New Creative Adwords Ad Copy Strategies by Jon Rognerud


Published on - Jon Rognerud's recent presentation from the conferences where I spoke in Los Angeles and Chicago. Looks at how to connect with the customer and to conversions. Ad copy is the last thing most PPC-ers think about.

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  • Jon Rognerud welcomes you to New Approaches on the Creative Ad Copy Process. Be prepared to change your way of thinking.
  • Note: The first section of the presentation gets into the CREATIVE/RESEARCH areas. We’ll cover the more TECHNICAL/ANALYTICAL in the final portion of the presentation. We will talk about how a creative strategy will most likely in all cases win out over a technical strategy. POLL: How many work in a creative (ad) PPC capacity versus Technical? Before you can convert your visitors, you’ve got to get them to clickthrough from your ad. Enter the art of writing ad copy. Learn how much you can say, and how powerfully you can say it, in with only a few words. We’ll talk about importance of right/left brain activity. We’ll cover the 5 steps to get your brain set up for copywriting for ads and pages. There are techniques and tips you can use to make a good copywriter of ads. We’ll dive into some specific copy and tactics. While ad copy is important, you must ensure that it meets with the user requirement of relevancy throughout. That means your landing pages also need to be aligned with the copy. And yes, it sounds like work, but we’ll help you with that too. Let’s discuss also power tools that will change not only your outlook on ad copy writing, but also increase your productivity. SO - THE #1 RULE: Think about what you want the user to do, and what action they should take.
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  • We’ll talk about the most powerful ad ever written: clear, concise, emotional and with a strong call to action. Shakelton’s London newspaper ad. Also – we’ll talk about things that don’t work in ad copy writing, and what things to do that really can turn your campaigns around. What is Copywriting? It’s salesmanship in written form (or video, etc). The best ads in the world are stories! The copywriting secret is around storytelling, and forming a relationship with your audience. This presentation will help guide you, but can and should be expanded upon. This techniques can work very well for you. We’ll talk about how to write ads for search network versus content network. Search network is where you want to start, as it has higher user intent and mission. Effective ad copy will make sure that you receive: 1. Higher CTR and lowered CPC 2. Improved Quality Score (CTR improves QS as one essential piece of several factors) 3. Proper written ads can help improve conversion rate (if the complete funnel is set up correctly)
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  • Think about where they are in the buying cycle: Awareness, Research, Compare, Buy. We’ll talk a lot of about « pre-click » and « post-click » thinking and strategies. AIDA = Attention, Interest, Desire & Action. AIDA is the age-old proven + tested formula. We’ll expand on this in the next 5 key success areas. Create copy that removes tire-kickers. For example, if you have a price that is « high » - tell them in the ad. It will prevent people clicking, and you will not be charged. Asking questions is a useful strategy, position your message in trying to help solve a problem they can relate to. Keywords is the most important for your research, and what will help to build out your creative flow, and helps you to think about what keywords might be included in your copy (but not necessarily always!) Using keywords that people search for – type them into your favorite search engine (Google) – and look at the ads that show up. Refresh a few times, and see if your competition is ‘testing’ ads too. Use the SEOBook tool for firefox to see what keywords are referenced and URLs ads are being sent to. Tools like Google Keyword Tool, WordTracker, SEMRush, Compete, Alexa can help. Connecting with customers, vendors and if you have a large budget comSCORE can really help you leverage the market you’re in. Start jotting down ideas, do some screen prints, paste into Word, etc. Look at their landing pages, and see how they use keywords in copy. (do not stuff keywords!) Google Trends is a must-have tool, and search out trends in the marketplace (even ‘stipulated’ future) Copyblogger has a good post on Magnetic Headlines and writing headlines for social media
  • Adopt personalities, try to think like them. Can you summarize the ‘persona’ you are trying to target? You should (demographics, technographics, psychographics). Also, are you selling to a “buyer” or an “influencer”? The daughter may be the person buying for her (senior) mother, if looking for a senior living facility, for example. In movies – it’s the 3-act configuration: Setup, Plot, Punchline. Think about how that would relate to the person you are “talking” to. *** Ways to capitalize on this using PPC Utilize multiple keyword match types (ex:. (broad), phrase, exact) Utilize long tailed keywords to capture searchers further down the conversion cycle Utilize negative keywords to weed out window shoppers and unwanted clicks Explore options of focusing search campaigns within ‘x’ mile radius surrounding physical store locations or city presence Geo target via keyword selection as well as city / state Drive traffic to individual local landing pages - domains
  • The solution exists, and is part of the advert. Using keyword to re-inforce can be useful, and we all know that Google ‘BOLDS’ keywords – to draw they eye to it. The benefits should be listed before features, and this would be your 2 nd line in your ad copy (most often). We’ll talk about testing later. Adding things like “See why 500 clients felt…”, “Download now…”, “This case-study shows…”
  • Trying to create action has to be one of your most paramount activities. In key 4, we try to stimulate by offering real value, as shown above. It’s a way to “sell” more.
  • Is it really this simple? If your ad is as strong as the Shakelton ad, and you followed the 5 steps, you’re on your way. Adding keywords in the URL and /path can make a big difference. If you have no brand, you may want to test with this.
  • New Insert – John Caples Secret List will get your mind going…
  • What can you do to “change” our outlook and thinking for creativeness? Here are some simple ones. POLL: What do you do? When is your creative self at a high-point during the day? Are you “lucky” enough to have a creative department at your firm? Go listen to other team members talking – sales, marketing groups. Join team meetings and just listen in, even if you are not part of the core group. Ask to join a few times. Go onsite, and work with your client all day – but don’t just hang out in the IT department. And… remember – know how to deal with CRAP (Criticisms, Rejection, Assholes and Pressure)
  • I’ll explain this color grid which is something I came upon recently. The specific stages of awareness which Navy SEALS and in some cases common people act under. These four colors are: white, yellow, red, and black. The white phase of awareness can almost be compared to the awareness of a “zombie.”  A person in this phase of awareness will not take notice of anything around them.  They will simply go about their business in a daze.  They will not be unaware of the actions of others around them, or events going on in their general area. In the yellow phase of awareness a person is semi-alert.  People who are under this color of awareness can tell you where they are and take slight notice of the things going on around them.  However, they don’t look deep into their environment. With the red phase of awareness a person is very alert.  They know what is going on around them and they take note of the positions of other people.  They generally see many things all at once and take in the positioning and standing of every person, both foe and friend around them.  They are also very aware of changes in mood and also are alert to any other changes in their environment. The black phase of awareness is also known as the “kill” phase.  In this phase a person acts on those things which they have seen and noticed in the red phase and they will take immediate action. SUMMARY: I recommend strongly you move from White (most of us, every day) to Yellow (and stay there). You can get a lot of ideas for stories and ad copy.
  • Testing headlines is an important exercise. Make sure to A/B Test ads. You can and must start with two. I often will “pre-create” 4 or 8, and have them sitting ready to be turn on/off. Beating the control ad is your goal. Local search gives you another opportunity for differentiation. Try Google Checkout if that makes sense for your business. Organizing campaigns and ad groups as “themes” (topic, sub-topic) similar to SEO siloing is very useful – not only for organization, but building out tightly themed “buckets” – that can feed and build out your “micro-site”. Instead of hundreds of keywords, try 10-20, and use phrase and exact matching types (mostly). Aim to bid high, and prove to Google that you mean business. Since CTR is so important for Quality Score, you can get there with strong ads and bid positions. 1-3 positions is considered the “golden” spot, but your strategies may vary. DKI is best used in testing, and was the “secret” for a while – don’t hang our hat on it. It is meant to save time, but not preferred. How long should you keep an AD running? Relative, but try either 100 clicks or 1,000 impressions. Depends on marketplace and budgets also.
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  • I’ll spend a few minutes talking about these, and what they can do for you. You must make sure you have at least a few of these, and that you understand not only how to use them, but what they can tell you. In fact, this is an entire session by itself!
  • Books you should read and re-read.
  • In the Words of Napoleon Hill (“Think and Grow Rich”), this is a real truth. You CAN become a great copywriter of ads and pages, even if you are technical. Believe you can, and take action to make it happen – every day. Are you a NAVY Seal or a Couch Potato? What makes you more comfortable?
  • Thank you.
  • New Creative Adwords Ad Copy Strategies by Jon Rognerud

    1. 1. Writing & Testing Ad Copy - Connecting With Your Customers From the Very Start PPC Summit Chicago Nov 5, 2009 Jon Rognerud Founder, [email_address]
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Ad & Copywriting Secrets </li></ul><ul><li>Story / Background </li></ul><ul><li>Analytical (out?) – Creative (in!) </li></ul><ul><li>5 Key Steps: Ad Copy Success Formula (Ads to Landing Pages) </li></ul><ul><li>Tips to unleash your creative mind </li></ul><ul><li>-- </li></ul><ul><li>Adwords Copy / Techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Use SEO to Help PPC </li></ul><ul><li>1 Final Secret To Remember </li></ul><ul><li>Power Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>What ad headlines and ad copy create most clicks (ie. Action)? </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of image (pictures) use gets the most attention? </li></ul><ul><li>What landing pages sells the most merchandise? </li></ul><ul><li>What types of ad copy – in both ads and landing pages are the most effective in selling your product or service? </li></ul>Originally: The Discovery of ”Facts” Opinions Are Easy, Facts are Hard:
    4. 4. <ul><li>Got Milk? </li></ul><ul><li>Where’s the Beef? </li></ul><ul><li>We Try Harder </li></ul><ul><li>Just Do It. </li></ul><ul><li>SO - How much time do you spend thinking about your ad copy and strategy? </li></ul>Velocity of Words Move Product Madison Avenue writes:
    5. 5. THINK... &quot;On the average, 5 times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that, unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90% of your money.”   -- David Ogilvy - World famous advertising executive, best-selling author. “ Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.” -- John Wanamaker
    6. 6. <ul><li>Just Making Sure: Shackleton’s Power Ad </li></ul><ul><li>Start with the END GOAL in mind (What is yours?) </li></ul><ul><li>What works </li></ul><ul><ul><li>See Picture on right </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What doesn’t </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not relevant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No call to action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not matching keywords </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Different Strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Network vs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content Network (about, nytimes, etc) </li></ul></ul>Background / Intro “ Men Wanted – For hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful - honor and recognition in case of success” -- Ernest Shackleton
    7. 7. AD Copywriting: ”The Golden Assets” <ul><li>WHAT YOU HAVE TO WORK WITH: THE AD STRUCTURE (Google) </li></ul><ul><li>Head: Headline (Draw, Create Attention) (25) </li></ul><ul><li>Line1: Benefit Statement (Build Interest) (35) </li></ul><ul><li>Line2: Decision Statement (Click, But Why?) (35) </li></ul><ul><li>Display URL : Action page (Do it: Click!) - keyword rich (35) (also local targeting) </li></ul>
    8. 8. Key 1: Are they qualified? <ul><li>Keywords (lists, costs/bid, traffic) </li></ul><ul><li>Market Research </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive Research </li></ul><ul><li>Trends </li></ul><ul><li>Copy Ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitive vs non-competitive market places </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Magazines (Cosmopolitan) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TV, Radio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Save your (spam) “door” (earth) mail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Media Headlines and Popular Stories (Ex: Digg) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be Remarkable (humor, shock-value, rhyming, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t forget image ads and ideas to generate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Answer the searchers question – 90% are in “info search mode” </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Key 2: Do you understand and know their mindset? <ul><li>Aspirin commercials </li></ul><ul><li>Connect </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate </li></ul><ul><li>Empathize </li></ul><ul><li>Sympathize </li></ul><ul><li>“ YES, I understand you! </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve been there, I feel your pain” </li></ul>
    10. 10. Key 3: Are you educating them further? <ul><li>There is a solution, and we have it </li></ul><ul><li>Product or service re-iterated </li></ul><ul><li>New, different, benefit driven </li></ul><ul><li>Proof statements </li></ul><ul><li>Free downloadable case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Whitepapers </li></ul><ul><li>“ Benefits” (more) & “Features” (less) </li></ul>
    11. 11. Key 4: Can you sensitize (sell) the copy? <ul><li>“ Salt Into the Wound” thinking and: </li></ul><ul><li>Free Shipping </li></ul><ul><li>Guarantees </li></ul><ul><li>“ Freemiums” – Push the Freeline </li></ul><ul><li>Scarcity ( supply & demand ) </li></ul><ul><li>Product benefits, features </li></ul><ul><li>Price Points </li></ul><ul><li>Return Policy </li></ul><ul><li>Special incentives (coupons, rebates, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Testimonials </li></ul>
    12. 12. Key 5: Take action – ”CALL TO ACTION”! <ul><li>It’s really as “simple” as this? (Problem. Solution.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Here’s What I Have (“pull them in”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Here’s What It Can Do For You (“and prove your case”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Here’s What To Do Next (“you must act…now”) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn More </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Click Now </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read the details </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Download Now </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ready Now, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TEST: Have a friend, an existing customer, family member read your ads (watch their response). If they stumble, it’s your fault. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Caples - Headline Formula Tips / Starters <ul><li>Begin your headline with “Introducing” </li></ul><ul><li>Begin your headline with “Announcing” </li></ul><ul><li>Begin headline with word “New”, “Now”, “At Last” </li></ul><ul><li>Put a date into your headline (Special events, time-based) </li></ul><ul><li>Feature the price in the headline </li></ul><ul><li>Feature reduced price in the headline </li></ul><ul><li>Feature an easy payment plan </li></ul><ul><li>Free Offer </li></ul><ul><li>Tell a story – complete via landing page (peek interest) </li></ul><ul><li>Begin with “How to…”, “How”, “Why”, “Which”, “Who else?”, “Wanted”, “If”, “Advice” </li></ul><ul><li>A testimonial style headline </li></ul><ul><li>Offer reader a test </li></ul><ul><li>Warn reader to delay buying </li></ul><ul><li>Address headline to a specific person or group </li></ul><ul><li>Ask a question </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits via facts and figures </li></ul>Summary? i) Reader benefits , ii) News, iii) Curiosity
    14. 14. SIMPLE VERSION: Get Creative <ul><li>Jogging </li></ul><ul><li>Walking </li></ul><ul><li>Showering </li></ul><ul><li>Playing Music </li></ul><ul><li>Barnes Noble Mag Rack </li></ul><ul><li>Listen </li></ul><ul><li>Observe </li></ul><ul><li>Be curious </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions </li></ul><ul><li>Problem solve </li></ul><ul><li>Make connections! </li></ul>
    15. 15. HARD CORE VERSION: Get Your Creative Mind ”TURNED ON 100% All The Time” <ul><li>Have you seen “Surviving Disaster” with Cade Courtley? </li></ul><ul><li>What do these four quadrants have to do with creative thought process and seeds for ongoing creative “juice”? </li></ul><ul><li>Answer: Learn from the NAVY Seals </li></ul><ul><li>The white phase of awareness can almost be compared to the that of a “zombie”. </li></ul><ul><li>The yellow phase of awareness a person is semi-alert, most of the time. </li></ul><ul><li>The red phase of awareness indicates a person is very alert. All the time. </li></ul><ul><li>The black phase of awareness is known as “kill” phase. Constant Jolt-Cola State! </li></ul>
    16. 16. Ad Copy Tactics <ul><li>Repeated theme for the day: Plan, build & Test, Test, Test! </li></ul><ul><li>Test not only headlines, but ad/body copy </li></ul><ul><li>Think about GEO Targeting (a “5 th ” line to the copy) </li></ul><ul><li>Try numbers, and different symbols </li></ul><ul><li>Quotes in the headline </li></ul><ul><li>Quality Score is not necessarily your “ultimate” goal. What? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Impressions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clicks (CTR!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bid Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is DKI (dynamic keyword insertion) the solution? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negative Keywords </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Affiliate Marketing with URL only </li></ul><ul><li>Google Slapped? (See what’s next!) </li></ul><ul><li>Other Ad platforms: Facebook, MySpace, StumbleUpon </li></ul>
    17. 17. Google Slapped Nomore! <ul><li>Original content, relevant content from ads to pages </li></ul><ul><li>User & search friendly - professional </li></ul><ul><li>About us </li></ul><ul><li>Contact us w/form </li></ul><ul><li>Embed Video </li></ul><ul><li>Images use </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy policy, terms of service </li></ul><ul><li>3-4 articles (pay someone or create yourself, unique!) </li></ul>SEO Friendly Landing Pages - 1
    18. 18. Google Slapped Nomore, Baby! <ul><li>Sitemap, well organized </li></ul><ul><li>A Blog is great, RSS feeds, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Clean IP, good hosting </li></ul><ul><li>Fast Loading Pages </li></ul><ul><li>Buy expired domains 1-2 years old (history) </li></ul><ul><li>Apply Analytics, and track keywords and movement </li></ul><ul><li>Webmaster Tools Tag - verify site - set preferred domain </li></ul><ul><li>Apply social tags - – help distribute </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to build links </li></ul>SEO Friendly Landing Pages - 2
    19. 19. Google Slapped Nomore, Man! <ul><li>Utilize basic, but important SEO OnPage Techniques: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>TITLE with keyword use - targeted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DESCRIPTION to read like an “ad” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Forget KEYWORD tag) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>H1 (do not over-optimize from TITLE) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Body copy (sprinkle kws naturally) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ALT attributes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keywords in URL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build external links with keywords in anchor text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get more links from diverse domains, think quality </li></ul></ul>SEO Friendly Landing Pages - 3
    20. 20. Be Different. Content Network – Interruption Driven The Google content network reaches 80% of unique internet users in over 100 countries and 20 languages on hundreds of thousands of sites across the web – Examples: # Arts & Humanities # Automotive # Business # Entertainment # Food & Cooking # Health & Fitness # Home & Garden # Local # Men's Interest # Music …..
    21. 21. Ad Copy Tips <ul><li>Keyword in headline </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit driven ad - tie to emotional stories </li></ul><ul><li>Clear, strong call to action - Free download, Get it now, Sign up now, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalization of first letter words (Propercase) </li></ul><ul><li>Same for URLs w /<keyword> </li></ul><ul><li>Questions are good – tie to industry/world events also </li></ul><ul><li>Numbers and Characters </li></ul><ul><li>Testimonies, social proof </li></ul><ul><li>Test Headline Clickthru’s with BudURL & Twitter (live feeds) </li></ul><ul><li>Conversion tracking & Web Optimizer (for A/B Landing pages) </li></ul><ul><li>TEST, TEST, TEST! </li></ul>
    22. 22. Power Tools <ul><li>WordStream </li></ul><ul><li>Market Samurai </li></ul><ul><li>SpeedPPC </li></ul><ul><li>SpyFu </li></ul><ul><li>AdwordAccelerator </li></ul><ul><li>Google Keyword Tools / Traffic & Bids Estimator </li></ul><ul><li>Ad Text Generator </li></ul><ul><li>Adwords Editor </li></ul><ul><li>AdGoroo </li></ul><ul><li>Acquisio (management) </li></ul><ul><li>Keyword Elite (and track changes in competitive ads) </li></ul>
    23. 23. Appendix / Resources <ul><li>Scientific Advertising (Claude Hopkins) </li></ul><ul><li>Tested Advertising Methods (Caples) * </li></ul><ul><li>Web Copy That Sells (Maria Veloso) </li></ul><ul><li>The Irresistible Offer (Joyner) </li></ul><ul><li>The Psychology of Persuasion (Cialdini) </li></ul><ul><li>SEE ALSO: </li></ul><ul><li>E-myth Revisited (Gerber) </li></ul><ul><li>Permission Marketing, Purple Cow (Seth Godin) </li></ul><ul><li>Blue Ocean Strategy (Chan Kim) </li></ul><ul><li>American Writers & Artists Inc. - </li></ul>
    24. 24. The 1 Final Secret For (Adcopy) Success! “ Whatever Your Mind Can Conceive & Believe, it can Achieve” -- Napoleon Hill
    25. 25. Thank You! Jon Rognerud Founder, [email_address]