Call (877) SITE-OPT (748-3678)

PPC Optimization: Abbreviate Ad Text

Summary: Abbreviating key phrases in PPC text ads can lower CPC and the cost per conversion. Our otherwise identical text ad with "Michigan" abbreviated to "Mich" decreased the cost per call by more than 35%, and increased the conversion rate by 33 percentage points.

In previous articles we've explored optimizing the conversion rate of call only text ads. Now we take another approach, minimizing the cost of PPC text ads. You can, of course, limit the cost-per-click (CPC) for particular campaigns, but set your CPC limit too low and Google will flag your campaign as "limited" by click budget. One approach we've found to be effective is abbreviating commonly used phrases. Abbreviation lets you squeeze in more text into a headline, or use shorter headlines.

Abbreviating PPC Ad Text

Abbreviation shortens longer words into shorter representative phrases, like "lb" for "pound" or "Mich" for "Michigan." In this case we took one of the best performing ads for our Michigan car ride company and abbreviated the business name (see Figure 1).

PPC Ad Text Before Abbreviation

Figure 1: PPC Ad Text Before Abbreviation

The Business Name is "Michigan Green Cars." The ad above converted well (over 90%) but the cost per conversion (i.e., a call) was $1.61. Abbreviating the word "Michigan" to "Mich" produced this otherwise identical ad (see Figure 2).

PPC Ad Text After Abbreviation

Figure 2: PPC Ad Text After Abbreviation

The second ad has "Mich Green Cars." as the business name.

Results After Abbreviation

While the abbreviated ad has a slightly lower clickthrough rate, the CPC is 13.8% lower ($1.45 to $1.25) and due to the higher conversion rate the cost per call is 35.4% lower ($1.61 to $1.04/call, see Figure 3).

PPC Ad Performance Before and After Abbreviation

Figure 3: PPC Ad Performance Before and After Abbreviation

Why Abbreviate Ad Text?

Writing great PPC text ads is about grabbing their attention and spelling out key benefits to your product or service. We believe that abbreviations garner a bit more attention than longhand equivalents, are naturally more succinct, and make for shorter and snappier headlines. Of course, be sure to stay within Google's Ad Text guidelines to avoid any issues.


In our testing we've found that abbreviating key phrases in PPC text ads can lower CPC and the cost per conversion. In fact, abbreviation can also improve conversion rates by providing attention getting phrases for fast scanning eyeballs. Our otherwise identical text ad with "Michigan" abbreviated to "Mich" decreased the cost per call by more than 35%, and increased the conversion rate by 33 percentage points.

Further Reading
This Ann Arbor and Southfield Michigan-based green car ride company volunteered their AdWords campaign as the subject of this article.
PPC Optimization: Ad Text Position
Leading with benefits can improve PPC text ad conversion rates. We show a case study that improves conversion rates by 1.8X.
PPC Optimization: Age Range Targeting
You can target specific age ranges in Google Adwords to optimize conversion rates. By tweaking the bids on high performing age ranges you can tilt your campaigns to those folks more likely to convert.
PPC Optimization: Average Income Targeting
Targeting your desired audience within particular geographic area using income is a powerful tool you can use to improve your conversion rates. Average household income is just the first demographic that Google has rolled out for that purpose. Coming soon are gender, age, and parental status which could be used to further refine your campaigns.
PPC Optimization: Be Specific
Using specific copy in your PPC ad text can improve conversion rates. Giving searchers ad text that more closely matches their search queries gives them results that more closely match their goals.
PPC Optimization: Display URL Expansion
By including keywords or calls to action in your display URLs you can boost text ad performance in Google Adwords. This article shows a real-world example of display URL optimization.
PPC Optimization: Experiments in Punctuation
By varying the punctuation and plurals within your text ads, you can optimize their conversion rate and cost per conversion. This article shows a case study of call only text ad optimization.
PPC Optimization: Gender Targeting
In Google Adwords you can optimize conversion rates using gender targeting. Learn how to squeeze more leads out of your PPC spend by targeting high performing demographics singly or in combination.
PPC Optimization: ZIP Code Targeting
Learn how to add ZIP code targeting to your PPC campaigns to boost conversion rates. By optimizing the performance of individual demographics and locations, you can improve conversion rates to squeeze more leads out your AdWords spend.

By website optimization on 26 Jun 2017 AM

Copyright © 2002-2018 Website Optimization, LLC. All Rights Reserved - Free website speed test - Privacy Policy
Last modified: July 18, 2017.

Follow us on: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Linked In