For writers, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is the ultimate marketing jigsaw puzzle.
You must pack as much as possible into limited space (just 70 characters for your main message) as you balance keyword research, brand requirements, campaign objectives, ad requirements and past performance.
And just when you find a formula that generates results, the search engines tweak something that matters.
For Google AdWords, many of the adjustments relate to bidding, keyword research, budgets, targeting and other elements that don’t necessarily affect the ad copy.
However, Google recently announced a couple changes that create new considerations – and challenges – for writers.
The Inside AdWords blog outlined how, for some ads, the first description line will occasionally appear in the headline. As they describe it:
“For some ads where each line appears to be a distinct sentence and ends in the proper punctuation, description line 1 will be moved to the headline and separated by a hyphen. As a result, some top placement ads will have longer headlines…
“While only some ads will be shown with the longer headline, you can increase your chances by ensuring that each line of your ad appears to be a distinct sentence and ends in the proper punctuation (e.g., a period or a question mark). Since this is a global change, punctuation will vary by country.”
If you frequently spread a lengthier message across both description lines, you may need to rethink your approach – especially if your ads frequently display in the “pole position” spots above the organic results.
The other adjustment is less significant, but it’s worth noting. In January, Google began displaying the display URL domain in all lower-case letters. It’s subtle, but it makes the rest of your display URL stand out if you reference a subdirectory or product name.
These changes remind us that PPC demands ongoing attention – and that writers have a vital role in fueling higher click-through rates and better conversions.