Creating Compelling Ads

Dec 6, 2005 - 12:16 pm 0 by
Filed Under SES Chicago 2005

Creating Compelling Ads

Moderator Andrew Goodman

Vic Drabicky, Range Online Media

Creative evaluation is all based on goals. Are there two main types of creative, Google or YSM? Or many more? The answer is only the two main formats are important, they can be recycle into MSN and others. Step 1 of 3: Titles: Most important part of a listing. If you do not catch the attention of the searchers, all is for naught. Use KW in title, but recommends against Dynamic Keyword Insertion tool…it can hurt as much as it helps. At YSM, simple: customize all keyword titles. Always be grammatically correct! If doesn’t read right, can hurt brand and results. Differentiate yourself from competition as frequently as possible. They like to repeat keyword as often as possible, such as Cole Haan client example where they use Cole Haan in the Title, description and obviously URL, for a search for the brand.

Ste 2: you have user’s attention. The description has to “weed out” converters from non-converters. Again, customize description for keywords. At Google, customize per Ad Group, as focused as possible. Once again, take the time to create individual descriptions for every single keyword phrase at Yahoo. Tell your story: include your brand, clearly indicate your value proposition, and use a call to action! Step 3: Use display URL that is most “valid” so people don’t feel they are being duped into going to a wrong site. In one case, this resulted in a .43% increase in CTR, and 25% increase in conversions(!) when they switched the display URL from to

Best practices: always be grammatically correct, careful w/keyword insertion tool. The more customized the title and description, the better. “Think like Rod Roddy”- he always read what the product was without any sales intonation when describing sponsors on “The Price is Right.” Tell people what you have, don’t try overly to sell to them. Nobody’s goal is to get every click, only to get every profitable click! Lastly and most important is to Test, test, test, This is easier at Google to do this than at YSM, but can be done there too.

Andrew comments on very full room… Never have so many people been in attendance to hear about how to write so few words.”

Darren Kuhn, Resolution Media Will walk through case studies. First, their approach to performing PPC Tests: Select ad groups w/strong ROI and low CTR at Google. Always a good idea to get industry average CTR. Next, test keywords that are very related to each other. Keywords and ads should link to the same URL/landing page. Minimum that each creative within test gets at least 50,000 impressions and 500 clicks during the test period…thus the duration should be at least until these numbers are reached. But definitely important to test for at least two weeks.

Test phase: typically create 4 to 6 creatives with differing message types, such as product guarantees, price points, free shipping, etc… Next, use a specific tracking tag. Disable Google Optimizer (Dana Todd also said this in SE Advertising 101 yesterday). As said before, go at least 2 weeks and until you reach minimum threshold of click and impression volumes. Analysis phase: outperforming is not only CTR, but a combo of CTR and ROI. If there is a clear winner, go with it! Extend your findings to other portals if applicable. If no clear winners, restart the process with new themes altogether.

Study #1, Client in Home Décor space - 3 week test - 5 creatives. Key Findings: Ad #1 was the winner despite not having best CTR, since its conversion was greatly higher than the others. While ad 3 had the highest CTR, it did not bring any sales during test period…this was using the keyword insertion tool, ironically (the only one that was). Test number two focused only on URL changes, and in all cases the ads with the keyword in the URL outperformed the others. 3rd study was all about content match. 2 creatives, one using brand name –Official Site, #2 used “Find” followed by keyword insertion tool. In this case, the keyword insertion tool actually worked and yielded a very higher CTR as before, but a statistically equal conversion rate. They feel that since these were for contextual ads only, the use of the keyword as often as possible helped more than the use of the Brand. Test 4 was a test of automated proportions, creating 54 ads through the use of software. The limit on this test was that Conversion could not be tested (or they chose not to use the Google Tracking tool to do this). So they recommend using an automated test to determine the top 6 or so high CTR ads, and then running a manual test to go through and find the highest conversion rates.

Q&A Now that Google is offering web analytics, will they have more specific tools able to measure click-throughs-to-conversions? Vic, doesn’t feel that it will greatly affect the ability to provide this kind of data than many of the third party tools already have available.

Should I use PPC to combat “bad press?” Vic, if you need to beat bad press, it is a good first step. Darren: yes and you should consider working on ways to organically improve as well. Andrew: comments on a search for Vioxx performed at MSN which yield the investor relations page as #1, just above a “Vioxx Recall results. (Chris note: Funny thing is, this content will probably be hosted on a page that now presents ads for Vioxx or lawsuit-related information…is it just to the right of this?)

Recommendations on use of TM symbol to increase CTR? Darren and Vic both have seen mixed results using this strategy. Vic also mentions that that is one less character you have to work with.

Are there different guidelines writing for service site versus retail site? Certainly, says Vic, he feels that there should be customization for every single brand or service. Darren: if it is a competitive service offering, especially remember to state exactly what you do in the description and differentiate yourself from the others.

What tools do you use in order to exhaust your spend mostly on keywords that are performing best? Vic, separate campaign into different budgets, placing the good performers in an ad group with a higher daily budget.


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