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Session: Creating Compelling Ads

Posted on Aug 22nd, 2007
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    Creating Compelling Ads

    A trap I fell into early in my career as an SEM specialist was to ensure clients we would do our best to drive all the traffic we could to their site. Looking back, I’m glad I learned the obvious error of this statement before becoming involved in a client’s burgeoning PPC campaign.

    The session “Creating Compelling Ads”, moderated by Allan Dick of Vintage Tub & Bath had at its core the powerfully obvious notion (in hindsight) that driving all traffic to your site is not only a fool’s mission, but in the realm of PPC, a costly mistake.

    Generating qualified traffic for a campaign shaped the presentations provided by the esteemed panel of:

    • Mona Elesseily from Page Zero Media
    • Brad Geddes of
    • Vic Drabicky of Range Online Media

    So how do drive qualified traffic?

    First, we wrap our minds around the notion that a high volume of clicks through to an ad is not necessarily a good thing.

    For example, imagine buying pull tabs. (Personal Note: In Minnesota, this is our 5th most popular cold weather sport) One bin of tabs contains 500 tabs, while another bin contains 50. While buying 10 tabs from the larger bin will give you more chances to win, a purchase of 5 tabs from the smaller bin will provide a more qualified chance to win. Assuming, of course, each bin contains the same amount of winning tickets.

    Similarly, with a PPC campaign, what matters is the endgame known as conversion. By ensuring each ad we draft is targeted to the best of our ability as ad writers, we will ensure that a much higher percentage of the clicks we see are qualified buyers, or winners.

    So how do we qualify, and how great of detail can we go into?

    Say I were interested in buying a Verizon LG9400 phone (Personal Note: I’m not, nor should you be. This is ONLY an example). If I do a simple Google search on Verizon LG9400, I automatically see several paid listings with this exact model number.

    How is it so many firms are optimizing for just this model phone? Do firms like NexTag and draft hundreds and hundreds of PPC ads and/or employee a Bob Cratchit-level of overworked staff in charge of their paid search intiatives?

    Welcome to dynamic keyword insertion.

    Dynamic keyword insertion allows us as ad writers to appear much brighter and much more creative than we truly are by developing an ad with modifiable keyword insertion space.

    Case in point, the example above.

    When I looked up a specific phone’s model number, the firms I found were those that set up their PPC campaigns to modify their ad copy based on a highly targeted, highly qualified search.

    As Geddes explained, by searching out a highly targeted phrase, I am much more likely to be a buyer. While this particular ad may not see a great deal of clicks, it truly doesn’t have to as the conversion rate is likely to be a great deal higher.

    So do tools like dynamic keyword insertion eliminate the need for creativity in drafting compelling ad copy, since we can essentially mad-lib an ad geared towards qualified traffic?

    Certainly not.

    Panelists Esesseily and Drabicky shared excellent tips on drafing creative ad copy that included powerful tips such as geotargeting, maxmizing seasonality, and capitalizing on events.

    However, as has been a common theme throughout the event, the surest way to find what will work best with your campaign is to test, test and test again.

    By embracing the science of testing, and combining it with the art of writing strong copy, we as search engine marketers can ensure maximum foresight in achieving success for our clients.