We all know first impressions count. First impressions are crucial for forming beliefs and expectations about a business and its product and service offering. And since your pay per click (PPC) ads are one of your first touch points with online potential customers, and one you have massive control over, your PPC ads are your first opportunity to mould a positive image of your business to potential customers.

Just like it makes sense to invest in a shiny new lobby or reception area to create a positive first impression to new prospective clients, so it also makes sense to ensure your PPC ads portray professionalism, trust and credibility. Below are 9 suggestions of how to appear more credible on Google to better engage with potential customers and increase your conversion rate.

1. Spelling

Make sure spelling in your ads is correct – even when matching to mis-spelt keywords. Avoid dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) for mis-spelt and highly-generic keywords. Export your PPC campaigns to Excel and run a spell-check – you’ll be surprised how easily typos can crop up in ads.

1-adwords-advert

2. Grammar

Make sure your messages are grammatically correct and read clearly as a sentence. Stay away from over-abbreviated ‘txt msg’ style wording which looks amateur and unprofessional. Avoid ‘keyword stuffing’, especially when it is at the expense of message flow. Instead, try including words such as ‘the’, ‘and’, ‘of’ and ‘to’, which can help your messages read more elegantly and portray a better image of your brand.

2-google-ad-copy

3. Capitalisation

Be consistent with capitalisation. Whether you’re using start case or only capitalising open-class words, make sure it’s consistent. Experiment with capitalisation to find the style which works best for your business.

3-google-adwords-ad-text-writing

4. Punctuation

Avoid over-use of hyphens, commas and other unnecessary punctuation. Special characters can draw the eye, and achieve a higher click through rate, but it can make you look rather amateur and can affect conversion rates. Google only allows one exclamation mark in PPC ads, but that doesn’t mean you have to use an exclamation mark in every ad. Sometimes subtle is better.

4-adwords-copy

5. Closure

Unless your ad is written as a single sentence across both lines of ad text, make sure description line 1 and description line 2 end in a full stop (or exclamation mark). If your ad does not contain full-stops because you’ve reached your 35 character limit, choose a shorter message to close off the sentence with a full stop. Think about how your ads will read now that Google are implementing longer headlines, where both your headline and description line 1 are displayed as a single headline. Does it read well? Does your message make sense in this format?

5-google-adwords-ad-text-tips

6. Equality

Try to make both description lines of your ads equal in length. Neatly-formatted ads look clear, concise and well-considered, so avoid having one line of text significantly longer than the other. Try to use 30-35 characters where possible, but also experiment with shorter messages of 25-30 characters. Words such as ‘Now’, ‘Today’, and ‘Online’ are often useful buffer words for creating ad descriptions of equal lengths.

6-google-adwords-number-of-characters

7. Clear Message

Don’t waffle. Have a clear message and give the impression you understand your product. Be specific, state your unique selling points (USPs), and use prices and numbers to quantify your claims. Ads with a clear and confident focus will look and perform considerably better than those with a highly generic message.

7-prices-in-adwords-ads

8. Display URLs

Avoid ‘keyword stuffing’ your display URLs. Including search terms in display URLs might make your ad more visible and may improve CTR and Quality Score, but since longer URLs are often considered less credible, conversion rates may suffer. Sometimes a shorter display URL looks better than one which tries too hard.

8-google-adwords-display-urls

9. Relevancy

No-one likes irrelevant amateur-looking ads, and ads which look like they understand customer needs portray a sense of credibility and authority. Ensure your ads are personalised to users’ search queries and include keywords in headlines and descriptions where possible. Take time to invest in a granular ad group structure.

9-including-keywords-in-ppc-ads

Conclusion

First impressions count. No more so than on Google, with a huge number of people using Google to carry out initial research about a product or service. Your Google AdWords campaigns are often your first contact with new potential customers, so it’s essential to portray your business in a positive light to maximise your chance of conversion.

Don’s be like eBay and find your PPC campaigns being talked about for all the wrong reasons. Ensure your PPC campaigns give off a message to be proud of.

Alan Mitchell

Alan Mitchell

Alan Mitchell is a Google AdWords PPC specialist, based in Melbourne, Australia, with a proven track record at improving return on investment (ROI) from Google AdWords. Find out how Alan can help your business.