Alongside keywords and landing pages, ads are one of the key building blocks of search marketing, so it essential to understand the parameters and practical limitations that govern their design, according to one expert.

Search Engine Land’s Josh Dreller said this is the "left brain" element of pay per click marketing.

Ads are limited to 25 characters for their title, 70 characters of the main text and 35 characters in a display URL, all including spaces, he noted.

Google and Bing display them in the same way – a title, two lines of ad text and the URL – although other search engines, like Yahoo!, may have a different approach.

When it comes to text, search engines generally do not allow repetition of single words as in "fast, fast, fast!", double exclamation marks or unusual spellings. Any "visual gimmicks" that are part of a company name will have to be cleared by their editorial teams.

There is no use of bold and italics, although keywords will be automatically highlighted.

Finally, ads must avoid generic calls to action such as "click here".

According to Econsultancy, 52 per cent of British firms are looking to increase their spending on pay per click marketing in the coming year.

News brought to you by ClickThrough – a provider of SEO Services & Pay Per Click strategies.

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