Let’s kill the Google AdWords call to action

Google have got it all wrong!

Grrrrrreeeeccchhhhhh! No that wasn’t the world grinding to a halt on its axis, it’s still gently turning. I just don’t think anyone has really thought this one through. The received wisdom is that Google AdWords is a direct response advertising medium and all direct response advertising works better with a strong call to action. True. But this ignores what makes Google AdWords unique.

They're already taking action

In all other forms of direct response advertising the consumer is passive, they’re thinking about something else when they see the coupon ad in the newspaper, or pick up the post from the door mat. But when a user is searching on Google, they’re active. When an AdWords ad appears in front of them they’re actively thinking about what the ad has to offer – there and then. So if they’re active, why do they need a call to action to turn them into something they are already? Especially when a call to action eats up a number of precious words which could be used to make the ad more relevant to the user’s search.

But I don't want to "buy now"

Also, if a user is in the research phase of their purchase cycle an ad that dictates they must “buy now” could positively put them off clicking as it could send them to a landing page where they are expected to buy. Whereas an ad that sells the benefits and value of the product/service could win that click and leave the landing page to do what it should be designed to do – convince the user that they can have their needs satisfied, and make the sale.

Any thoughts? Killing the Google AdWords call to action – respond now!
By Paul Booth

Paul is the Chief Executive Officer of The ATO Co, which delivers ATO AdWords copywriting for UK-only and international brands in over 80 countries around the world.