Let me start off by saying I’m a big fan of John C. McGinley and think he’s a terrific comedic actor. He’s brilliant in Scrubs and was amazing in what must be considered the greatest film of all time ever made about anything, anywhere: Office Space. I also hear tell he’s a great dramatic actor.
I’ll be honest with you, I love his acting, I do. I’m a John C. McGinley fan. But did you watch Scrubs last night? Did you think letting your hair grow out to go for the red jheri curl was really a good idea, John? Really? C’mon. Seriously? I was absolutely fixated on it the entire time.
Here he is, an extremely talented actor, one whose work I already know and love, and I couldn’t get past his hair.
Could the same thing be happening to your company with its search engine marketing accounts? You might have the best product in the world, a great Web site, an even better sales force, and superb client services. But if you’re putting up ad copy that doesn’t pull the searchers in, letting them know why what you offer is what they’re looking for, it doesn’t matter.
In order to improve in this area, always keep in mind these five basic points:
1. Make your ad copy relevant. Have it match what the searcher is looking for as closely as possible. Write separate ads per term when possible and practical or use the keyword insertion tool that the top search engines now offer so that the particular keyword used shows up exactly in your ad copy.
2. Give them a reason to click. It’s the old adage, benefits not features. Give them a reason to click – free report, free consultation, expert analysis, quick shipping, etc.
3. Refine your keywords. Really do some data mining on your keywords. Go through your lists, add negative keywords, pull down keywords that aren’t performing, and find the ones most likely to produce buyers. If you’re not reaching the right searchers because you don’t have all the right words or are blowing your budget on the wrong terms, it won’t matter what
4. Group your keywords. Putting your keywords into groups allows you to create relevant, targeted ads per group and makes analysis easier. It also allows you to send searchers to the correct landing page.
5. Use Geo-Targeting. Target your ads to searchers based on where they’re searching from. It’s a great tool that all the major search marketing account providers now offer in one form or another.
BTW, you can easily make the same point about other forms of marketing – I couldn’t get past a letter I received recently soliciting funds for a good cause that I believe in. The author doesn’t know me and made several presumptions I found offensive trying to guilt me into giving as though I had been sponging off society for the last decade. It probably would have gotten a check if it had just said what it did and why it needs funds and simply asked.
So let Dr. Cox’s mop on top be a lesson to you and go tidy up your ad copy. You may have the best product and the best service at the best price, but none of that matters if you can’t get buyers to you.
Update: Because your search engine marketing accounts operate on a cost per click model, you don’t pay any money for people to view your seemingly irrelevant ads and not click on them. But it will cost you money in the long run.
Google AdWords has long touted its blind bidding model where advertisers don’t know exactly what they have to bid to be in any particular position. Instead, in order to present more relevant ads which I think for the most part is really right on, they determine your ads position by a combination of the amount your willing to pay per click and the popularity of your ad as determined by its click through rate (and now some formula that ranks the relevancy of your landing page).
Yahoo! Search Marketing, nee Overture, nee GoTo.com, on the other hand, has always had a transparent system allowing you to see exactly how much advertisers were willing to bid on ads and exactly where your ad will show based on bid amount. They’re now moving to an AdWords like bidding system, which is expected to take relevancy of ads and landing pages into account.
So keep in mind that good ad copy will not only help increase your leads and sales, it will also keep costs down.