Friday, January 30, 2009

How to make you Google Adwords ad stand out from the crowd

Here are three ways to visually enhance a Google Adwords entry to make it stand out from the crowd. Two of these techniques give you an advantage through an additional line in your ad copy.

1. Keyword Highlighting

Set up your Google Adwords campaign so that the ads that display when someone types in a keyword trigger an ad that uses that search term. Every instance of that term will be highlighted when someone searches for it.

The figure opposite shows the search dentist sydney which shows up a number of ads highlighting the occurrence of either word: in the title, in the copy and even in the display URL.

If I had searched for the literal "dentist sydney" ie requiring both words to be used together then only the 2nd and 4th ads would have had their title highlighted as both words occur in the ad. Similarly if I had searched for "sydney dentist" then the URL of the 5th ad would have been highlighted.

2. Additional line for regionally targetted ad

When you are setting up an Ad you can geographically restrict it to display to certain users eg choose to display your ad in Sydney only or in Australia or the US etc. This obviously restricts the audience that will see your ad but perhaps that is a sensible trade off to make if they are really the only people likely to visit a bricks and mortar store.

In the example opposite only two advertisers have taken advantage of this and they get the benefit of an extra line for their ad that highlights that they service that area.

How does Google do this? When a user enters a search term that is obviously geographically related or the IP address (a part of information that is sent when you do a search) of the computer performing the search indicates the user is located in a particular geographical location your ad would be triggered. See more about it here.

3. Additional line and call to action with Google Checkout button

If you have a product or service you can sell using Google Checkout (Google's equivalent to PayPal) then you can achieve the effect  shown on the right - a nifty little call to action button with Google branding that asks your customers to check out.

Google says these help attract new customers and include a testimonial from a customer claiming a 23% lift in click through rate as a result.

Google checkout is a beast in itself and you should ascertain whether you are really ready to take credit card information over the internet.


These are all ways of getting a very visually differentiated Ad.  Will this make your ad more effective? Probably. Other methods to increase the effectiveness of your ad include paying attention to the wording of your ad. Are you using words that draw the potential customer in?  Is your Ad copy evoking an emotional response? Below is the kind of tips typically suggested to do just that. I can't see someone using the words 'humiliate' or 'fatal' in a medically related ad though!

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