you are bidding on. For this example we’ll say you’re bidding on the term “iPhone accessories.” 

The second link in our chain is the ad copy you write. Placing the keyword phrase in your ad title or ad copy is proven to deliver higher CTR (partly because search engines highlight the words and draw attention to your ad), but this practice also connects the first and second links in our chain of relevancy. For best results I would place my keyword in a small ad group and use the title “iPhone Accessories” or “Buy iPhone Accessories.” 

The third link is the content of the landing page designated by the destination URL. The search engine will spider the page looking at the title tag, meta tags, H1 tags, page content, etc. to ascertain what the page is about. If the search engine determines that our page is about iPhone accessories we’ve established a strong chain of relevancy that will improve our quality score.

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