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Reporting & Analysis

Five Ways PPC Ads Can Boost Conversions

By:

Brandon Clay

on 1/27/2012

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Image courtesy of: paidcontent.org

Pay per click (PPC) advertising can be tough. There are many moving parts to an account like keywords, ad copy and network settings – it can be difficult to keep everything in good order.

Despite the complexity, a PPC account like Google AdWords or Microsoft AdCenter should have one overarching goal: to increase relevant conversions on a website. Your PPC account should improve the number of transactions, leads, or sales on your website. One of the best ways to improve conversions is with conversion-focused ad copy. Here are 5 ways to do that:

1) Qualify Traffic with Headlines

After you establish a decent click thru rate or CTR (1.0% or better), start looking to qualify your traffic with a better headline. You want a headline that speaks directly to the person who will convert on your website. For instance, if you’re trying to get leads for a niche cruise ship to Alaska, you could try these headlines:

A Unique Alaskan Cruise

OR

Yacht Cruise To Alaska

These examples talk to people looking for a different experience on their Alaskan cruise, not to the first-timers looking for the cheapest cabins. Avoid generic headlines like “Alaska Cruise Specials”. That headline won’t help qualify your website traffic and will bring fewer conversions for your niche offering.

2) Use Benefit-Focused Descriptions

What are the reasons your prospects buy from you?

Highlight those elements in your top description line. There are two description lines in AdWords, both allowing for 35 characters. However, you’ll need your 2nd description line for a call to action. That doesn’t leave a lot of space to showcase the benefits of your product. Going back to the example of the niche cruise ship, try this:

Luxury cruise by glaciers, wildlife.

OR

5-Star dining & ship excursions.

In this instance, appealing to the lowest-common traveler won’t do. The goal is to speak to your best prospects. Using qualifying headlines and specific benefits will further cement positive feelings toward your offering before the click. That’s the visitor you want on your website – and that’s the visitor more likely to convert.

3) Implement Call To Action

The previous lines in your PPC ad qualify your traffic and further explain your offering. However, the last line should almost always be used for a “call to action” – your desired response from prospects. Don’t be shy. Tell prospects what to do:

Download colorful brochure now!

OR

Get brochure and $500 discount!

This final description line should focus on the next step in your buying cycle. Avoid using more generic language – or even benefits for this line. CTR and conversion rates will suffer when you don’t tell prospects what to do.

4) Split-Test Ads For Optimal Conversion Rates

The fact is, nobody knows which ads will do well and which ones will falter. That’s why we split test. Compose 2-3 ads in the account. Next, setup your campaign to rotate ads evenly to ensure a fair split test. You can do that under the Campaign Settings Tab > Advanced Settings. Select the Rotate ads feature.

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Let things run. Allow for enough clicks (100+) to get statistical relevance and pause the lower conversion rate ads while keeping the winning ads. Repeat the process until your CTR and conversion rates are acceptable.

5) Implement Best Practices on Image/Display Ads

One of the goals of text ads in PPC is to find good ad copy for your image and display ads. After you find that perfect combination of headlines, description, call to action, and conversion rate, roll-out the winning ads to new networks.

If you’re bidding on the Display Network in Google AdWords or buying banner ads, use the best ad copy for those creatives. This helps to spread your successful ads throughout the internet and improves overall conversions in your PPC efforts.

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