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Tricks to Writing Better E-Commerce Ad Copy

September 25, 2012 By Alyssa McGowan
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We've all seen the generic "Buy this ___. Looking for ___? Save on ___ today!" ads that have little information about product or retailer. This isn't just boring to read, it's also not making the most of precious space on search results pages. At the heart of every good e-commerce campaign is strategically written and analyzed ad copy that plays to online retailers’ strengths and optimizes each visit to their websites by driving the most revenue.

I'll start off by tackling analysis: How do you know when an ad is a good ad? First, run A/B tests. Create two ads per ad group and adjust your campaign settings to rotate your ads evenly (rotation settings are available on Google and Bing only). Then once you have enough data, compare the two ads in each ad group against one another.

A common mistake with testing e-commerce ad copy is to determine winners of A/B tests based on clickthrough or conversion rate. The main issue with this is that these metrics don't factor in the goal of most retailers’ paid search programs — the revenue or profit after the ad spend (ad revenue minus ad spend).

To determine an ad winner, the best measurement to use is profit per click (ad revenue minus ad spend and then divided by ad clicks). While purchase rate does generally correlate to a higher return on investment, if you aren't factoring in revenue, you aren't weighing the order value of those purchases at all. So one ad could be driving more purchases but generating less revenue when it comes to cart value and, therefore, has a lower ROI.

Now that the metric you need to pay attention to is nailed down, where do you start creating and testing new ads? Here are two simple ways to boost ROI through ad copy:

1. Include a call to action in your headline. To some it may be redundant, but don't assume people are reading your entire ad. Time and time again I've found that ads which feature a call to action in the headline have a higher profit per click.

 

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