Live Blogging PubCon 2016: Creating Ads that Convert

by Kristi on October 11, 2016 · 0 comments

I decided to stay in the frigid Salon F because I like being cold. Or maybe I want to know how to create awesome kicka$$ ppc ads that convert like crazy from Erin Sagin who is up first.

She has been in paid search for 5+ years and goes over her background. She is currently unemployed which is not as exciting. She worked at WordStream a week ago who has a booth in the hall. Awkward! We started to feel really sorry for her but then she told us she was going to work for Google.


She talks about dumb products like a cat translator or awful websites like Jenny Craig. Ha. So ad copy is your best weapons to help you achieve more conversions. Stellar!

Almost all of the data featured in the presentation is from Wordstream unless otherwise noted.

#1 – Prequalify your searchers. 

She’s cracking me up talking about boys with tinder. Spray and pray! Don’t rely on that. Take your website visitors and pull it down to qualified traffic who will convert.

Use shopping ads because they are fabulous for qualified buyers. Image extensions in Bing are fabulous too.

Including pricing in your ads (Vegas Hotesl from $40/nt) and Adwords just released price extensions. They are only for mobile and tablet though but it’s great for that.

#2 – Target the right audience. 

She worked with a plastic surgeon before and “large breasts” had high volume traffic. Who was looking for that? Do you think woman who would want that surgery? NO. They took advantage of Google’s new targeting options and adjusted the bigs by age/gender with targeting. The volume was lower but they were much more likely to convert from the ads. The gains in conversion rates were amazing. If you are not using it, you should give it a shot. Bing has it as well.

Make sure you know who the right audience is. Know your audience, times 100!

Awhile back, she worked with someone selling purses. He thought it was all women but nope, men were more likely to convert and spend money on purses.

#3 – Personalize your Ad Copy

Humans are selfish. Yep. Kim K is up on her screen. The more customized your ads are to your users search contexts, the more likely they will engage with them. 4 in 5 consumers want search ads customized to their city, zip, or surroundings.

She works with a yacht broker. They find these boats and then they are far away from them. So she started using geo-customizers which put in the location and price of boats around the user. She saw a 13% increase in conversion rate.

Devices make a huge difference too. She used to use mobile specific. Sadly, when Google launched expanded ads they took it away. Messed up! She would say worse but she’s going to Google next week.

Leverage your mobile ad extensions for click-to-call and mobile app. Make them pop out.

Use demographic targeting! Consider who you are targeting, and redo that ad. For weight loss, they started using suggestive text and got a better reaction.

#4 Emotion in Advertising – Super effective

She loves the Perry Marshall’s swiss army knife tactic and map out your clients.


If you are a divorce attorney, your customer is the scorned wife, her worst enemy is her cheating husband, she hates the mistress. The ad you can create is amazing!


It’s hard to do with a tight character count, but you can really fiddle with it.

Reminder: there is NO shortage of emotions. Funny, sad, fear of missing out.

Use a countdown! The sale is ending in 4 hours, 3 hours, and they start panicking.

#5 – Don’t give up on the first time client

Highly engaged visitors are more likely to convert later in the game. Wine and dine those people! I’ll give you an example, I was going for a budget hotel but then… the Cosmopolitan started remarketing to her and then she booked it.

Use remarketing + search and then convert them later. It works like a charm with 2x conversion rates. Also use customer match! Erin is big on Dunkin Donuts and match up your clients and match them up. Put higher price points on them and put custom ads.

One key to success for RLSA is don’t bother repeating what your prospects already know. They know you if they have been to your site. Use copy to counteract the common objections. Convince them to take the plunge with special offers and discounts.

McDonalds is famous for saying “do you want fries with that?” Upsell those things!

Don’t be creepy. What your frequency cap.

Next up is William Leake with how to write digital ads that rock!He says just kidding. I’m confused. His twitter is @marketing_bill –

He made a good joke about taking advantage of Erin’s thoughts before she goes to the dark side.

He is hiring. If you work in Austin, and rock at PPC, send him a note.

He wants to cover Adwords, ad types, and tricks and tactics.

Generally more arrows are good in marketing and there are lots of paid media types. Don’t forget about Bing! More females are on Bing. Yahoo, Google, and Ask too.

Go to Bing! Try it out if you have a smaller budget.

Recommendation widgets: Outbrain, Taboola, Disqus, and Gravity. Extend your thought leadership by bringing in the right… something. Great for B2B.

Promoted listings from Etsy, Amazon, Foursquare, google. If they can’t find it on Amazon, they go to Google.

Native advertising like Appssavvy, Martini Media… missed a bunch. Check his slides!

Always be running ad copy tests… I know, I know. Don’t ever stop. Ugh.

Ad Copy writing tips:

  • Include a call to action – download the report!
  • Use power words – innovative unforgettable, revealed, revolutionary
  • Focus on the benefits – 3 month trial, works 50% faster, free trial
  • Include targeted keywords
  • Test different approaches – ask a question, use sarcasm, tell a story
  • Test minor changes, word order, punctuation, capitalization – Secret vs hidden.

Classic Tactic: #1 – What is conversion? What is your goal? What does the journey look like? Which keywords searches map to which parts of that journey.

Don’t convert them too fast, you might burn them. Reaching high end folks you have to be careful and it takes time.

Classic Tactic: #2 – Germanic F words. Free.

Test “most powerful English words” (easy to find)

You, results, guarantee, discover, new, save, safety, proven, love. Just test them. If you are marketing to large companies, you can use those same pieces like “Top 10” Succeed!

Classic Tactic: #3 – Be Different! What are your competitors doing? Be different?

Debt consolidation story – they targeted females but the competitors looked alike.

Vacuum story – We suck more – was the ad copy.

Shopping feeds, use a different image! High profit, figure out how to not use the stock images. Also good for image search SEO.

YouTube – Sometimes very cheap!

The recommendations widgets are terrific for awareness. I have no idea what those are!

He’s still hiring… and yep, that’s the end! He is also a sponsor of Senor Frog’s so everyone come!



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