What are text ads and should you use them?


Have you ever seen those ads in the local paper that go something like:

“For sale, kitchen chair, 3 years old, slightly scuffed but otherwise perfect condition.”

That’s the original text advert.

Only now you use them online to promote your products and services – and get in front of a way bigger audience.

Text ads have fallen out of favour a little bit lately because changes to how Google and search engines display adverts has made it easier to include graphics and visuals as part of your ad.

But, really, text ads are just as effective as they’ve ever been – as long as you focus on the right things:


If your headline can’t attract people to your ad then you’re dead in the water and your ad budget is going down the plug.

Most people get headlines wrong because they focus on themselves – marketers are an egotistical bunch after-all.

That’s why you see ad headings that amount to “LOOK AT US, WE’RE GREAT – HONESTLY.”

Honestly, no-one cares.

Instead, focus on something your customer will find interesting. Are you going to save them 25% either in money or time? Tell them that, that’s what they’re interested in.


Ad copy

You’ve only got a limited space to get your point across so don’t waste space or words leading into the punchline of your ad. Just get to the point. This example from webuycars.com is always a good example of a good text ad. Looking to sell your car? They’ll buy it in 2 hours and will come to you. Compare that to the ad below it and which are you most likely to go with?



Include your keyword

Remember, your ad will only appear in searches related to or matching the keywords you’re trying to target. So make sure you include your keyword in the ad. Ideally in the headline and the body copy.


Make the most of the ad extensions

If you don’t do this you’re basically missing a free chance to make your ad bigger and more prominent at the top of search. Using extensions you can include details like your location, phone number, customer ratings, other promotions and links to other pages on your website.

Again look at the two ads above and you can see all this extra detail in both. How do you think your ad would stack up against this without that extra information?


Create your landing page

I think this is the most important and most overlooked part of any paid advertising that companies do.

Your advert is basically your promise to the user, your landing page is where you deliver.

First, you need to make sure the copy and messaging on your landing page matches that on your ad.

All it takes is a little confusion and the user will leave your page because they won’t be sure they’ve landed in the right place.

Include a CTA, sounds obvious, but you need to tell the user exactly what you’re expecting them to do once they’re on the page.

And, most importantly of all, include testimonials and social proof on your landing page. If your user lands on a page full of quotes from other customers saying how great you are it’s a lot more effective than telling them yourself.


Monitor results – and test, test, test

A lot of people give up too early with paid ads because they put an ad out, create a landing page, don’t see the results they were expecting, or hoping for, and stop the ads.

Yes, check your results and if you’re not getting results, then obviously something isn’t working.

But instead of pulling the plug, run tests of different messaging, different headlines, different offers, different links. Test everything.

And do the same tests with your landing pages.

It’s the only way you’re going to understand why your ads are performing the way they are so you can change and improve them.

Eventually you’ll start to hit on messages that work with your users, and then you can start to focus on them to get better results.


Don’t discount the value of text ads

Everyone loves to chase the new shiny trend in marketing.

But the fact is that good old text ads are still among the most effective marketing tactics around.

Instead of focusing on fancy graphics that take attention away from your ad, invest in messaging, copy and testing.

We guarantee you’ll see the benefits.

If you want help improving your text ads or your PPC campaigns quicker, get in touch.

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