Are your PPC ads making users think too much? In a recent article for Search Engine Land titled, “PPC Ads Not Performing? Reduce Cognitive Load,” Andrew Goodman describes what user-experience experts say is an often overlooked performance factor for PPC. In a nutshell, cognitive load refers to the “amount of mental processing power” required to use a website. Applying this principle to PPC ads, Goodman explains that reducing the cognitive load of your ads will make it easier for users to process your ads and, thus, click on them. What does “reducing cognitive load” mean in practical terms? Basically, you want to make clicking on your ad a no-brainer. Don’t make the user think. Draw a straight line from their search query to your landing page. Use an explicit and specific call to action. Most importantly, make your ad as simple to read as possible. That means minimizing the number of characters and using white space strategically. Overcrowding an ad with too many words and ideas will increase the ad’s cognitive load, which will distract the user and push them away. For specific examples of effective vs. ineffective ads, read Goodman’s full article.