Making The Call To Action

If you’ve been following the steps  laid out in our earlier tutorials on copywriting, you should be two-thirds of the way through your ad by now. With your headline, you’ve grabbed the attention of your potential customers; in your description line, you’ve demonstrated the relevance and unique value of your offering. The final step of a search marketing ad is to tell users what they need to do next. This is the role of the final line of your ad: the call to action. As with describing your offering, you’ve got 35 characters to make the call.

Before we begin, let’s recall where we are in our examples:

1) Keywords: “chicago mexican restaurant”
Chicago’s Top Mexican
Authentic, Gourmet Mexican Cuisine

2) Keywords: “banjo lessons”
Learn To Play The Banjo
Personal Lessons. First Lesson Free

3) Keywords: “red roses”
Want Roses Delivered Now?
Free, Dependable, Same-Day Delivery

The purpose of the first line, the headline, is to grab the attention of our potential customers. (“Chicago’s Top Mexican”, for instance, isn’t going to appeal to somebody looking for cheap tacos, but that’s not what’s being offered anyway.) The purpose of the second line, the description, is to demonstrate the relevance and unique value of your offer. As you can see by the examples above, these keyword-rich ads are firmly rooted in the user’s search. The last line will be anchored somewhere else: your landing page and website.

Desired User Actions

As we said above, the call to action should answer the question: “What should I do now?” The answer to that question has everything to do with your business. More specifically, the answer to that question depends on what you consider a conversion.

What is a conversion? A conversion is “the desired action you want a visitor to take on your site.” AdWords has a variety of conversion types, including leads, sign-ups and page views, but let’s not get too caught up in the terminology; jargon has a way of making simple problems seem complicated. Let’s go back to our examples and answer our question, “What is the desired action you want a visitor to take on your site?” as simply as we can in each case.

Let’s recall the three businesses we’re advertising for.

1) Frontera Grill, a gourmet Mexican restaurant in Chicago;
2) an individual who gives personal banjo lessons;
3) an online florist with same-day delivery.

What do these businesses want users to do on their sites? Here are some reasonable possibilities:

1) Frontera Grill: find the reservation phone number, call the restaurant, and reserve a table.
2) Banjo instructor: fill out an online form to sign up for an initial lesson.
3) Online florist: purchase flowers.

When you’re dealing with snippets and conversion types, it’s easy to forget that an online conversion is a very straightforward thing: it’s a user action that’s valuable to you. Conversion tracking is just a way of determining how often users take those actions and how much revenue you associate with them, but that’s another tutorial.

 

Conversions and Calls to Action

Now that we’ve determined what we want our users to do when they get to our site, the next step is simply telling them to do it.

Frontera Grill wants users to make a reservation. One call to action worth trying would be: “Reserve Your Table For Dinner Today.” (We’ve consistently found that “urgent” terms like Today and Now tend to drive more traffic and conversions.)

Our banjo instructor wants users to fill out a form to schedule a lesson. The call to action in that case could be: “Sign Up For Your Free Lesson Now.”

Finally, our florist wants users to place an order and have it delivered. A financial incentive could help, so a call to action might be: “Save 15% When You Order Today.”

With that, we have the complete text of our ads:

1) Keywords: “chicago mexican restaurant”
Conversion Goal: make reservation
Chicago’s Top Mexican
Authentic, Gourmet Mexican Cuisine
Reserve Your Table For Dinner Today

2) Keywords: “banjo lessons”
Conversion Goal: sign up for more information
Learn To Play The Banjo
Personal Lessons. First Lesson Free
Sign Up For Your Free Lesson Now

3) Keywords: “red roses”
Conversion Goal: place an order
Want Roses Delivered Now?
Free, Dependable, Same-Day Delivery
Save 15% When You Order Today

Of course, there are many other ways these ads could be written while still adhering to the guidelines we’ve provided. We aren’t suggesting that you should limit yourself to the types of examples we’ve given above. By all means, be as creative as you can. Just make sure that you’re grabbing attention, describing your offer, and making a call to action.

Better yet, try a number of different variations, and test them out.