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Google Says Ads Can Be Too Much of a Good Thing

One would hardly expect Google to think of anything as too much when it comes to search advertising. After all, those humble contextual text ads emanating from its AdWords program have made Google a multi-billion dollar firm and a household word.

But when it comes to writing ad copy, Google suggested in a guide called “Creative That Clicks” that putting too many selling points in an ad may be a bad thing.

The example ad Google cited in the guide shows selling points like free shipping, custom designs, and pricing discounts. On its face the ad seems to encompass a broad message in a limited space, yet Google advised against doing this. “An ad that tries to make five different points will succeed in making none.”

Their guide suggests one unique selling point in each ad, making each advertisement more focused. Prices, discounts, product names, and offers are cited as examples of this; however, Google also reminds advertisers to call out seasonal selling propositions too, an important point as the holiday shopping season arrives.

Google also discussed the currently topical world of mobile searches, timely due to more consumers browsing from portable devices like smartphones. Google recommended having at least one mobile-optimized ad for each ad group a marketer is running on AdWords, and a mobile-optimized landing page for those who click on those ads.

If the topics seem like they would benefit from additional explanation, Google has scheduled a webinar on December 11th where it will touch on points from this guide like copy, ad extensions, and testing creatives.

Effective ad campaigns are especially important for the 2013 shopping season. There will be six fewer days in this year’s holiday shopping calendar than there were last year as Thanksgiving arrives very late in November.


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David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.