The Art of PPC

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Although PPC advertisers have a big toolkit of scientific tools and techniques to employ, successful PPC advertising requires a mastery of skills that are mainly artistic in nature. Chief among these are the ability to write well and a sense of professional graphic design.

Writing effective, persuasive ads is crucial to the success of a PPC campaign. Often the failure of a campaign can be attributed to poor ad copywriting. Ads may be displayed frequently but fail to elicit a significant proportion of clicks, as evidenced by one of the most important metrics of campaign success: click-through rate (usually abbreviated as CTR).

Creating nontext ads for display on the PPC content network requires copywriting skills as well as an understanding of how visual images deliver or augment messages and persuade the viewer to take action. In the hands of a skilled professional,
an animated banner ad can speak volumes about the advertiser’s products, features, benefits, and desired action, taking full advantage of the relatively small space provided by PPC ad units.

Solid copywriting and graphic design skills are also necessary for creating successful PPC landing pages. The PPC advertiser is challenged to create the right combinations of words and graphics that will quickly persuade and steer the site visitor to take the site’s desired action. As we stated earlier in this chapter, that action (such as a sale, submitted lead, donation, and so on) is referred to as a conversion. The success metric is called the conversion rate, which is the number of site visitors who convert divided by the number of PPC visitors to the site. With optimal landing page design, conversion rates of 10–20 percent and higher are common.

Can one person practice and build the scientific and artistic skills necessary to be an expert PPC advertiser? The answer is, “Sometimes.” It’s certainly rare to find people who are naturally gifted at both. The good news is that the training in this book will equip just about anyone to develop the skills they might lack naturally.