A report by Forrester Research, lead by Shar VanBoskirk, titled “The Best And Worst Of Paid Search In 2009″ provides an extremely useful insight into developing a killer ad copy for your PPC campaign.

Why PPC Ads Fail?

  • Search Terms: The search term is used improperly or not at all
  • Conversions: Ads don’t properly motivate buyers or screen out invalid clicks
  • Landing Pages: don’t properly reflect the search term

This report evaluates the success or failure of paid search campaigns based on a system of judging they called the “Search Marketing Review”.

In this study, Forrester applied an adjusted version of its Search Marketing Review methodology to 300 paid search ads from the retail, travel, consumer packaged goods (CPG), media and entertainment, financial
services, and business services industries. Analysis was performed on five common search terms across six different industries and provides a qualitative evaluation of the first 10 Google AdWords ads that appeared.

More than 50% of the reviewed ads failed! Main 3 reasons for failure were:

  1. Search Terms were used improperly in the ad copy or not at all
  2. Ad copy did not properly motivate buyers or screened out unqualified leads
  3. Landing pages did not properly fit the search term

Here are some useful guidelines that you can follow to create your next killer ad copy:

Keyword mentions:

Include the keyword searched in either the ad title or copy — a practice that helps users know the ad is relevant to their search.


PPC ads should screen out irrelevant clickers and compel relevant ones to take action in order to keep you from burning through your budgets on clicks from customers who don’t buy. Few ads do both of these well. Best example is American Express’ credit card keyword ad that invites searchers with good credit to “apply now and receive a decision in less than a minute.”

Landing pages:

Many ads — especially from business services companies — had landing pages that included either not enough content or too much detail about the keyword searched. For example, several “lead management” ads landed on pages that solicited contact information but offered no context about the lead management product promoted in the ad. Furthermore, “database marketing” ads visitors to pages with an overwhelming amount of content too dense to scan. Better to take Zappos.com’s approach to landing page design that features easy-to-find ways to research or buy the item searched.

Click here to get your copy of the Forrester Research report, and  consult with Net Applications to help you

  • Find the best keywords for your campaigns based on available traffic levels and your budgets,
  • Craft relevant,  keyword rich ad copies that pre-qualify the leads and
  • Optimize your landing pages to improve conversions.

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