5 Expert-Approved Tips for Creating Better SEM Text Ads

The world of search engine marketing is highly competitive. Consumers see multiple ads for each search they perform, and your SEM text ads are often the first impression they get about your business. Ensure that your text ads are outshining the competition and drawing in your online audience with these recommendations.

1. Keep Your Sentences Brief and Relevant

Search engines have character limits (including spaces and punctuation) for each line of your text ad, so you don’t have room to include everything about your business. Having this restriction forces you to become creative in your phrasing, so when you’re writing your ad, make sure to keep your wording simple and to the point.

You also need to consider what keywords are running in your campaign. By creating SEM text ads that are keyword-rich, your message will become more relevant to what the consumer is looking for. If you own a furniture store and you’re trying to attract consumers who are searching online for bedroom furniture, having “bedroom furniture” in your text ad will be much more relevant than just “furniture store.”

2. Include the Name of the City or Area You Service

The use of the phrase “near me” has doubled with online searches during 2015. Your customers likely chose you online based on the convenience of your location, and depending on what you offer and how competitive your local area is, your primary customer base may live relatively close to you.

If your customers live in a suburb or smaller town within a metropolitan area, you shouldn’t list the primary city in your SEM text ad. Think about what makes sense for you and your customers to commute for what you have to offer. For example, if the majority of your customers are in Plano, a suburb of Dallas, you would include that city and the others surrounding it in your text ad rather than just Dallas. A more targeted approach can increase your chances of attracting your target customers.

3. Run Promotions and Discounts in Your Text Ads

Online consumers are constantly looking for new deals and specials. If you’re offering a special promotion, make sure that is included in your ad content. An advertised discount is going to help you stand out from your competition on the search engine results page (SERP).

Also, make sure to keep your promotions specific to the keywords your online visitors are looking for. Running unrelated promotions may result in wasted clicks and a lower quality score. Instead of including promotions for other products in your text ads, take advantage of ad extensions to show online consumers what else you have to offer.

4. Use Ad Extensions to Build Your Visibility

There are a multitude of ad extensions to pick from that can help expand the presence of your ads on the SERPs. The more real estate your text ad occupies with relevant and compelling extensions, the more likely it is to grab consumers’ attention and help you stand out amongst your competitors’ ads. Two of the many ad extensions that you may pick from are sitelinks and callout extensions.

Sitelinks appear below the main content of your text ads and serve as extra links to various pages for your website. Search engines will show as many as four sitelinks any given time your ad appears in SERPs, but it’s better to create several more so they can be rotated out. The number of sitelinks you run will also depend on the complexity of your website. Sitelinks are ideally used to help drive visits to key landing pages that are meant to help increase conversions, such as a promotions page or your contact page.

Callout extensions also appear below your text ads. They are short, 25-character lines of text that help feature key benefits of your services. Some examples may include noting how long your company has been in business, the expertise of your staff, or the quality of your work by listing certifications and accolades. It’s important to consider what your ad content already includes so that you’re not repeating yourself and you’re taking full advantage of showcasing the various benefits your company has to offer.

5. Include a Call to Action

At the end of your ad content, it’s best to include a call to action to encourage searchers to take the next step to become your customer. For example, if your new customers typically call you, make sure you include “Call now” in your call to action.

You may also let your online audience know that you’re offering free estimates or quotes if your services require price evaluations. Some examples may include “Call for Free Quote,” “Contact for Free Estimate,” or simply just “Free Quote” if you’re running short on characters.

Your search engine marketing text ads are not meant to be creative works of genius, and they don’t necessarily have to contain great taglines or be filled with puns. Your text ads are simply meant to offer enough insight about your business to entice searchers to visit your website. Once the consumer reaches your website, they are able to get a valuable impression of your company and can take the next step to become your customer. By keeping your content relevant, including your service area, running special offers, and taking advantage of ad extensions, your text ads will outshine the competition.

Jason Obenhaus

Jason Obenhaus is a Digital Marketing Expert at ReachLocal who specializes in search and display advertising for SMBs. His experience in account management allows him to effectively communicate and strategize with clients to help them achieve their marketing goals. Recognized by upper management for his work and dedication, he continues to enthusiastically help his clients grow their businesses. In his free time, Jason enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing music, and reading.

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