A year or two ago I wouldn't have argued in anyway with the statement "For Pay Per Click (PPC) Its The Position The Matters Most." But after this holiday season and reading reports like that of Ice.com, looking at some of our own clients results, and with the news that Google's been testing new colors behind ads, I'm really questioning the practice of bidding on the highest position for a clients online paid ad campaign.
As search engines users become more savvy, are they becoming blind to the paid advertising that appears at the top and on the right of the results? Companies spending the same amount of money but not seeing the conversions they saw in 2005 are probably questioning the same thing as they reanalyze their campaigns.
If everyone else that's bidding on your keyword has similar copy in their ads, what is going to set you apart from them? If results 1 to 3 all say "Buy Purple Widgets Cheap," what do you think the searcher will do? Either they are going to look to the right or they pay a heck of a lot more attention to the natural results. This is why it's important to do research even in paid campaigns for clients.
Paid advertising on Google, Yahoo and MSN has become easy for just about anyone to set up a campaign. With Google & now Yahoo's quality score, it forces the advertisers to utilize the keywords and make the copy relevant in order to have a good quality score and not pay a fortune for that click. But, knowing that, its inevitable that a lot more ads are going to sound/read very much alike. That's where coming up with creative titles and copy needs to come into play.
That's the "art" part of PPC, writing creative and intriguing copy that says "hey I'm different click here" in a very subtle way is a talent that few agencies have these days. Managing thousand upon thousands of keywords to an ROI leaves them little time to be creative, or with systems set in place, they have a standard way of writing ads, and if the keywords aren't performing, they shut them down. There's not a lot of discussion that goes into the creative piece here, and that for the client, is a big loss.
So, if you have a PPC campaign perhaps stop and rethink how your campaigns are running. Take some time and look how your ads differ from your competition. Ask the questions:
- Does my message differ from my competition?
- Would I click on my ad?
- Would my mom or neighbor click on my ad?
- What makes me different, and am I relating that in my ad?
- What's "the hook"?
- Is my landing page relevant to my ad?
These types of questions just might help you revive that PPC campaign, or ad grouping that you think is just not performing.