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PPC Optimization: Localize Ad Text


With Google’s new expanded text ads (90 characters vs. 45) there is more room to make your case to potential buyers. One of the best ways to optimize a PPC account is to improve the ad text. This article shows how you can use local landmarks to boost click-through rates and conversions. PPC Ad Text …

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With Google’s new expanded text ads (90 characters vs. 45) there is more room to make your case to potential buyers. One of the best ways to optimize a PPC account is to improve the ad text. This article shows how you can use local landmarks to boost click-through rates and conversions.

PPC Ad Text Best Practices

Google recommends having four ads per ad group or campaign, to give some variety and Google some leeway into what ad is served to what visitor. Finding the best 4 ads to run for your tight set of keywords is key. We find that testing one or two new ads at a time along side the 4 established ads gives good results. Test too many at once, and performance goes down as the new ads burn up impressions. Emphasize what makes your product or service stand out, such as:

  • 100% Guarantee
  • Free Shipping
  • Free Exam
  • XY Years Experience
  • Licensed and Insured
  • Etc.

Once you find a set of 4 ads that perform, stick with them until they don’t. We find that patience pays off in PPC, don’t make changes too fast to your client’s account. Google often needs time to digest changes, especially bid strategy changes.

  • Be Brief (i.e., Free Exam)
  • Use Geography (i.e., Philadelphia Dentist)
  • Emphasize Differentiators (60+ Years Combined Experience)
  • Test Different Ad Text Length (shorter ads often perform better than longer)
  • Rinse and Repeat

Iterate Ad Text, Repeat

With a high traffic campaign like “dentist” and early warning indicators like phone calls, CTR, cost/click and average position you can get a good idea of what ad text is working quickly. Often you can find out if new ad text is good within one day.

Localize Ad Text

Using local landmarks or geography can help improve the performance of your text ads. In our Philadelphia Dentist’s case, his office is in the downtown area known as “Center City.” Adding Center City to his text ads boosted the CTR of his ads significantly (see Figure 1).

By orienting the ad to a well-known Philadelphia area, “Center City” takes advantage of local knowledge and makes the ad more compelling to locals. Another option would be “Rittenhouse Square Area” but “Center City” is shorter.

Example of Localize Ad Text in Philadelphia

Figure 1: Example of Localize Ad Text in Philadelphia


Localizing ad text can boost CTR significantly. Adding some local geography to our text ads boosted CTR by over 90%.

Further Reading

The website of Philadelphia Dentistry Dr. Ken Cirka DDS was the subject of this case study. Thanks again to Dr. Cirka for permission to use his PPC campaign as an example.
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