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Build The Perfect Online Ad For Your Small Business

Oct 12, 2007
With a little help and a little know-how, anyone can create a good online ad. But building the perfect ad takes time. You can track click-through rates and learn what works. You can change a headline, or text, or an offer until you find something that works for you. Here are a few tips on creating a really effective ad for your business.

1. Include a keyword in your headline. A keyword describes your advertisement, business, or offer, and is used by search engines to deliver relevant results to customers searching for related topics. For example, if you run a bakery that specializes in pies, related keywords could be apple pies, pies, coconut pies, and yummy pies. MarketingSherpa, a market research organization that runs extensive studies on maximizing online marketing says, "Including one of your keywords in the headline of your ad has the single greatest impact on generating returns."

2. Highlight your core differentiator. What makes you special or unique? You need to let the world know! For example, if you're the low priced leader, include that information in the body of your ad. If you offer a unique service like in-home delivery and pick-up, include that in the ad.

3. Test creative copy. Test different phrases in the body of your ad or headline. One recent example came from an ad campaign for stock management software. The company ran multiple online ads with different headlines, varying between sensational and informational. They found that the headline "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight" resulted in a 15% increase in the click-through rate over any other ad.

4. Include common misspellings in keywords. This may sound wrong at first, but you want the search engines to know what customers might type in to find you. Customers want to find relevant results and it's a rare person who runs their Google searches through a spell check first. So, use as many relevant keywords you can think of for your ad campaigns, exclude keywords not directly pertaining to your offer, and think about how customers might misspell one of your keywords.

5.Test different options and adjust when you see what works. Try building multiple ads with different headlines and offers. You can track the results of individual ads by the number of views and clicks to monitor which ads perform best. Once you know what works with your customers make sure to include the winning strategies in your next online ad.

Once you've created an online ad, services like MerchantCircle (www.merchantcircle.com) help get your ads distributed around the web picked up by the major search engines - extending your reach by introducing you to more customers. The team at MerchantCircle has built an online advertising tool specifically for small local business to market their business online. It includes blogs (of course) as well as online ads, newsletter, and coupons all centered around your business listing webpage. For more information on MerchantCircle, visit www.merchantcircle.com
About the Author
Ryan Osilla is an online marketing expert currently using his knowledge in SEM, SEO and other online advertising knowledge at MerchantCircle (http://www.merchantcircle.com)
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