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Writing PPC ads – it can be a dog’s life

Last week a chum of mine sat his ten year old son on his knee, and himself at the computer.  It was his son’s birthday and he’d promised to make his dream come true and buy him a puppy.  He logged onto Google and typed “Buy a dog” into the search bar.  Above was a selection of the ads that flashed up.

What a dogs dinner

Do any of them make sense? Do any of them reflect the experience of a little boy choosing his first, warm, cuddly ball of wet-nosed fur?
Google allows advertisers to automate the “writing” of their ads to a template. But machines can’t write, they just slot words together in ways that often don’t make sense.

The advertisers don’t really care as they know that if the ads don’t make sense people won’t click on them anyway, so they won’t cost any money. Basically, the technology allows them to get away with this because it has the capacity to store millions and millions of ads at any one time.

Devaluing the AdWords medium

Trouble is it devalues the medium, because it gums up the works for good advertisers, with something relevant to say. Advertisers who craft their ads by getting them written by professional PPC copywriters using ATO (Ad Text Optimization) techniques that make the ads relevant to the search – ads that then actually get clicks.

I do wish Adwords advertisers who use these automatic templates to produce their ads would be good citizens and clean up their mess after themselves. After all, good advertisers have to use the same search engine pages too you know.