4 Tips on Crafting PPC Ads That Convert Like Crazy

By Larry Kim

Paid Search

There's no magic bullet to ads that convert like crazy; you have to get each of the moving parts working together. When you do, though, the payoff is higher conversions, lower CPCs and a way better ROI for your Google AdWords campaign as a whole.

Ad conversion rates are largely dependent on other factors, notably your keyword selection strategy and the effectiveness of your landing pages. But even with those factors in place, here are a few creative PPC ad writing tricks you can use to boost your conversion rates like crazy.

1. Use Google Shopping Ads For Ecommerce

Google Shopping Ads, or PLAs, are a powerful ad format. Not only are they highly visual and stand out in the search results, but they are a valuable source of information for comparison shoppers.

Potential buyers can see the product image, price, and the store name; clicking through on the ad when they already have this information shows great commercial intent. It’s like the ad viewer is saying, “Alright, I like how this looks and the price hasn’t scared me away. Take me to the retailer!”

Google’s search results for queries with commercial intent are seriously ad-heavy. Yes, it’s great to be in one of those top text ad position, but look at the space the PLAs take up! The image and pricing give that differentiation that encourages clicks and can give conversions a big boost.

2. Use Image Extensions For Lead Generation

For the same reason PLAs rock for ecommerce, image extensions are incredible conversion boosters for anyone using ads for lead generation.

Think of products in the travel or automotive industry, those you can’t yet buy using PLAs. Using image extensions in AdWords allows you to showcase your beautiful vacation destination or luxury car using image ads vs. text ads.

Software companies could feature screenshots, a real estate company could show pictures of the home – anywhere an image could help convert or convince a buyer, you can use image extensions in ads.

Image extensions let you convey in a rich, visually appealing way the same message a text-only ad only gives you 95 characters to get across. Consumers are already making a decision about whether they’re interested, before they ever click on your ad (and cost you money).

You can use these images to pre-qualify prospects and reduce wasted clicks by using product or service-specific images. This ability to weed out disinterested clickers helps you improve conversion and the overall ROI of your campaign.

3. Get Right With Mobile PPC With Ads That Generate More Calls

Calls to your business are worth way more than clicks to your website. A person clicking through on an ad to call you is showing strong commercial intent and you can tap into the immediacy of their need. We know that commercial interest decays over time, so if you’re sending people to your website over having them call you, you’re throwing conversions out the door!

Do anything you can to get more calls. Force headline clicks to pop up the click-to-call number. Try removing your website link from your mobile ads and just leave the click-to-call. Why send someone to your mobile landing page and try to convert them from there when you could have converted them right from the ad?

Use your ad text and sitelinks to encourage people to call you immediately. Focus on your call rates and tweak your copy to convert more mobile ad viewers to callers.

4. Use Remarketing Ads Like Crazy

In general, conversion rates suck and are typically in the single digits range. Remarketing lets you turn that once chance to convert a consumer into 50 or 100 chances, or more!

Remarketing with Google AdWords opens the door to recapturing your lost web traffic across the AdSense Publisher Network, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, and Google O&O properties – the entire Google Display Network, which gives you 92 percent reach across the U.S.

Make sure you segment out your tagged web traffic and target each audience with ad copy that makes sense. For example, you can target people who visited a specific product page with offers on that product, whereas a person who just visited your homepage and bounced will need a different offer to entice them to come back and check you out.

Be aggressive with your remarketing frequency caps and membership durations. We’ve found that as people view the same retargeting ad multiple times, the click-through rate goes down – but those who do click on the ad are more likely to convert.

Bonus Ad Writing Tip: Say No To A Low CTR Strategy

There’s this crazy theory out there that you should try to keep your CTR low by writing ads that discourage clicks. Don’t do it! There are way better methods of targeting the right audience and qualifying leads than writing crappy ads you don’t actually want people to click.

Google rewards high CTRs with a better quality score, which lowers your costs per click and gets you better ad placement and much higher impression share. Now turn that on its head and you’ll see why a low CTR strategy is a terrible thing to do to your campaign.

Google actually penalizes advertisers with lower than average CTRs by making them pay more for the clicks they do get. The penalty is huge – basically, you’re going to pay up to 400 percent more for clicks and will be banished to the lower ad spots, where it’s almost like you aren’t even running a PPC campaign at all.

Be picky. Choose a narrow set of keywords with high commercial intent, with high relevance to your products or services.

Write ad copy designed to draw clicks. You’ll pay more for the greater volume of clicks and your conversion rate from ad view to click might even be lower – but your costs per click will be much lower and you’ll more than make up for it in your total cost per conversion.

What tips would you add for crafting PPC ads that convert like crazy? Tell us in the comments.