Ad Copy Tips That You (Hopefully) Haven’t Already Read

If you read a lot of pay per click blogs you’ve probably read 100 different posts about how to write good / cool / different / exciting Ad Copy.  So instead of giving the same tired tips over and over, I am going to give a few different tips I’ve picked up over the years.

Use Only Alphanumeric Characters (Excepting &) to Maximize Clickthrough Rate.

Personally I love using dashes and slashes.  I think they look very neat, draw the eye to the ad, and can even save valuable character spaces.  However, I’ve tested dozens of ad versions that had had dashes, slashes, or a combination of both and in almost every instance percentage of clickthroughs were down when compared to a similar ad that did not use dashes or slashes.

Obviously we rarely manage to Clickthrough rate and care more about the quality of the traffic that actually does make it to the site, but to maximize entrants you should probably stay away from dahses “-” and slashes “”.  This of course does not include & symbols which are pretty much universally accepted in ads.

Strong Offers Raise Clickthrough Rate but also Increase Bounce / Abandonment Rate

There is a correlation between what someone reads and digests when they click on an ad, and what actually is being offered on the landing page.  This offer also has to be VERY easy to find or the searcher is liable to abandon the page before they do much searching.

For instance, the offer might talk about 50% off or $50 cash back, or another particularly strong offer.  However, when the searcher gets to the page he or she might see that it requires a mail in rebate, a minimum shopping cart value, or a myriad of other potential spoilers to the deal.  Secondly, if the deal or offer isn’t immediately and visibly referenced, the searcher is more likely to abandon the page.

The more enticing the offer is, the more fickle consumer it can attract, who coincedentally is more likely to bounce if the offer is not easy to find or misleading.

Capitalization Matters

Check out one of my previous posts, A Case for Title Case, to see how punctuation can effect Clickthrough Rate and Conversion Rate under certain cirscumstances.  Essentially, we saw tangible benefits from using title case (all of the major keywords were capitalized except for articles, conjunctions, prepositions, and forms of to be), instead of sentence case (only the initial word in the ad was capitalized).

Do Display URLs Matter?

I’ve done some experimentation with using deeper URLs in the display string, i.e.  We almost never see any significant increase in clickthrough rate based on modifications in the display URL, but in some cases the conversion rate and more importantly the value of the conversion tended to be higher.

This especially came into play when the ad space was saturated and the decision maker was sophisticated, usually in the B2B space.  The Display URL could be used as another way to weed out ads that may or may not be worthy of review.

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