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How to Create Great Ads from SMX West 2012 Experts

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How to Create Great Ads from SMX West 2012

There are a lot of things to consider when creating a successful paid search campaign, beginning with writing effective ad copy to continual testing. Three experts from SMX West have outlined industry best practices and some great tips to outperform your competitors.

“Your First Date to Conversion”

The first trick taught during this session is to treat your PPC campaign as if it were your online dating profile. Your ad is the first impression – so make it count.

  • Define what you consider a conversion before you get started so your ad reflects your goals.
  • Entice potential matches with intriguing ad copy – and speak to your audience. Who is your target customer, what do they do for a living, where do they live, what do they like, what do they need help with?
  • If you’re trying to target multiple audiences, create separate ads personalized for that type of consumer.
  • Most importantly, don’t false advertise. If you’re a brunette in your 30s advertising as a blonde in your 20s, you won’t be successful meeting someone in the online dating world. For businesses, don’t advertise a product or deal that is not supported by your company and landing page.
  • Be adventurous. Try new things. You won’t know what works until you’ve experimented.

What are some best practices for my PPC campaigns?

  • Use sitelink extensions to take up as much real estate on the search engine results pages as possible.

Ads 300 227

Use of Adwords sitelink extentions

  • Geo-target your ads; spend more money in high converting cities.
  • Use dayparting; your ad will convert more at certain times of days, so budget accordingly.
  • Always be testing. Continue to improve upon what works and stop anything bringing down the performance of your campaign.

How do I make my ad copy compelling?

  • Emphasize the benefits of your product or service.
  • Use a strong visual approach. Can the consumer imagine using your product or visiting your business?
  • Speak to the pains of your audience.
  • Don’t forget about the display URL, it should be relevant to the advertisement.
  • Punctuation matters.
  • Be specific and cut to the chase.
  • Use phrases everyone is comfortable with, for example, phone vs. cell
  • Utilize the space given to you; don’t cut your ad short.
  • Use intriguing headlines. Try being assertive; consider, “You Need a Vacation” as opposed to, “Looking for a Vacation?”
  • Include a strong call to action


  • Again, always be testing, find out what works best.

An effective paid search campaign has a lot of components, from compelling ad copy, to the structure of your ad to the cities and times of day you decide to display your advertisement. The key things to remember are to: write ad copy from the perspective of your consumer and speak to the pains of your customer, always include a call to action, always be testing, personalize your ads and keep your promises. The ultimate goal here is to fulfill a demand; give potential customers relevant, personalized information they’re seeking and you should see success in your paid search campaigns. Lastly, maintaining a successful campaign can be overwhelming, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember there are plenty of resources you can turn to from forums to agencies.



  • Matt Van Wagner, Find Me Faster (Moderator)
  • Noran El-Shinnawy, BoostCTR
  • Kevin Lee, Didit
  • Elizabeth Marsten, Portent Interactive

Contributed by Ara Quick, eStrategist

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