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Google AdWords Expert Part Four - Advert Text, Landing Pages and Bidding.

The author

Steve Baker

Chief Analyst

As stated at the start of the last blog, there are a number of critical parts to an Adwords account. You have to select the correct keywords and match types, group them appropriately, write brilliant adverts, choose the appropriate landing page, and set the bids. This blog looks at the last three parts – writing adverts, choosing landing pages and setting your initial bids…

Advert Text

Advert text is arguably the most critical aspect to get right in your campaign. You have three key objectives, all linked to the advert text, and often directly conflicting with each other.

  • Quality Score
  • Conversion Rate
  • Clicks (or Click through Rate)

The advert is critical to the Quality Score, as it is checked for 'relevancy.' In addition, click through rate affects the Quality Score, so you want to maximise this as well. Of course, if your campaign is profitable, you want as many clicks as possible anyway.

The problems start when not everyone that sees your advert is particularly interested in what you're selling. Maximising the click through rate could just lead to you paying for a lot of clicks that are worthless.

For example, if you sell luxury leather furniture, and you bid on "leather sofas," there will be some searchers who are looking for cheap, low quality leather sofas. Writing an advert to maximise the click through rate will attract many of the wrong people, and end up costing you money. On the other hand, you don't want to put people off by implying that your sofas are expensive. So you need to write an advert that gets as many potential buyers through, but as few inappropriate visitors as possible. In this case, you might use a title like "Top Quality Leather Sofas." So, what does Google look for in your advert, when it's deciding how relevant it is to the searcher? Simply put, the search phrase should appear prominently in the advert, ideally in the title. It doesn't hurt to repeat them in the body of the advert, but you probably don't want to sacrifice the appeal of your advert to achieve this. In order to maximise the click through rate, you need to do a few things, but the most critical is to make your advert stand out. If your advert looks just like everyone else's, why are people going to click on your advert, or even see it? Searchers do not read every advert in full, as a rule, and they'll click on the one or two that catch their eye. So you want to write an advert using different words to your competitors. Numbers, particularly with a £ at the start, will always draw the eye. If your prices are competitive, advertising them could certainly be worth a try. You want a strong call to action - Google won't let you say "click here" or "visit us," but "Buy xxx Now" is allowed. There are plenty of other good words, such as "Free," "New,"  "Save," "Fast," "Great," and "Amazing." You should certainly be looking to extol the virtues of your product. Why should people buy your widget, rather than everyone else's? Does it have free delivery or an extended warranty? A price promise? Is it the best quality on the market? Is your range extensive? If so, TELL PEOPLE. But this raises a question - what happens if all of your competitors are also using the search term in the title of the advert? What if they all have the same product with the same selling points? If you search for injury compensation, everyone's offering the same deal. You get 100% of the compensation, and it's no win, no fee. And they all say "Injury Compensation" in the title. So what do you do? Sacrifice your Quality Score a bit by putting something eye-catching in the title? Fail to mention these selling points? I'd say that the answer to the first question would be that you should do anything to maximise your click through rate. If your advert doesn't generate any clicks because it looks just like everyone else's advert, then your Quality Score doesn't matter - and a good click through rate can also improve your Quality Score. I've found in the past that challenging people with a question often works - you'll see that television adverts do this a lot. "Are you looking for cheaper car insurance?" "Been involved in an accident that wasn't your fault?" "Overworked And Underpaid?" Try a similar approach, it may work... Another thought is to make your advert look different to the others - if it appears on the right of the page, and all of the adverts surrounding it are using the full 35 characters on each line, then yours could stand out if it's very short, with a lot of space around it. You can't capitalise whole words in your advert unless they're acronyms, but one thing that you should certainly be doing is to capitalise the first letter of each word. It Makes The Advert Stand Out Much More Clearly. The display URL does not need to match the actual URL that the advert lands on. One of the things that Google does when somebody searches for a term is to embolden the keyword in any adverts. So there's no good reason not to put the keyword at the end of the display URL, separated by a slash. For example, if you sell blue widgets, and your landing page is you could try Another option is to use Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI). This is a little tool that Adwords gives you that allows you to place the search term into your adverts. You have to specify a default word to put in place if the search term is too long for the line, and this is what Adwords uses to calculate your Quality Score (so this isn't an easy way to improve your Quality Score), but it can give the impression that you have exactly what the searcher is looking for. Note that this won't put the search term that the searcher typed in, rather it uses the search term that it matched to from your list. For example, if you are bidding on "leather sofas" on phrase match, and somebody searched for "quality leather sofas," then the words "leather sofas" will be implanted into your adverts. The syntax for this quite straightforward: {KeyWord:Leather Chairs} In this case, if the advert doesn't fit, Leather Chairs would appear by default. Also, note that if you wanted the words to appear in lower case, use keyword (all lower case) rather than KeyWord. Keyword (first letter capitalised) would capitalise the first word only. So this could be implanted into an advert as follows: Buy {KeyWord: Leather Chairs} Here Finest Leather Sofas And Chairs Free Next Day Delivery If somebody searched for "Leather Sofas," the advert would say: Buy Leather Sofas Here Finest Leather Sofas And Chairs Free Next Day Delivery If they were to search for "Leather Furniture" (which would be too long to fit), then the advert would say: Buy Leather Chairs Here Finest Leather Sofas And Chairs Free Next Day Delivery If there's one absolute fact with advert text, it's that you should keep testing constantly. Adwords gives you the opportunity to run multiple adverts at the same time, and see which ones are more effective. Use it. Remember that every time you increase your click through rate, you improve your Quality Score, and hence your advert moves up the search results (or you can reduce your bids and stay put). So you win twice!

Landing Page

Google are a little tight-lipped about exactly what makes a good landing page, and indeed website, in terms of their relevancy factor, the Quality Score. They do, however, offer the following guidelines:

  • Use a page that contains relevant and accurate information about your product or service.
  • Distinguish advertising from the rest of the content on your site.
  • Don't ask users to register without telling them what they'll get.
  • Have unique content - don't just copy content from other websites.
  • Users should be able to find what your advert promises quickly and easily.
  • Be open and honest about what your business is/does (about us page).
  • If you are collecting personal information, explain what you intend to do with it (privacy policy page).
  • Keep the navigation on your website simple.
  • Provide a simple process for purchasing from your site.
  • Avoid pop-ups, fiddling around with the back-button and other 'obtrusive elements.'

To be honest, most of these are good practice anyway, and will build up trust with your visitors, as well as with Google. One of the points there was a simple purchasing process. This is also critical from a conversion rate perspective - confuse visitors, or make them work hard to buy things, and they'll go next door. You should tailor your landing page to what people are searching for. In the digital cameras example, if somebody was searching for Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-T100S, then a good landing page would have

  • A good quality picture of this product
  • Bullet points with the major selling points of the product
  • Technical information available, but not too obtrusive
  • Cross-sells like a case, and batteries
  • Product reviews (again, not too obtrusive)
  • A clear price and call to action (Buy) button visible without scrolling down the page.

On the other hand, if somebody was just searching for a Sony Cyber-Shot, then your landing page would ideally be a bit different. They don't necessarily know which product they want, so a comparison page, or failing that a thumbnail page would be appropriate. It should contain

  • A list of all of the appropriate products
  • Prices and product attributes for comparison
  • A small editorial, explaining why the user should consider each.
  • Product reviews

Given all of this information, visitors will be more likely to make a decision whilst on your site, and buy from you, rather than looking at other sites.


So, how much should you bid when you first create a campaign? Obviously, it'll depend on the keywords that you are bidding on. It'll also depend on your daily budget. You need to get a sensible number of clicks in order to make it possible to begin optimising the campaign - I'd suggest an absolute minimum of 30 clicks per day, so 1/30 of your daily budget should be an absolute upper limit. At this point, you can turn to the traffic forecast tool built into Adwords. After you input the keywords when setting up an Adgroup, you are taken to a page asking for your bid. Enter a bid, and hit the button to forecast the amount of traffic and position that your advert may generate. Try a few different bids, and pick one that you're comfortable with. I would suggest that for less competitive terms, you may want to appear in about fourth, and for more competitive terms, about seventh. Once you start optimising your campaign, these will change anyway - at the moment you're just getting things going.