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Best practices for product-specific ad customization

Published: January 22, 2013

Author: Dan Hilbert

Ad customization plays a major role in capturing a user’s attention. With such a large number of businesses competing for space in the same auctions, tailoring your ad copy to the user is key. This can be particularly difficult when there are a large number of products a business is offering.
The easy way out would be to create general ad copy that can be included across multiple ad groups that represent a number of different products. Of course, this works fine for very broad or vague searches, but if a user searches for a specific product using descriptive words for color, material, etc., why not tailor your ad to match exactly what they are looking for? (Aside: DKI , or dynamic keyword insertion, is great in theory, but DKI has its hiccups and shouldn’t be relied on.) This is why the SKAG (Single Keyword Ad Group) process works well and allows for full control over messaging.
Below are some best practices for product-specific customization that will help give your ads an upper hand over the competition:
1. Use adjectives that describe the product in the ad copy, especially in the headline. Though character limits can make it tough to include everything you’d like, getting as granular as possible about a product is ideal. Things like color, size, type of material, and product features are all things that will help paint the picture of the product. If a user searches for “brown leather shoes” and an ad with “Brown Leather Shoes” in the headline shows up, that ad will likely grab the attention of the user over an ad without it.

descriptors in text ads
Some of these guys got the memo…and can afford to bid higher.

2. Along the same lines, include the benefits of a product to boost conversions. Why should somebody purchase your product over the competition’s? What makes your product better than others? What value will the product provide? All of these things can be answered by including benefits in the ad copy.
benefits in ad copy
Yup, that’s exactly what winter tires should do. No wonder the ad is in the first position.

3. Use exact prices, discounts, or promotions in the ad copy that are related to the specific product being advertised. Discounts and promotions can make the difference of a user purchasing your product over the competition.
If these things aren’t included in the ad copy, the user may not know the discount/promotion exists (unless they click on your ad), which can potentially result in a lost conversion. Including prices is also a great way to make the product offering as clear as possible. This will work particularly well if the business positions itself as a price leader. If that’s the not case, including the price can help avoid clicks that have low potential of converting and help save money.
4. Last but not least, keep ad copy updated! If the price of a product changes, make sure the ad copy reflects that. If the discount or promotion changes, change it in the ad copy! Though it’s great to include these things in ad copy, it can also hinder performance if it is inaccurate and misleading.
ad copy needs updating
Great work on most of the ad….except it’s for an older product.

Basically, the practices mentioned above ensure that there will be NO SURPRISES! By including some of the things mentioned, users will know exactly what to expect when they click on the ad, which will help boost conversion rates. If the product, price, or promotion isn’t what they expected, you may rack up a whole bunch of clicks and not have many conversions to show for it. In turn, costs will start to increase and conversion rates will drop, which will lead to suffering ROIs.

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