The PPC market, and the AdWords market in particular, has grown so much in competition over the last 7-10 years that people are no longer that enthusiastic about starting new campaigns and trying their strengths among other advertisers in pursuit of some search engine clicks.

The interesting thing, however, is that the main PPC principles haven’t changed in years. And the exact things that were convincing people to click on ads back in 2003 are still effective in 2013 (at least to some extent).

In this post, we’re going to focus on text ads and how to make them effective for your affiliate site; not on the display network.

The Limitations

The official limitations are well known to anyone who’s into AdWords – 3 lines of text, 95 characters in total. But the truth is that clever marketers get 4 lines of text instead of just 3, and a total of 130 characters. The fourth line is your URL line. Oh yes, you can use this too.

The Headline

The headline is by far the most important element of every ad, article, promotional material, you name it. The main job of a headline is to get attention.

For AdWords, there are two approaches that work best in making your headlines stand out:

  • Use the exact match keyword you’re targeting in an ad group and no other words. This is most effective if the keyword is action-based, or benefit-driven, like “How to Do {something}.”
  • Create an action-based, or benefit-driven message around your main keyword if the keyword itself is already overused by your competition. For instance, if every ad on the page starts with “How to Do {something}” then you will need to tweak yours to stand out.

The First Line

The first line of your ad is a great opportunity to present the main benefit of your offer. You only have 35 characters to use, so there’s not much place for anything else anyway.

Example: “Track The Owner Of Any Number” – if someone needs a phone lookup service then they know right away what the main benefit is.

The Second Line

This is where you provide the ultimate reason why – where you explain why yours is the ad to click on.

Example: “Find Their Name & Address”

The second line is also a good place to use actionable words, like “Find” from the example above. Make sure to avoid weak calls to action, like “Click to Check for Yourself.”

The URL

Tweak the URL of your landing page to feature the main keyword that you’re targeting with the ad group.

For example, if the keyword is “Best Casino Bonus” then simply make your URL yoursite.com/best-casino-bonus.

The Landing Page

Finally, we have the landing page. The main rule is to make it congruent with the ad. In other words, what the ad says, your landing page has to deliver. Otherwise, you won’t be able to build worthwhile conversion rates that will, in the end, make the whole campaign profitable.


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