What makes a good PPC Ad?
PPC Ads are like haiku—a very limited advertising form in which you have, for the most part, three lines to work with: a headline of 25 characters, and two lines of body copy at 35 characters each.
I LOVE THIS STUFF. I thrill to the tiny puzzle. But what makes one ad good and another one not so good, or even bad?
The real answer is “Who knows?” This is direct response at its most scientific, most quantifiable. We run this one and that one, 12 at a time, often more, just to see what generates response.
So today, I tried an experiment. I recently bought an online warranty on a printer from a company. I wanted to know if their paid ad would come up when I searched “printer warranty.”
The company I was expecting to find is the largest non-branded warranty service on the net (as opposed to HP warranties, and other companies that appear at least to be selling extended warranties on their own gear). Therefore, I was surprised that they didn’t appear when I searched. Rather, I got, among a host of other ads about printers, including three ads to discuss, only one of which was relevant:
Let’s talk creative strategy for a moment.
“Printer Warranty — Zero-Deductible Warranty” is a pretty good ad. It puts a benefit right up front (Zero Deductible). It had the word “warranty” twice in the headline, making it ever so relevant in search.
The URL it pointed to was www.protectyourbubble.com/printer, which told me that the company “Protect Your Bubble” probably has warranties for a lot of other things, because there was a “/printer” at the end of the URL. The ad drives to a free online quote. (By the way, I got the quote and discovered I would have saved $20 over the other warranty I bought… drat!). And it boasted a 4½ stars rating with 829 reviews, which of course is social media’s democratic rating, not some pundit’s. Good effective ad.
Next is the “Best local printer repair.” Which I immediately forwarded to one of our employees who has a broken printer on her desk. The key draw of the ad? Local. The key qualifier? “Repairing most office equipment. Printers, copiers, faxes, scanners.” 4 ½ stars, but only 3 reviews, so their review is less relevant. But the simplicity of the message grabbed me for exactly what I needed (even though that’s not what I was searching for).
My third ad was totally irrelevant to my search, but I didn’t like anyway! Why?
The headline, “CUSTOM WARRANTY PROGRAMS” is as dry and as dull as stale bread (a piece of which I just ate, incidentally).
The company name “monthlywarranty.com” is odd. Maybe it means “warranties as a subscription service”? Not certain.
“Solutions for Retailers & Etailers” tells me that it’s a white-boxed product I can offer my customers. But it’s passive. Doesn’t tell me to do anything.
And “Results that Double Warranty Sales!” is fair; at least it’s a benefit. But I’m not in the ad!
I would rewrite this ad to read:
Double Your Warranty Sales
Retailers and Etailers. We’ll multiply
your warranty sales! Watch video.
I put the “/sellmore” at the end of URL because it allows me to plant a message in the address that helps clarify what I’m talking about.
I doubled down on the benefit message: “DOUBLE” in the headline became “multiply” (even bigger) in the body. I used the word “your” to make it clear what we do for you. And I added a compelling call-to-action: “Watch video.” Of course, that requires a video. But we at Manifeste have discovered that we achieve a 60% lift on ads that drive to video. If you don’t have a video destination, that’s okay. But make a strong and compelling call-to-action, and you’ll get strong and compelling response.