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Check out these click-worthy examples of persuasive copy for online ads. Discover why they work and how to test for persuasive ad copy.

The world of digital marketing makes it super easy for you to reach your target audience. But you have to whip up a mighty persuasive online ad if you want your prospects to click on yours.

In this post, we’ll review the definition of persuasive copy, how to make sure it works, and show you compelling examples of persuasive copy in online advertising.

Appeal to logic emotion and credibility all in one. Check out these click worthy examples of persuasive copy in online advertising.

Appeal to logic emotion and credibility all in one. Check out these click worthy examples of persuasive copy in online advertising.

What is Persuasive Copy

Persuasive copy can be defined as an argument that elicits a desired action from a relevant audience. Easier said than done, right?

Aristotle explained what constitutes persuasive copy best in his rhetorical appeals or ‘modes for persuasion’. Let’s keep in mind that his goal was to make his oratory (his presentations) more persuasive. And in doing so, he identified three types of persuasion appeals that are as valid today as they were back then.

  1. the appeal to reason, logic or logos
  2. the appeal to emotion or pathos
  3. and the appeal to one’s character, credibility or ethos

Not everybody makes a decision about a specific product or service based on the same argument. Purchasing a lipstick could be more of an impulse buy and an appeal to pathos or emotion may be the right call. Adding an appeal to reason such as “Free Shipping” may seal the deal and get you the click you desperately want.

An example of emotionally persuasive copy in this Avon color trend nail polish, Fairytale collection: "Until your prince charming shows up have fun with the frogs."

An example of emotionally persuasive copy in this Avon color trend nail polish, Fairytale collection: “Until your prince charming shows up have fun with the frogs.”

Avon color trend nail polish, Fairytale collection. The copy reads: “Until your prince charming shows up have fun with the frogs”. Why is this a prime example of persuasive copy in advertising? The famous Prince Charming in other countries, like Brazil and Italy, is called the “Blue Prince” — royal blue blood and all. So, until the blue one shows up, have fun with the rest of the colors. Clever emotional argument to leave the guilt behind and have fun now. If the shoe fits. ;)

Fortunately for most of us, developing persuasive copy is not an art but a data driven process. And as such, it can be tested.

How to Test Persuasive Copy in Online Advertising

As investment in digital advertising increases, it becomes essential to figure out what really works. Ad copy testing can be executed pre-campaign launch or while the campaign is live.

Some methods for online ad copy pre-testing may include focus groups, projective techniques, and recall tests. Performing these pre-tests ensures less spend is lost when it comes to activation.

Running an online ad campaign is costly. This is a different version of the Paypal for Business ad used to test the level of persuasiveness in the copy. What appeal has been dropped? Let us know in the comments section at the end of the post.

Running an online ad campaign is costly. This is a different version of the Paypal for Business ad used to test the level of persuasiveness in the copy. What appeal has been dropped? Let us know in the comments section at the end of the post.

But the proof is in the pudding and nothing beats solid AB Testing to provide you with the metrics you need to define what’s really working. If you are looking to learn about testing persuasive copy, our blog is packed with articles that explain how to do this in detail. Check them out:

The Proven AB Testing Framework Used By CRO Professionals

4 Types of Useful AB Testing Tools You May Not Realize You Have

The AB Testing Process that Empowers Marketers

4 Mobile AB Testing Ideas that Worked for Our Clients

Or you can take our CRO Course and become a conversion specialist. Or if you’d rather have an experienced conversion agency power boost your online marketing spend and turn more of your ad clicks into revenue, check out our CRO for Advertising solutions.

And as we promised an article about compelling examples of persuasive copy in online advertising, let’s dive into them!

Why Is Persuasive Copy Crucial to Online Ads

Let’s assume you have the right ad placement, defined the perfect audience, and have properly identified what your audience responds to. After all, persuasive ad copy in and of itself is not the only factor that weighs in on a campaign’s success.

Is your ad copy missing the mark? Has your click through rate hit a new low?

We all want our online ads to influence our audience in such a way that they are inclined to click to call or click to buy from our website. But, what makes copy this convincing? Sometimes, actual examples of persuasive copy can guide us in crafting our own click-worthy online ads.

Compelling Examples of Persuasive Copy in Online Advertising

A genius way to apply emotion to a SaaS service on a Facebook ad for Litmus & dotmailer.

Examples of persuasive copy in online advertising help illustrate the concept. A genius way to apply emotion to a SaaS service on a Facebook ad.

Examples of persuasive copy in online advertising help illustrate the concept.

Appeal to logic or logos works quite nicely for the auto insurance industry. I wonder what would happen to these click-through rates (CTRs) if they added some emotional arguments to the ad copy.

Auto insurance appeal to logic examples. They all look alike. Which one would you click on?

Auto insurance appeal to logic examples. They all look alike. Which one would you click on?

Finding examples of persuasive copy in advertising is simple if there is a Google Guarantee available. Not an easy addition to your online ads but worth every penny. All the credibility you want in a single line.

Building credibility through the Google Guarantee.

Building credibility through the Google Guarantee.

Ethos and logos appeal for this Facebook ad campaign.

Ethos appeal. Persuasion example in online advertising.

Ethos appeal.

Lower the guilt with a logical argument. Less fat and less calories than your biggest competitor: McDonald’s french fries. How is that for an attention-getting example of persuasive copy?

Burger King fries ad copy. How is that for an attention-getting example of persuasive copy?

Burger King fries ad copy. Stop clicking the button and keep reading!

Of course #FOMO is an emotion! This compelling example of persuasive copy in online advertising proves it! Almost depleted iPhone battery coupled with “Last Chance to Buy T&C Tickets” An example from a Digital Marketer Facebook ads campaign.

Appeal to emotion iPhone battery Facebook Ad example from Digital Marketer.

Appeal to emotion iPhone battery Facebook Ad example from Digital Marketer.

Searching for click-worthy examples of persuasive copy for your Facebook lead generation campaign? A winner. Hands-down. No big emotional commitment. Only 8 hours for $500 and you get rid of those pesky projects.

Lead generation ad example targeting homeowners looking to start projects.

Lead generation ad example targeting homeowners looking to start projects.

IBM Watson understands that their audience responds to reason. And that some may be ready to buy. The free trial is a highly persuasive method to get them to click on their ad.

IBM Watson "free trial" a persuasive element of their offer.

IBM Watson “free trial” a persuasive element of their offer.

This online ad for WD40 is all about persuading through pathos. You will need some WD40 to unstuck that scroll bar.

Humor, sex and curiosity are all emotional appeals. Online ad for WD40.

Humor, sex and curiosity are all emotional appeals.

Every once in a while, you run across an ad that you just can’t forget. Trident’s Facebook ad that appeals to emotions or pathos through some quirky logic as I am sure deodorant won’t taste like spearmint either.

Example of emotional and logical appeal in persuasive copy for Trident's online ads.

Example of emotional and logical appeal in persuasive copy for Trident’s online ads.

Although they usually resort to logic and ethos – 4 out of 5 dentists recommend – to craft persuasive copy.

Trident Coupons: Save money, prevent stains.

Trident Coupons: Save money, prevent stains.

Sandwich delivery ads leverage a mix of ethos or credibility (reviews, how many served), logical (pricing and selection) and emotional (fresh, good, smells, comfort) elements. Definitely great examples of persuasive copy in PPC ads.

Sandwich delivery ads. Definitely great examples of persuasive copy in PPC ads.

Sandwich delivery ads.

Pizza delivery examples of persuasive copy for Google Ads. One relies on logical and ethos vs emotional appeal.

Logical and ethos vs emotional appeal for pizza delivery Google Ads.

Logical and ethos vs emotional appeal for pizza delivery Google Ads.

Nike sneakers Google Ads: These are not Nike stores, so they lack the brand’s built in credibility. Therefore, they use pathos or emotional persuasion on the headline and ethos appeal on the body via the rating reviews and the on time delivery percentage.

Pathos or emotional persuasion on the headline and ethos appeal on the body via the rating reviews that give credibility and the ontime delivery percentage.

Pathos or emotional persuasion on the headline and ethos appeal on the body via the rating reviews that give credibility and the ontime delivery percentage.

The Nike Official store, is all about logical persuasion of product availability with some additional credibility elements as message support.

Nike official store Google ad.

Nike official store Google ad.

PPC ad copywriting for a mobile ad with emotional appeal. Click to call the luxury location of your choice.

PPC ad for best NYC hotels. Luxury, of course.

PPC ad for best NYC hotels. Luxury, of course.

So many persuasive reasons for that mileage traveler in you. Capital One Venture card uses ethos on their youtube and tv ads but not on their Google Ads. Here it’s all facts.

Capital One Venture card uses logos or logical appeal to persuade to click on this PPC ad.

Capital One Venture card uses logos or logical appeal to persuade to click on this PPC ad.

I hope you found inspiration and ideas on these compelling examples of persuasive copy in online advertising. Now, discover how to Make Testimonials More Persuasive or sign-up to receive our weekly newsletter. Packed with great conversion optimization tips.

Will CRO agencies adopt SEM, or will SEM agencies integrate CRO?

The perfect storm of online business, the peanut butter and jelly, the gin and tonic, the Abbot and Costello will be SEM and CRO. The reason is that the conversion rate of any business is calculated by dividing transactions (leads, sales or calls) by the number of visitors overall. Those businesses with the highest conversion rates enjoy both targeted, qualified visitors and optimized websites.

High converting sites optimize both sides of the equation.

There is no better source of qualified traffic than that brought through search engine marketing (SEM).

Both organic and paid search traffic represents visitors who have expressed a certain intent. If you can deliver an on-site experience to match that intent, you will gain customers at a lower and lower acquisition cost.

What kind of agency is going to deliver this one-two punch? Will a CRO agency adopt the search marketing services and bring them to market or will a search agency adopt full-stack website optimization practices?

Brian Massey of Conversion Sciences and Jim McKinley of 360Partners will debate this question in their free Webinar on September 17th The CRO + SEM Agency: Challenges and Opportunities.

The conversation will begin with violent agreement on the importance of bringing these two practices together. We will examine the trends in search marketing and website optimization.

Then things will get interesting. These two industry veterans will tackle some of the harder questions.

  • Do these need to be under one roof, or can agencies partner to deliver a complete package? Why or why not?
  • How would search agencies have to change their business models? How would a CRO company have to change?
  • Why do so few agencies claim to do both?
  • For those agencies that offer both, are they really providing the double-digit conversion rates that the combination promises?

Watch the webinar on-demand.

Are your PPC ads plaid and your landing pages polka dots? That is, are your PPC ads and landing pages in alignment? Check out these great tips and maximize conversions.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be a highly effective way to get your products in front of new prospective customers and drive sales, but only when campaigns are set up with the right touch. Depending on what keywords you want to target with your bids, search ads are generally not prohibitively expensive, but it’s easy to fall into the trap of blowing through your budget on PPC without justifying your media spend with enough sales.

The PPC management mistakes that most commonly ruin advertisers’ chances of respectable ROI involve text mismatches. All too often, an ad’s keyword settings do not match the language used in the ad’s creative, or the landing page content does not match the language used in the ad’s creative.

Search marketing spending in the US from 2014 to 2019.

Search marketing spending in the US from 2014 to 2019.

Why Matching Terminology Matters

If you’re not matching terminology on your landing page to your PPC ads, you’re wasting money and losing clients.

Successful PPC marketing hinges on continuity across all touch points. Web searchers enter search terms into Google based on a need they are trying to fulfill. By the time users have formulated their queries as lines of text, they have already been forced to think about what they’re looking for as being specific to certain terminology. Thus, if your message is going to resonate with them, it has to use the very same terminology.

Google users naturally gravitate towards organic search results. To catch people’s eyes, your ad needs to convey that it addresses the exact issue that the searcher is trying to solve. What’s more, search terms that appear within ad copy appear in bold letters, adding to their visibility and click-throughs.

When people click on the ad, they are expecting to find a matching solution on the other end. You know that dirty feeling you get when you click on a content headline that over-promises and the article ultimately under-delivers? That’s a similar feeling to what happens when there’s a disconnect between search ad copy and landing page copy.

When you get that feeling, you’re unlikely to do business with whoever gave it to you. And that’s why it’s so important that the landing page refer to the exact need at hand and offer an appropriate solution, all using the same terminology. This is one of those landing page best practices that tends to be right every single time.

PPC Ads and Landing Pages in Alignment: The Power of Maximized Continuity

Lack of continuity will result in customers leaving your conversion funnel before opting in to your lead capture offer or purchasing your products.

If a customer searches for “cyan polo shirt summer sale” and you show him an ad for “men’s clothing,” he is not likely to click on it, even though your online store might very well offer cyan polo shirts in the men’s section. Even ad creative touting a “blue polo shirt” product won’t perform as well as the phrase “cyan polo shirt” would – the closer to an exact match you can get, the more effective your ads will be.

PPC ads and landing pages in alignment: Use the word "cyan" to describe the color of this shirt, not just "blue".

Use the word “cyan” to describe the color of this shirt, not just “blue”.

The same principle applies to matching ad copy with landing page copy. If your ad promises a “cyan polo shirt summer sale” but you send people to your homepage, where there are 25 different apparel products being showcased and no trace of any type of sale, the visitor is likely to bounce out extremely quickly.

Customized Ecommerce Text Variations

Using standardized language across your website is necessary to maintain an atmosphere of professional polish and so that your internal search engine will work well. On the other hand, when you set up your search ad campaigns, you should be performing some extensive keyword research to reveal all of the alternate wording that people use for the same thing.

Going back to the same example, you may learn that people often search for polo shirts that are “sapphire,” “teal,” or “turquoise,” which are all reasonably close matches to the “cyan” that appears on your product pages. It totally makes sense to bid on ads to appear on search results for “sapphire polo shirt,” but in cases like these, you may want to create alternate versions of your product pages that only visitors referred by this specific ad will see.

Just make sure to keep these variations out of sight of the search engines, so you won’t get penalized for duplicate content – and out of sight in the website navigation, so visitors do not get confused. Apply a meta “No Index” tag to the head of the landing page to make sure that variations don’t get indexed. Better yet, make sure all your PPC ad campaign landing pages are noindex, follow. Until you have chosen the one you would like to drive organic traffic to.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion

A helpful tool in this process is a Google Adwords feature called Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI). This tool will adjust your ad text to reflect keywords in the user’s search, potentially accomplishing the same goals we just discussed.

Wordstream ran a case study testing the effectiveness of DKI with a client, and found that using this strategy had the following results:

  • Impressions dropped 6%
  • Click-through-rate (CTR) increased by 55%
  • Conversions increased by an incredible 228%
DKI more than tripled conversions.

DKI more than tripled conversions.

The results speak for themselves.

In the context of continuity, the key is to have a very small number of keywords in your ad groups. For top performers, you may even want to use Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGS).

Customized Lead Capture Page Variations

If your offer is for a service, a B2B product or something otherwise relatively expensive, then you don’t need to send visitors to ecommerce-integrated product pages at all. In these cases, a sparser landing page is likely to perform better, and it’s easy and inexpensive to create new versions of your landing pages for each keyword combination that you bid for.

Landing pages like these are generally aimed at capturing leads rather than driving sales, since major purchases require more pre-sale relationship building to establish trust and to educate prospects. Many of the better marketing platforms available in the open market offer modules for both landing page creation and autoresponder marketing emails.

If lead capture is your goal, focus your Adwords strategy on your prospects’ pain points rather than your offer’s specifications. For instance, a financial consulting firm could run PPC ads for the search term “family budgeting help” or “debt advice.” These ads could lead to landing page variations for each search term, with each one offering visitors the option to download an eBook that provides practical tips on family budgeting and saving money on household bills.

A campaign of this type takes into account that the prospect is having trouble balancing his or her household budget, and it offers a quick and easy solution that also positions the advertiser as a trustworthy expert in the field of family finance. This paves the way for follow-up messaging.

Another benefit of this type of hyper-specific targeting is that it allows marketers to segment the entire customer journey and serve up nurturing emails that match the subscriber’s specific interests. A post-campaign analysis of the relevant conversion data can reveal which segments represent the advertiser’s most valuable customers, thereby informing subsequent marketing strategies.

Doesn’t Have to Be a Bottomless Pit

You do need a landing page for every important ad, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should set up hundreds of landing pages. Instead, focus your campaign on a select number of lead nurture audience personas (three or four) and create an ad that’s optimized to speak to each one of them. Create a unique landing page for each of these ads and set up an autoresponder to send follow-up emails with relevant content to each persona.

If you’re marketing an ecommerce property with a diverse product line and a shopping cart system, start by trying these tactics for just a few products. If it serves you well, then you can focus on making your work flow scalable down the road.

PPC campaigns that are set up for maximum terminology variations are likely to enjoy boosted conversion rates and revenues, so that ad dollars are less likely to go to waste.

Keep improving your paid ads: Google Ad Extensions to Improve your Customer Acquisition Efforts

Graph image by Statista (via Skitch)

Companies will typically spend $92 to bring customers to their site, but only $1 to convert them. Traffic is only half the solution to a successful online business.
If you’re putting 90% of your effort into driving traffic to your site, and minimal effort into optimizing your site for conversions then you may as well throw off the lab coat right now.
Like any great scientific experiment, you need to include the right elements to create a winning formula. And when it comes to a winning conversion formula, nothing screams “Sale!” more than a good call-to-action (CTA).
On paper the equation looks easy. Create a clear CTA for a product that delivers, and you’ll achieve sales. [pullquote]So why is it that 47% of websites don’t have a CTA that can be found within 3 seconds or less?[/pullquote] You shouldn’t expect a customer to take action if you haven’t made it abundantly, painfully, overwhelmingly clear what you want them to do. This is one reason many sites are losing the precious visitors they’ve struggle to bring to the site.
Take a look at these smart calls-to-action with tips on how to use them effectively – from the homepage – right through to the sale.

#1. How to get people to sign up for an account: Basecamp

Basecamp's CTA

Basecamp’s CTA


Basecamp is a product that has enjoyed amazing online success year after year. Look at the Basecamp homepage and notice where your eyes are drawn first. Yup, it’s the call-to-action. It stands out like a sore thumb.
The minimalist design of the page really makes the sign up button pop. It’s a huge block of color, surrounded by white space. The key here is that the dark color of blue isn’t used anywhere else on the page, so it is the most visually “important” thing on the page.
Your pages should make it visually clear what path the visitor should take in order to move to the next step in their journey to conversion.

#2. How to get people interested in your product: MyOwnBike

CTA to design your bike on MyOwnBike

CTA to design your bike on MyOwnBike


Smart CTAs even transcend language barriers. You don’t have to speak Germany to understand what it wants you to do.
As soon as you jump on the MyOwnBike homepage, you are invited to start designing your own bike via some persuasive writing techniques.
Again, a minimalist design is centered around the product image with a prominent call-to-action begging the visitor to click. And once clicked, the visitor gets to design their own bike and watch it transform in front of their very eyes – making it fun and engaging.
It’s a no-nonsense approach that relies solely on design to show the visitor what they should do next.

#3. How to push people to the product page: Asos

Shopping option CTAs on Asos

Shopping option CTAs on Asos


Sometimes, the CTA need only put the visitor on the right path. The CTA on the homepage of Asos does an excellent job of getting the visitor into the right part of the site. Visitors are split into two, males and females. To tackle this problem, Asos features two huge CTAs that lets the visitor pick which gender they would like to shop for.
This is a smart and simple way to move shoppers through to the category pages, where they’ll hopefully refine their search further and find exactly what they’re looking for.
The usual principles of a strong call-to-action apply, of course. The page uses liberal amounts of white space. Branding and navigation elements are black. This ensures the ‘View Women/View Men’ buttons clearly stand out in a vibrant blue color.
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#4. How to push people to the checkout: Amazon

Your CTAs shouldn’t compete. One CTA should is ideal, but you often need to add more than one CTA. This is where it becomes a little trickier to refine your CTAs. Competing CTAs cause confusion and friction. A secondary offer on the page may cannibalize conversions from the primary, more desirable offer.
The Amazon product page uses color and position to achieve this on its product pages.

Two examples of Amazon's primary and secondary CTAs

Two examples of Amazon’s primary and secondary CTAs


When a shopper is debating whether to buy they have two options:

  1. Add to bag/basket – the primary CTA
  2. Add to wishlist – the secondary

The clear option is for the shopper to add the product to their basket so they can checkout. But if the visitor is hesitating, the ‘add to wish list’ button gives the visitor a back up option. Rather than losing that visitor to a competitor, Amazon chooses to provide a lower-commitment option.
The color and button size of the primary CTA sends powerful signals about what a visitor should do. And if you look at the contrast between the primary and secondary calls-to-action, you can see how much more attractive the primary option is.
The key here is to use a clear visual hierarchy with your primary and secondary CTAs, to push them towards the sale.

#5. How to make the sale: BarkBox

Once you click ‘get started’ on the BarkBox homepage, the journey from the product to the checkout page is simple, clear and most importantly, engaging.
First, using fun illustrations you select the size of your dog.

Barkbox's visual tactic leading you to the sale

Barkbox’s visual tactic leading you to the sale


The call to action here is “Select Dog Size.” It is not presented on a button or link.
The next step asks visitors to select a monthly plan. Notice how the most expensive plan is highlighted as the best value.
Barkbox's monthly plans

Barkbox’s monthly plans


You’re then given the option to treat your dog to a toy. Notice how the ‘Yes Please’ option is highlighted automatically.
Barkbox's upgrade option offers both a positive and negative call to action.

Barkbox’s upgrade option offers both a positive and negative call to action.


In general humans are reluctant to say “No,” so the negative call to action, “No, thank you.” may actually reinforce the primary call to action, “Yes, please!”
The site then asks for an email address.
The call to action is "Create Your Account"

The call to action is “Create Your Account”


By clicking on, “Next,” you’ll be taken to the shipping and payment page. This page is crucial to closing the sale, and as you can see from BarkBox, they really hit the nail on the head. They don’t ask for more details than necessary, and they don’t include any hidden charges – a reason why 70% of shoppers on most sites abandon their carts.
The form asks for minimal information to complete the sale

The form asks for minimal information to complete the sale


The key takeaway here is that calls to action rarely stand alone. The process of purchasing is a series of calls to action, each of which may or may not be a button or link.
Top tip for your checkout page: If you need to use a multi-step process then use a visual progress indicator like a progress bar so customers can manage their expectations regarding how long it will take.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see from these powerful examples, the CTA is clear, each standing out clearly on the page, and each having an intended purpose. By using contrasting colors, on a clean and simple web page, you’ll make your CTAs stand out and guide your visitors to the sale.
Looking for more awesome ways to supercharge your website? Download this eBook for 10 ways to convert shoppers into buyers.

About the Author

Bryan Robinson is a Digital Business Analyst in charge of Marketing for the Commerce division at Spark Pay. He specializes in Lead Generation, PPC and SEM, while also overseeing content production for Spark Pay online store. He has also started and flipped his own eCommerce websites for over 10 years.

One of the great benefits of speaking at great conferences is getting to learn from your peers in the industry. Joel Harvey and I did our first LIVE tag-team presentation called “The Chemistry of the Landing Page.”
Tim Ash gave an insightful and “inciteful” keynote presentation at the PPC Hero Conference here in Portland Oregon. Here are my instagraph notes taken live as he spoke.

Tim Ash Hero Conf 2015 Context Power of Framing

Click to Enlarge


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Today we have a guest post by Derek Hooker, Chief of Search Marketing at White Shark Media™.
Google AdWords is a very impressive advertising platform. It provides us with numerous tools and features to work with and make our campaigns better. As long as you have the right mindset, resources and strategy, you can make your campaigns rock!
I’ve always said: “you just have to get creative and analytic with the tools you are provided with.”
So with that in mind, I decided to create this sort of guide with twelve ways to advertisers take their campaigns to the next level, especially when focusing on conversions. Please keep in mind that the features and techniques listed below are not sorted in any priority order. You decide which ones to implement first based on your specific case:

1. Start Rotating Ads to Optimize for Conversions

Ad Rotation is a basic feature that you put in place when you’ve already accrued a certain number of conversions (no specific number) and have started converting regularly. This feature gives you the power to rotate through several different ad versions to find out which works best for a given set of keywords.
It only makes sense to have your ads “Optimize for Conversions” when that is your main purpose, but when is it not? If you’re “Optimizing for Clicks”, you’re assuming all clicks turn into customers at the same rate. The ads that serve more and receiving the most clicks are not always the ones driving leads and customers.

2. Ad Scheduling Bid Adjustments

When it comes to e-commerce you may want to have your campaign running 24/7, since customers can complete a purchase online 24/7. However, certain times of day may generate lots of expensive clicks, but few purchases.
Use adwords to report on the hours of the day and days of the week to when your customers are really converting.
It may pay to schedule ads for e-commerce campaigns that exclude early hours of the day (after midnight and before dawn). I call this the “zombie hours” because I rarely see customers taking action during these hours. At these hours, customers just browsing around and this turns out to be a big expense that leads to higher cost per action (CPA) and lower return on ad investment (ROI).
You may see something different. It makes sense to exclude some hours and adjust bids based on the times you are experiencing more conversions.
For example, in the screenshot below you can see that I started doing ad scheduling (4 am – midnight), because in this particular case, there were very little to no conversions between these hours. Hence, I’ve raised bids on Tuesday and Friday to maximize the conversions on these days, since they convert very well, at a lower cost and lower position.

3. Location Target Bid Adjustments

If you’re running a nationwide campaign or one that is targeting multiple locations (states, cities, metro areas, etc.), take some time to figure out where most of your conversions are coming from. You would be surprised on how differently users behave from different locations, and it is sometimes best to target them geographically with targeted tactics.
The Adwords Dimensions tab gives you a good general insight on how each location contributes to your overall campaign’s performance. Use the “User Locations” View.
I guarantee you that if you have been running a campaign for a long time and have not taken the time to look into this, you will find locations that have a ridiculous cost/conversion or no conversions at all, representing an unnecessary expense for your campaign.
In this case, it is the best to exclude these locations from your existing campaign. If these locations are really important to your business and you want to really exploit them, you can target them on a separate campaign with a separate approach. All of these, after building an effective strategy based on that location’s user behavior and data pulled from Google analytics.

4. Bid Strategy: Enable Enhanced CPC

Enhanced CPC tells Google that they can raise your bids on ads that seem to generate more conversions. Use this feature carefully, because it works for some campaigns and not for others. Nevertheless, AdWords is all about testing, optimizing, analyzing results, and making decisions. Don’t be afraid to try new things, use features you have never used before or don’t understand very well. I always encourage everyone I talk to about AdWords to get creative and think out the box and get out of your comfort zone.
One of the best scenarios where I would recommend using this setting is when your campaign is in its early stages. If your campaign is converting regularly and has at least 15 conversions in the past 30 days, then it is probably eligible for Conversion Optimizer (which we will discuss further).
Enhanced CPC is 1 step away from Conversion Optimizer, which is why it is more reasonable to work with this setting if your campaign doesn’t have that much historical conversion data, yet you are looking forward to drive more conversions.

5. Implementing Conversion Optimizer

Some advertisers and business owners are skeptical about using the tool, because they are afraid of “giving Google control their bidding strategy”, which is why they take the conservative road and stick to manual bidding (this can also be the case of Enhanced CPC).
In order to have success with Conversion Optimizer, one must have solid knowledge of how it works and be careful how you set your CPA bids in order to obtain your goals
The Conversion Optimizer is a very powerful tool. There are essentially two bidding types:
Conversion Optimizer
Max CPA:
Use this bidding type when budget is not limited or your CPA (Cost per-acquisition) is not very high. The algorithm will try to maximize the amount of conversions based on the conversion data.
Upon selecting this option, it will suggest a Max CPA bid (the most you are willing to pay for a conversion) based on the historical conversion data.
 
Target CPA:
Use this bidding type when your CPA is too high and you want to make it more profitable. This option helps you to reduce the CPA while continuing to bring in the same or higher amount of conversions (Google AdWords will also suggest to start Target CPA bid based on your historical data).
Before choosing any of these bidding options, you need to figure out what exactly it is that you want to achieve; whether this is an increase in the amount of conversions while sacrificing a higher CPA, or if you are struggling to reduce your CPA and trying to find a solution on bringing this down.
Something very important is to remember that once you choose your bidding type, the selected CPA bid will be applied to all your ad groups. You would need to review this afterward and adjust it accordingly.
Typically, every ad group has a different CPA and it should not be set to the default CPA bid suggested by the system. Adjust it according to your criteria, based on what CPA is best for each ad group.

6. Focus on Converting Keywords and Ads

On a campaign that is performing very well, there are ad groups, keywords and ads that are the main drivers for these conversions. Sometimes, 1 to 3 ad groups are responsible for 60% of the campaign’s overall results. The other ad groups convert every now and again at a decent CPA, and that is why we decide to keep them running.

        

  • Once you’ve identified which are these keywords and ads, create variations, try to identify other potential keyword variations for your campaign based on the ones that have converted.
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  • Create keyword variations in different match types to cover more ground.
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  • Create ad variations based on the best performing ones, whether this is just changing the call to action, headlines or parts of your description lines – even small changes can have an impact.
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  • Analyze how these elements are performing over time and perform bid adjustments based on what has been the best ad rank to work with.

These are just a few of the creative and analytic adjustments that you can do with your keywords and ads.

7. Implement the Best Converting Ad in Other Ad Groups that Are Applicable

I like to compare ads’ performance across my campaign. There is always one specific ad that is your “killer ad”. It is important that we identify why this ad does better than the others. Whether it is a result of the call to action, description line, or benefits mentioned in the ad.
Once you’ve identified the driving factor, compare this ad with ads in other ad groups. If all ad groups are promoting the same products or services, but with different keywords, it would be beneficial to start using this ad across all other ad groups that are applicable.

8. Pause Non Converting Keywords to Focus Your Budget on Converting Elements

A beneficial practice is to perform a campaign evaluation at the end of every month, every 3 months and every 6 months. This facilitates a better grasp of how the campaign is doing from time to time. Performing a monthly or quarterly assessment is important, because it helps you identify historical trends, spikes and areas of opportunities.
One of these areas of opportunities is reallocating your budget to focus on what is actually being productive. For instance, you might have a campaign with 200+ keywords, but less than 50% of those keywords are productive.
I encourage you to take a look at your campaign at a keyword level, create a customized filter to show only keywords that have not converted in the past 3 months, and another filter for keywords that have converted at a higher CPA than your actual goal (or above ideal CPA).
You will be surprised of how many keywords will show in that filter, and how much money has been wasted on them throughout the duration of your ads.
Once you make a full assessment and decide to pause most of these keywords, you will have space to exploit your budget and focus higher bids on productive keywords.

9. For E-commerce Campaigns: Use Google Analytics E-commerce Transactions

If you’re running a campaign for an e-commerce website, it is crucial that you work with Google Analytics and that the e-commerce transactions tracking is setup properly. Google Analytics will provide you with an abundance of data to assist you in the success of your ad campaign.
With E-commerce Transactions tracking, you have the most granular level data; data for strategic account management, and business driven decision making.
As long as your AdWords account is linked to Google Analytics and reporting accurately, you will be able to determine:

        

  • revenue driven per ad group
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  • per keyword
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  • per ad
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  • bounce rate
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  • visit duration
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  • and more.

Analyzing an AdWords e-commerce campaign through Analytics can be eye opening. One can be under the impression that the ad group or keyword that drives the most conversions in AdWords is the most profitable one, but there are times when having more conversions doesn’t necessarily mean more revenue.
The prices for each product differ and that is why an evaluation in Analytics is indispensable. You will be able to determine which ad groups and keywords are producing the most revenue and which ones need improvement.

10. Add Converting Keywords from Analytics that Perform Well in Other Traffic Sources

With goals setup in either Analytics, or “Ecommerce Transactions Tracking”, you are able to analyze and determine which sources are more productive for you; whether this is Google Organic, Direct Channel, Google CPC, etc.
One of the most competitive sources is Google Organic, particularly if your client is doing SEO and has decent ranking in Google Organic SERP. This is something that you should exploit and add the benefits from that source to your AdWords campaign.
One approach is to review Google Organic Source to see what keywords are driving conversions. To do this:
Go to Analytics > Go to All Traffic > Select Google / Organic > as Primary Dimension, choose Keywords.
Select a larger time frame than just the last 30 days, and do a comparison with the keywords in your campaign and other keywords from this source to determine which ones you have not implemented. Add them to your campaign and you will see results if implemented with the best practices.

11. E-commerce: Focus on Top Converting Products

Another way to exploit Google Analytics and E-commerce Tracking is by easily identifying which your best selling products are, how much revenue they represent to your total and work with them accordingly.
In Analytics, under the Ecommerce Overview, you will see: Your top selling products
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Review this list however you want, within the interface or by doing a csv export, and run with it. Research the life of your campaign and see which of these products you are not advertising directly (as in using targeted keywords with the name of the products), include these in your campaign, tightly themed with some killer ads, you’re all set!

12. Explore Other Campaign Types Such as a Remarketing Campaign

From small to large companies, search campaign is one of the most effective online marketing efforts when your purpose is direct response. However, you can’t disregard the fact that there are other marketing channels to be explored and exploited.
Some marketers and business owners still are hesitant to expand their marketing efforts to other channels once they are doing well with a Search Marketing campaign. It only makes sense to invest more to get more. If you limit yourself with budget, you are limiting the reach of your success.
That is why expanding to other marketing efforts is so important, once you’ve already killed it with one channel.
There are so many other effective campaign types and efforts such as:

        

  • Remarketing – Remarketing lets you show ads to users who’ve previously visited your website as they browse the Web
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  • Display Campaign -You can reach a wide range of customers with broad interests, choose which sites or pages to appear on, and engage users with appealing ad formats when ads are in the display network.
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  • Product Listing Ads – A unique ad format that allows you to include rich product information like an image, title, price, promotional message, and your store or business name.
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  • Shopping Campaigns – Shopping campaigns are a better way to manage and optimize Product Listing Ads to promote your products online using retail-centric tools.
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  • Dynamic Search Ads – Dynamic Search Ads automatically show your ad based on the content of your website.

Don’t be afraid to expand and explore other marketing efforts, as you can see there are many options available to you.

Be Analytic, Creative and Always Think Out the Box

The Online Marketer that works on AdWords platform and doesn’t use Google Analytics for a better grasp on their user behavior analysis or to track ROI to produce measurable results, should now be expanding their marketing efforts with Google Analytics.
I encourage everyone who is still not working with the combination of these tools to get started – more than likely, you competition is using them already. If you are passionate about AdWords and Google Analytics, your deeper understanding and use of all that Google has to offer, you will stop at nothing short of success in your marketing efforts.

“Knowledge is only potential power. It becomes power only when, and if, it is organized into definite plans of action, and directed to a definite end.” – Napoleon Hill

Derek Hooker is Chief of Search Marketing at White Shark Media™. He is both Google AdWords Qualified and Bing Ads Accredited. Derek is determined in constantly providing his Clients top results via his a ROI/customer care-driven approach. He specializes in both eCommerce and local search campaigns. You connect with Derek on GooglePlus and LinkedIn.
 
 
For further reading on maximizing conversions through Google, please read the following articles:
It’s All About You: The Future of High Quality Link-building

A New Kind of Marketing Battery: Google’s New Smart Lists

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The Conversion Function is the number of actions taken for an online property divided by the number of visits to that property.

The Conversion Rate Function

The Conversion Rate Function: Actions over Visitors


Here is where we find the solid blue line in our websites.
It runs through our sites and our landing pages. It slices our prospects’ mobile phones, their tablets and their computers.
PPC, SEO and Content Marketing-Digital Transportation

We charter the digital vehicles that carry people to our online properties.


We begin by chartering the digital transportation that will bring people in under the line, these confounding and complex people we call visitors. This is not an inexpensive undertaking.
We cajole Google with it’s menagerie of penguins, pandas and hummingbirds. We cast our banners and our ads across the internet, chasing prospects as they surf. We create the content, we share on social, and we send the emails that bring them to us.
We pay their fares promising them a trip to a place meant for them. Our place.
They arrive below our line, looking for that solution, that thing that will make them feel better, that product to adorn themselves, that moment of entertainment when they can let go.
The blue line stands as a ceiling to our visitors and they image how things might be different if they could just get up there.
Above the line.
They are always tempted by the exit, the back button, the next search.
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It is this blue line that our visitors struggle with, which means that we as online businesses struggle with it, too.
Those tempted by the line find reason and method to climb.
For some, this might be quite easy. Others will accept the help of friends and strangers.
We create the line. We draw our blue line. Sometimes higher. Sometimes lower.
It is our duty help more of our visitors to rise above this line.
How will you help your visitors become customers?
We choose the tools that will elevate them.
Will we let them devise a system of pulleys and knots with which to climb.
Will we provide the clear steps, a little boost in their efforts.
Will we ask them to make a leap of faith and trust in their agility to spring safely above our blue line.
Will we try to make it effortless using the machinery of our websites to transport them to a fixed location, a place above the line? And what will make them take that leap, to step on, to push the button.
The vision we have for our blue line is one in which many make the journey. They come with their money in hand, ready to spend, ready to engage.
Conversion happens when visitors rise above the blue line.
We see them coming with ample intuition and a nourishing supply of common sense, all calibrated by the way we see our business, ourselves and our world.
As it turns out what we call sense isn’t that common.
These frustrating people we call visitors aren’t like us. They aren’t even like the people we know.
They come with their own rules, with their own ideas of beauty and their own sense of how things should work.
They are not here to be manipulated. They are here to be understood.
When they are not understood, they seem mesmerized by the exit, transfixed and hypnotized.
Why are so many visitors drawn to the exit?
We paid to bring them here and they, in their flagrant individuality choose not to stay.
What Quicksand does your site create for visitors?
In our hubris, we create the quicksand that will trap them. Did our navigation confuse them, do our words lack clarity, did we call them to act in the way they like to act.
We are opaque to them, and this is scary. Our very visitors fear us like a bad dream on Halloween.
Your visitors have natural fears keeping them from converting.

Your visitors have natural fears.


Are we lurking behind our website, ready to pounce, to steal from them or, worse, to make them feel stupid and incompetent?
Do we fear being known for who we really are? For it is the unknown that allows our visitors imaginations to run to places we did not expect them to go.
How are we dealing with this complexity?
For this is a complex problem.
How high will we set our line? What distance must these lost souls cover to find their solution?
What have we provided them? Why should they put their fears aside? How will we transport them above the line?
For it is their journey from below the blue line that tells us who they are and who we should be for them.
I’m pleased to be exploring these questions over three days at Digital Elite Camp in Tallinn, Estonia.
Estonia via Google Earth
If you aren’t planning to be in Tallinn, you should follow us from right where you are. We’re going to be exploring some fun and helpful stuff.
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How predictable are people when they are on the Web? As it turns out, they are not very predictable at all. For any site, the audience is very different, even among sites in the same business.
Whenever we try to predict how people will behave, we are trying to predict the future. There are several ways we do this on the Web:

“What worked for others will work for us in the future.”

[pullquote]Predicting the future based on what your competitors is doing is like painting a room to match your neighbor’s furniture.[/pullquote]
Your site is different. Your audience is different.
And what others are doing may not be working for them. They may be just copying someone else.
Sliders are a great example. Everyone uses rotating images on their homepages. In our tests, rotating header images rarely beat static images, though we have a recipe for making them much more effective.

“What I like is what everyone will like.”

Most of our sites suffer from what we call “selling to ourselves.” The major problem with this approach is that everyone on your team is a different self. The designer designs for herself, the writer writes for himself, and the marketing exec approves what they themselves approve of. The site will speak with many different voices, both visually and textually.
This approach only predicts the future for visitors who are like the members of this team, who have the skillsets that the members of this team take for granted.

“What we have today will continue to work for us.”

While things can change, this is one of the more reliable ways to predict the future. We say that, based on past experience and data, we can predict what will happen tomorrow.
This method predicts the status quo, but does not properly incorporate sales growth into the future vision.

“We must experiment to see what will work in the future.”

When we treat every idea as a hypothesis, we are able to ask much more specific questions about the future. Experimentation allows us to see the future in high definition.
When we say, for example, “Our competitors are using video, therefore we should use video,” we are stating a hypothesis. When we test this hypothesis, we are finding out if our statement predicts the future. Then we can say, “Our test shows that video led more visitors to buy, so we can assume in the future that video will generate more sales.”
Likewise, saying,  “I don’t like watching videos when I shop online, so visitors will not like video on our site,” can also be stated as a hypothesis, though the opposite of the one we stated above.
If we had already tested video, we would be able to predict if visitors like video or not based on the sales generated. We don’t need to guess because we have gained the ability to predict the future.

A Unified Fortune Telling Technology

This process unified all of the future-predicting strategies. When every idea becomes a hypothesis to be tested, it becomes possible to tell the future with more accuracy.
We always test from where we are today, adding our hypothesis to the mix and testing it against the page as it is.
It makes sense to consider what others are doing and our personal taste when coming up with ideas. It is when we put those ideas in the context of the existing site and test them that we gain a future-seeing goggles.

I’m Speaking at PPC Hero Conference

April 28, 2014 | Austin, Texas
Explore what drives consumer behavior and how you can optimize your content to best drive their purchase decision.
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Join us

Let’s be honest; Brian is a bit biased on this subject. After all, he’s not just a conversion optimizer, he’s THE Conversion Scientist. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t right.
If you are currently spending money on a PPC campaign, there is no reason not to use a part of that budget to bring in a conversion optimizer.
PPC is all about conversion; how many people are seeing the ad, and how many clicked. What if you could spend the exact same amount of money on PPC and, with just a few tweaks from a conversion optimizer, you could increase the number of clicks without paying for larger volume (and less qualified) traffic?
By focusing on Average Order Value and Revenue Per Click instead of just Conversion Rate, a conversion optimizer can help you make sure your PPC budget is being spent wisely and giving you maximum sales for your money.
Read Brian’s entire article on Search Engine Land.

I got to attend my first Conversion Conference in October of last year and I am pleased to have been invited to speak at this year’s San Francisco conference.

First of all, I learned a LOT at last year’s conference. And I study this stuff all day long.

I don’t pay to attend many conferences, but I think I’m pretty good at picking those that give me information I can use “on Monday.” Conversion Conference is definitely one of those. Just look at some of the agenda items:

Biggest Usability Mistakes That You’re Probably Making

The Science of Shopping Cart Abandonment (I will never look at cart abandonment the same)

Rapid Fire: Lessons Learned from 30,000 Conversion Tests (These kinds of presentations are gold)

Merging SEO & Usability to Drive Conversion (I say “YeSEO”)

Creating Killer Conversion Copy – Email, Landing Pages, PPC Ads and More (This is mine. Never bore your visitors again)

Getting Smart About Conversion on Mobile Devices (We’re all going to have to deal with mobile sooner or later)