News to Make Your Copy One Character Richer

Posted by Colt Foutz, Manager, Copywriting Services


Just wanted to share with you some important changes to the way we display the ® symbol in our paid search copy.  By the end of this blog, you'll all feel at least one character richer.  How's that for good tidings?


For the last several years, it’s been best practice to put a space between a brand name and the ® symbol in paid search copy. This is due to the way the engines display search results. If a user searched for “Brand”, for example, and our ad was titled “Brand®”, the engines would display the ad, but the search term would not be bolded. Since no searcher is likely to type in “Brand®”, we put a space between brand and ® in our copy. The result was Brand®. We like for our search terms to be bolded. Happy, happy, happy searchers. Happy, happy, happy clients.


In the last few weeks, however, we've noticed that the engines have corrected this issue. Thanks here goes to Jeff Licciardi, an account manager at Performics, for initiating the test. All of the engines – Google, MSN and Yahoo! – have independently confirmed the change.  Our brand term copy has been running with the ® symbol flush with the brand for a few weeks now. So it seems that we can now use Brand® when writing copy. Advertisers save one character, and we gain that mouse whisker of room for more creative messaging, and doesn't that feel pretty good?


What this means is that this change can be made for all existing copy that’s running. The best way to go about doing this, according to Google, is to create the new ads without the space and add them in, and then put the existing ads with the space on pause.  Do not just delete the space in each ad: if you do, the ad will be treated as brand new in terms of Quality Score and history and it’s like you’re starting from scratch. Once the new ads build some history – about 100 clicks – the paused ads can be deleted without any adverse effects.


As for all copy that comes through the Performics copywriting team, we’re already making these changes. There’s a possibility that with shorter brand names, or brands that use only letters, leaving the space in may look better, cosmetically.  It all depends on how the advertiser wants it to appear. But now we have the freedom to choose. And that should ensure plenty more helpings of happy, happy, happy.

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