Fired Up and Focused Bootcamp: Day 4

Adwords Copywriter Amy Middleton
Teaches You How to Write a PPC Ad That Works

This video is courtesy of Amy Middleton, ad copywriter for hire

NOTE: Thanks to the ever-changing world of SEO and Google Adwords,
some parts of this video may not be fully updated.


You should follow Amy Middleton on Twitter

[Tweet “hi @amyppc – just watched your free #adwords training video on @copyhackers and loved it”]


Hi, I’m Amy Middleton. I am a Google Advertising Professional and certified partner and I’ve been running Adword’s campaigns for over 10 years.

Today we’re going to be talking about how to build an effective paid search ad and your assignment is going to be to build out three different versions of that paid search ad. By the end of this lesson we’ll have talked about the basic anatomy of an ad, and how to fit it up in AdWords, how to create an effective ad that will generate clicks and drive action, and how to create three unique concepts for a better test. Now, that’s a lot a lot to cover in one day so let’s get started.

Jumping into AdWords, we’re looking at the Adwords interface now of a startup called Vidpresso that’s allowed me to share their data with you. In the Ads tab we’re going to click New Ad and select Text Ad. Now because we’re in All Campaigns we have to select an ad group because ads live at the ad group level. Once we have that selected you can see the basic layout of an ad that we’re going to go ahead and fill in here. The headline is 25 characters and the description lines are each 35 characters.

Let’s go ahead and change our headline to this is my awesome headline, and we can see that AdWords is keeping track of our characters and we’re already at -2 so it’s not a lot of space we have to work with here, but let’s go ahead and edit it to this is a headline, and then this is description line 1 and description line 2.

On the right we can see how this looks, a simulation of how it would look if we were actually in the search engine’s results page. On the side of the results page is where you would see the ads with description line 1 and 2 on top of each other. If the ad is in the main column, it’s going to be headline with description line 1 and description line 2. They may run together. Another way you might see it is if description line 1 is right next to the headline.

That’s something to keep in mind when you’re writing your descriptions. You want to make sure that it’s going to make sense either way depending on how you have it set up. Display URL and Destination URL we’ll get to a little bit later, but once you have that information all filled in here correctly then go ahead and save your ad.

One other thing that I want to review real quick is just to do a double check on some settings. Click on the Settings tab and then scroll down to the bottom for ad delivery, ad rotation, and frequency capping and we’re just going to review that quickly. You have two main options which are to optimize to have AdWords optimize or to do an even rotation. Your goals that you have for this, for your ads is going to depend on which one you should select.

If you want to do a true unbiased test of your ad performance, you’re going to select one of these rotate evenly options, and you will have this little warning, this little error message. If you select Optimize for clicks, you won’t see that. Just the main difference here is you can select Optimize for clicks and Google will just recognize which ad is performing better maybe has a better clickthrough rate and start showing that more, but again for testing purposes it’s probably better to select Rotate evenly so go ahead and make your selection and hit Save.

In real life you’ve probably seen AdWords ads that go well beyond their 130 character limit and this is accomplished through something called site extensions. Here we have an example of seller reviews, of social annotations, of enhanced site links. You may also see phone numbers or addresses or even quotes from people and this is a great way to increase your ad’s real estate. We don’t have time to get into site extensions in the video, but I do have a bonus worksheet for you that will tell you a bit more about different site extensions and how you can best use them for your ads.

One other thing to notice is that in this particular ad the term Oriental Trading is bolded four times, and the reason for that is because I typed in Oriental Trading into Google and when AdWords sees a match between the term that has been typed in between the query and what’s in your ad it’s going to bold those terms and so that’s something to take advantage of to make your ad as relevant as possible. You’re kind of rewarded for doing that by getting that part bolded.

Now that we’ve gone over the rules and mechanics for paid search ads, let’s delve a little more into the theory. Paid search ads at their best do not look like traditional advertising. This is not a print ad with fewer characters and it’s not a banner ad minus the picture. At their best, paid search ads look like solutions to problems and when someone’s scrolling for an answer we want this to look just as relevant and as much of an answer, as much of a solution for them as we possibly can. Let’s look at how to do that within the format that we have for AdWords.

First thing is the headline. Obviously you’ve heard that your headline needs to grab someone’s attention. That might be a little bit of a lofty goal for 25 characters. Twenty-five characters is not much. The main goal that I would recommend is to try to match the intent. Try to match the keyword that they’re typing in in the first place so you seem really relevant. This is basically you want Nike shoes? We have Nike shoes. This is just matching what they’re looking for so that you’re staying in the game here.

Now for Description lines 1 and 2, the goal here is to provide evidence that you’re worth the click. Basically, this is their reasons to click. It could be your unique value proposition, benefits, incentives, and your call to action are all going to belong in these 70 characters. Message matching is something that’s very important. You want to be relevant to the query, but you also want to be very relevant to your landing page which I realize you probably haven’t built yet. We’re not at that lesson yet, but this is worth reviewing once you do have your landing page because you want to make sure that what someone’s clicking on, what is appealing to them matches their experience that they have on your page.

If someone’s clicking, if you’ve written huge selection with thousands of models and then they get there and there’s just one thing, that’s not what they wanted. Or if you’re saying we’re having a huge sale and you can get 40% off or try it for free and then they get there and they can’t, again you’re just paying money to have someone unsatisfied with your site experience or with your brand which is not what you want to do.

CTA is call to action and this is telling someone what to do next and Click here is an example of a call to action. It’s not something that you’d want in your ad, but buy now, learn more, try this. Mainly your ad wants to answer the question if you ask yourself why do I want to pay money to have someone click and what do I want them to do next, that’s what your call to action can be so try a demo if your goal is to get people to try a demo or to sign up or just take this action today. That’s basically what you’re looking for.

For the URLs, your destination URL, this section can actually be over 2,000 characters and this is going to be the actual landing page you’re driving someone to when they click on your ad. The display URL can be a lot cleaner. The domain that’s typed in here has to match what your actual destination URL is then you don’t have to have all the appended section or code or anything like that.

You can actually just leave it with your domain or have the keyword or the category so this may be a very specific thing. It might be sign up. It might be electronics. It might just be whatever section you’re trying to encourage people to go to and it’s always a good idea to go ahead and match that keyword again so you can get it bolded and it will seem more relevant. This is not the only way to create an ad, but especially since you’ve got 50 minutes for this, this is probably a really good start for you.

Now we’re going to take a look at your actual assignment which is to write three versions of an ad. One of the big challenges of using AdWords is that it can be so hard to reduce everything you want to say into so few characters that once you’ve done it you feel like you’ve accomplished, you’ve got the very essence of it and it’s hard to do it again and it’s hard to do something else. It’s easy to end up with three versions of the exact same ad just with minor tweaks and you want to get out of that thinking. You want to explore some different ways that you can approach this so I’m giving you three kind of more specific ways to create an ad.

The first one is going to be you’re going to do what’s in it for me and this is where you’re going to talk directly to your prospect with you and talk about values and outcomes. I have a little sample on the side Your Social Media On-Air and the huge benefit they get to grow revenue and ratings in two clicks, again what they get out of it. For your headline you want to make sure you use the keyword and then your description will be a primary benefit for the prospect. Then you’re going to use other user benefits and well as a call to action.

For Ad 2, this is going to focus more on what you do and the services that you offer so you’re going to be describing your solution and for the headline just so you’re trying something different, I want you to use dynamic keyword insertion, and if you’re not familiar with what that is, it’s basically where Google or AdWords grabs your headline out of your actual keyword list with what is matching the query and uses that as your headline so you want to make sure your keyword list is fairly clean but it’s going to use that as a headline and if this is the very first time you’re hearing about it then just click this link and you can find out more about that. The description lines are just going to be a clear explanation of your product of what it offers.

Now for the third ad this is going to be basically free play where you can try something different than what you did on the last two. If you have an established startup or business that has a lot of accolades or proof or is number one or has a certain amount of, a huge amount of customers, then feel free to swap those in. If you’re a fairly new startup and maybe you don’t have those such as with Vidpresso it’s just getting off the ground just try something else. Just try something a little bit different. You may be surprised at how something performs.

To kind of get you started with some short and concise ad copy that you can use, I’ve just created this kind of cheat sheet here for you with some calls to action, some headlines, and just different things you can use just as reference not necessarily anything you’d be actually using in your ads. Then the final thing to consider here for your ads is ad optimization.

Once you’ve launched your three ads, you’re not going to determine the success of them obviously by which one you like the best. You’re going to be looking at the data so you want to figure out what best performing means to you. If your goal is clickthrough rate, or if it’s something else such as a conversion or revenue or ROI, you’re going to be measuring the effectiveness against that. It may be that the ad that has a lower clickthrough rate actually gets you more sales that it’s more relevant to your target audience.

Finally, when you’re reviewing your ads to see which one is the best performing don’t just look at the numbers but try to understand the reason why behind the numbers. If there’s something you can tell from which ad is performing better, what can you learn from that that you can apply to different ads? Pause the ones that aren’t working and try to understand why they’re not working and swap in copy that will probably work and as you continue to do this you’ll just get better and better at learning how to write an ad, learning which one is going to perform better, and which one is going to be the most beneficial for your company.

I hope this lesson has been useful. Good luck writing your copy. I hope you love the assignment. I hope you love doing this and that your business grows as a result.

Thanks for watching.

Congratulations on making it through the training today. There is so much that we can cover and ten minutes only scratches the surface of what can be done with ad copy. If you want more tips and training, be sure to visit my website which is

Like I said in the intro I’ve been doing this for over ten years and I’ve done campaign management for agencies including Razorfish, Draftfcb, Digitaria, Resultrix, WebMama, Endai, Accordant and other agencies and in-house clients. So I have a lot of experience with paid search optimization. I’d love to give you the tools that you need to succeed at it and to do the best you can with your budget which as a startup probably isn’t much, but to really help you grow your business.

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