Doing Due Diligence On PPC Text Ads

How many times has this happened: you come up with a killer text ad idea, add it in to your rotations, and then BOOM! Nothing. No conversions, and you’re running up your campaign CPA. What happened?

I can’t diagnose every single text ad problem from my chair, but I have seen a specific type of problem happen many times. And in a lot of cases, problems stem from a lack of due diligence before launching a text ad.

Before you launch a new text ad, search on some of your keywords to see what your competitors are offering. You may find that one or more of your competitors are offering a bigger discount, reduced shipping, or some other appealing value proposition. And if you were to launch an ad that has a worse offer than what’s out there? Well, you’re probably going to see a poor result.

As advertisers, we often put the blinders on in regards to the flaws of our own product. We want to believe that the products we’re selling are the highest quality products out there at the best possible price. And frankly, this cannot possibly be the case for everyone. When you do your pre-ad-launch competitive analysis, try and put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you had never heard of your own company before, which advertiser would you buy from? If you can’t say for sure that you’d buy from your own company, you should probably rethink that text ad before you launch it.

Of course, different marketing strategies work on different customers. Some folks are just looking for the lowest price – those guys are the easiest to appeal to (if your margins can handle it). Others want to be assured that they’re going to get a quality product. BBB logos and user reviews will help sway them. And some people want to buy local, buy union-made products, or some other random value proposition that applies only to your product. The marketplace can handle all different types of customers. Review your competitor text ads to find out who is appealing to which type of customer. And if you can’t beat your competitors at their own game, try and go after an angle that no one else is trying. It’s a little extra work to put that additional thought and research behind a simple text ad launch, but it sure beats losing money on an ineffective text ad.

About Shawn Livengood

Shawn Livengood is a search engine marketing professional based in Austin, Texas. He has extensive experience managing pay-per-click ad campaigns for clients in various industries, from small home-based businesses to large international companies. You can connect with Shawn on Google+.
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