How to write effective Adwords creatives

Lately I’ve been working on a creative writing tool for my Firefox add-on called SEM Tools. The tool’s main purpose is as a replacement for using “creative templates” in a spreadsheet. But while making it I also had some good ideas to improve the overall creative writing process.
So first let’s look at what makes a good creative.
A good creative should:
1) Relate to the keyword
2) Have a strong call to action
3) Relate to the landing page
4) Stand out from competing creatives

So how does the creative writing tool help you to cover those four characteristics?

1) Relate to the keyword
First of all you need to know what keywords are in the adgroup. So whenever you select a creative it will show you a list of keywords in that adgroup in the keyword tab at the bottom of the screen.
Secondly you want to use dynamic keyword insertion wherever possible. But dynamic keyword insertion is a waste of time if all your keywords won’t fit in the character length limit. So whenever you select or edit a creative that uses dynamic keyword insertion it not only tells you the length of the default creative but also what percentage of keywords in that adgroup will fit in the character limit. If you only cover a small percentage of keywords I recommend that you either modify the creative to make it shorter or create a second shorter creative.

2) Have a strong call to action
I haven’t worked out how best to help with this one. If you have any ideas I would love to hear them. What I’m thinking of for the future is to have a tab with lists of standard calls to action for different categories to give you some ideas to start with.

3) Relate to the landing page
The first thing to do here is to actually look at the landing page and get a clear idea what it’s all about and what language it uses. So whenever you select a creative the tool will show you the landing page for that creative in a tab at the bottom. Simple but quite effective and saves you copying and pasting it into your browser.

4) Stand out from competing creatives
This is one thing that I think most people don’t do as often as they should. It doesn’t matter how good your creative is, if the competitors creative next to yours is better then it won’t perform well. As an example, say you are advertising credit cards and you include the interest rate in your creative. If the competitor has a significantly better interest rate then your creative likely won’t work very well. In this case you’d be better of emphasizing another feature of the credit card like the interest free period.
To check what your competitors’ creatives look like, just select a creative in the Creative Writer and the Google search results (SERP) for a keyword in that adgroup will automatically appear in the Google tab at the bottom. You can also change the language and country to the appropriate setting and it will remember it the next time as well.

Having all the information you need right at your fingertips can really help in writing better creatives. The one important thing the Creative Writer can’t do is be “creative”. That part is up to you.

If you are interested in being a better Adwords creative writer and you don’t already have SEM Tools you can download it for free from here.
To start using the Creative Writer, go to the “SEM Tools Pro” menu in the toolbar and click “Try SEM Tools Pro for Free”. This will let you use the Creative Writer for free for one month. Then you can open Creative Writer from the same menu.

If you have any questions or suggestions please leave them in the comments or send me an email from the Feedback page.

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