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5 Bad Google Ads: What Were They Thinking?!
Ad copy is a significant factor in Quality Score which can impact the cost of PPC clicks. Why and how? It’s mostly about “relevance,” and that is measured primarily by clickthrough rate (CTR). While CTR isn’t the only factor you should focus on (since ROI is paramount), it’s way up there.
Be wary of anyone trying to make things sound more mysterious than that. In this article, I’ll share some bad ads examples and provide some ad copy fixes.
Bad Ad #1 – Irrelevant Search Ad
Search query = used cars
Second Hand Medical Equipment
Spareparts & Tubes Extensive Databat
This site is likely advertising on the very broad keyword term “used”. Instead, they should be targeting terms like “used medical equipment” and similar terms. Also, they should consider using a phrase or exact match for tighter matching and to reduce the frequency of the ad displaying.
To be charitable about it, there is some chance that between high bids, and Google’s expanded broad match, they’re showing up even with a reasonably intelligent keyword choice such as the broad match for “used medical equipment,” as Google’s semantic technology runs through a variety of experiments.
So “blame Google” for the “bad ad”? Not exactly. If you take a novice’s approach to matching options, then you’re to blame.
Bad Ad #2 – Misspelling In Search Ad
Search query = computers
Hunders of computers, printers,
games powered by Buy Sell Exchange
Spelling mistakes are an instant way to lose credibility with potential customers.
Bad Ad #3 – Nonsensical Search Ad
Search query = computers
No Match Computers
For all your computer needs check<
our no match weekly specials.
This advertiser just sounds plain nuts! What the heck is a “no match” weekly special? After closely examining the ad, I see that “no match” is the company name. At first glance, I got a very bad feeling about the company and it only takes a second for me to move on and consider another advertiser’s ad.
Bad Ad #4 – Nonsensical Search Ad
Search query = web hosts
So you are going to pay
top $ for exactly what we offer –
your money Ralph! Test us for free.
A headline that runs into the description text does not sound as “clean” as ads than have a distinct headline and description. In this game, 99% of the time, your bantering-style copy will under-perform. Also, in no place in the ad does the advertiser use the word “web hosts”. I’d also test confrontational language against respectful or plain language.
Bad Ad #5 – Passive Ad
Search query = accountants
SEEK has over 6,000 new jobs
Career advice and daily job emails
The ad above is company focused, but has a fairly passive tone. I’d change it to something like the following:
Need Accounting Work?
Discover over 6000 new jobs. Get
career advice & more. Call us today.
Tips For Successful Ad Text
Keep in mind the following pointers when writing ad copy:
- Entice users with a compelling call to action and value propositions.
- Avoid the passive tense. Try the active tense.
- Avoid “marketing speak” like “innovative”, “next-generation”, etc. Keep ad copy real.
- Don’t focus on “we” and “us”. Focus on your potential customers, their needs and finding solutions to their issues and problems.
Why waste time and money with PPC advertising if you’re going to write bad ads? Stick to the premise of writing good ad copy or stay home.
Note: Thanks to my colleague Stephan Spencer who suggested some of the ‘bad ad’ examples used in this article.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.