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SES: The Ad Conversion Zone

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Picture a technology beyond sight and sound. Your ad has been submitted to a black box of unspeakable power. It’s left Creative…and entered…The Conversion Zone. But did it spend some time becoming a compelling ad first?

Attendees of the SES New York session on Creating Compelling Ads wanted to find out about good ads and bad ones, great clicks and poor ones. The speakers took them through some ways to find the difference.

Vic Drabicky, Search Strategist, Range Online Media, said there are 5 Creative Rules to Live By:

1. Include the keyword in the title and description
2. Write tailored, clear, factual creative copy
3. Avoid symbols, exclamation points, numbers and general “cutesiness”
4. Avoid non-specific calls to action.
5. Don’t be “salesy” – use the Rod Roddy rule (get to the point)

With titles, keywords need to be present; when possible, the marketer should differentiate an ad from the competition whenever possible with the keywords they select.

Good descriptions give the marketer the chance to tell the brand’s story, while placing appropriate keywords in the ad copy. Vic emphasized discussing the unique value proposition one can offer to customers with their descriptions.

“Price points are hit and miss. If you are a luxury item, price points might not work for you. My point: pick your battle,” he said.

Display URL changes that can be made could help with click-through rates, Vic noted. URLs displayed in ads may be the factor that gets someone to click.

Vic also noted the balancing act needed when making creative changes to ads. He said the engines automatically optimize the creative being submitted. But changing it could result in quality score drops; respect this behavior by the engines by keeping one piece of creative constant.

As a bonus, Vic discussed his ‘Three Rules and Three Theories to Live Your Life By’:

Rule 1: Use Alt Text and Param2 for MSN/Live and Yahoo
Rule 2: Test often but not too often to hurt your quality score
Rule 3: Get a second opinion, then a third opinion, then implement the ad

Darren Kuhn, Group Account Director, Resolution Media, said that since search engines show average click rates for keywords, this will help marketers determine what they should strive to reach. At minimum, he recommended getting 25,000 impressions or 250 clicks for a test.

Darren also talked about Yahoo and their new Panama advertising system. Their ads now have a quality rank similar to what Google has long used with AdWords. Better relevance between keywords and ad copy means better pricing for ad position.

He shared a couple of observations his firm made when doing some case studies with Google’s ads.

  • Using a sub directory name in the display URL out performed other test ads.

  • Users were much more attracted to ads that showed the keywords they were reading about in the articles.

SES: The Ad Conversion Zone
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