So far we have gone through an introduction to using search engine pay per click advertising and looked at researching and choosing your keywords in more detail. Now we can start to look at writing your PPC adverts.

Writing an advert that attracts people’s attention and sells the idea of them clicking on it whilst competing with 19 other entries (paid and organic results) is quite a task, especially as your adverts have strict character limitations (including spaces).

For Google adwords you have:

  • 25 characters for the title (Birthday cards £1.99)
  • 35 characters for line 1 (Choose from 1000s of cards)
  • 35 characters for line 2 (with free delivery to anywhere!)
  • 35 characters for the display URL (
  • 1024 characters for the destination URL (This is where the searcher is actually sent when clicking on the advert, so you can insert tracking or link the advert directly to a page within the site. This is not shown on the advert)

For Microsoft adCenter you have:

  • 25 characters for the title
  • 70 characters for the body of the advert. (Line breaks and ad size will vary depending upon the ad’s position on the webpage and the viewer’s browser settings.)
  • 35 characters for the display URL
  • 1022 characters for the destination URL

You should create several adverts for each ‘ad group’. The search engine will display these ads an equal amount and then begin to show those that have a higher CTR more often. This means your most effective ads are naturally picked out for you. Delete those with a poor CTR and write a new batch to compare against the current versions. Never stand still or rest on your laurels, always continue to try and improve your ads, even by 0.1%.

To start with, you’ll find the process involves a lot of trial and error, but there are several simple guidelines you can follow to ensure you make the most of your word limit.

  • Be specific. Describe exactly what you’re able to offer to the customer, and allow them to make their click-through decision on this basis. If you’re vague about your product, you’re likely to pay for clicks from people who subsequently aren’t interested.
  • Stand out. How does your product or service differ from others available? Use bold, active, positive words which attract the user, and emphasise the product’s good points. Perks such as low prices, freebies, free delivery and special offer discounts will always interest customers. Note: You can not claim to be ‘the best’, ‘the cheapest’ or ‘the UKs number 1’ with out submitting 3rd party research to back this up.
  • Be relevant and honest. Don’t just use words which you think will get a high CTR if they don’t describe your product accurately. If you sell greeting cards but not Mother’s Day greeting cards, don’t use the latter as a search term, as you’ll end up paying for clicks from people who are looking for a product you don’t provide, as well as gaining a poor reputation.
  • Use keywords in the ad. This will reinforce your message and attract clicks, as customers will feel you’re offering exactly what they want. Also, the keywords will be highlighted bold in the ad helping you to stand out.
  • Be aware of editorial guidelines. Don’t include profanity, bid on rival trademarks, use excessive capitalisation (e.g. VISIT OUR SITE) or over-punctuation (e.g. too many exclamation marks).
  • Include a call to action, such as ‘buy today’ or ‘click here’, to encourage users to visit your website.

But there’s a lot more to it than this. If things get too complicated and would rather save the time and frustration of managing your own campaign, we can help. Read more about our PPC search engine marketing solutions to see how we can help you make the most of your campaign.

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