In a world where everyone is jostling for a prime position in Google’s search engine results, pay-per-click (PPC) ads can make or break a brand’s marketing strategy. Without struggling to climb to the top, brands can jump in front of the eyes of countless searchers. It’s no wonder PPC generates twice the number of visitors compared to SEO.
This, of course, is only the case if you’ve crafted engaging ad copy. If your ads are bland enough to fade into the background, you may be wasting your campaign’s budget!
If you’ve been staring at a blinking cursor in your attempt to create ads that move searchers, we’re here to help. In addition to the foundational PPC strategies we’ve outlined, let’s take a look at some of the best practices for writing ad copy that converts.
Know Your Target Audience
If you’re creating PPC ad copy without a deep understanding of your target audience, you may as well be tossing your ad spend into the void. When we don’t focus on the reader, we often create generic copy that fails to resonate.
This is an easy mistake to make: many businesses highlight what they’re offering first and foremost. However, without showing customers why they should choose your brand or what problems you solve, you may not make the connection you crave.
If you haven’t done so already, research your target audience. Figure out their demographics, pain points, needs, wants, and worries. Create buyer’s personas to help you better understand them.
As you create your ad copy, keep these users in mind. Envision the issues they’re facing and how they’d search for a solution. Writing your ad copy to respond to those imagined questions is a great way to create powerful ads that connect.
Focus on a Feeling
As we’ve just discussed, your audience should be the first thing on your mind when you’re creating your copy. What are they feeling when they search? What do you want them to feel?
Before you jot down a single word, figure out what emotions you want to evoke with your ad.
Are you trying to showcase your dental clinic’s Invisalign offerings? One reason patients seek info about this tooth-straightening process is to improve their smile and, thus their poise and self-esteem. Trigger that feeling with headlines like “Reclaim Your Confidence With Invisalign” or “Show Off a More Confident Smile.”
Are you trying to encourage customers to invest in your marketing services? Focus on the fear that their competitors might overpower them! Ask them in the headline, “Is Your Marketing Strategy Losing You Customers?”
In general, focusing on negative emotions like sadness, anger, anxiety, or fear can get more clicks. As humans, we’re motivated to find ways to stop our negative or painful emotions, which may make readers more likely to check out what you offer.
No matter what you decide, focusing on any single emotion can help you hone the wording of your copy, creating more cohesive statements with better flow.
Even better, focusing on a feeling can help you avoid the cardinal sin of PPC ads: boring ad copy. If your ad copy is bland enough not to move the reader, their eyes will skim right over it as they move on to the organic search results. Catching them with a bold, feeling-oriented statement can stop them in their tracks.
Focusing on a powerful emotion is always a sound strategy, but you can make your copy even more compelling by creating a sense of urgency. Draw on the searcher’s sense of FOMO to provoke them to make a quick decision when possible. Try phrases like the following:
- Drop Everything
- Fall Promo Ends 11/1
- While Supplies Last
- Make or Break
When in doubt, drop a time-based statement if there are any deadlines associated with your product or service. Seasonal modifiers can imbue a sense of novelty and encourage clicks. The more specific the timeline or date, the better.
Address the Reader Directly
A simple switch to “you” and “your” instead of “the” or “a” can make a big difference. In other words, you’d write “Get Your Copy Today” instead of “Get a Copy Today.”
Using pronouns associated with the reader can help them envision themselves using whatever you offer.
It also makes the offer feel more conversational and intimate. Instead of a business selling a generic product, you’re more like a friend helping the reader get something they need.
Get Rid of Objections
If you’ve done everything right, your PPC ads will appear to searchers who are more likely to convert than the average person. Because they’re looking for the keywords you’re targeting, they may be primed to make a purchase or other conversion.
However, this doesn’t mean your customers will have zero objections to what you offer. The price tag and the difficulty of obtaining the product or service are the two biggest objections.
Address those objections in your ad copy to make searchers feel more at ease. Doing so will often make them more likely to click.
For searchers concerned with the price, highlight how affordable your project is. If you offer free products or discounts, say so. Naming specific percentage-based discounts can be an eye-catching way to show searchers that they don’t have to worry about their wallets.
For searchers who worry about the difficulty of getting the product/service, reassure them about the ease. Use words like “fast” and “simple.”
Keep in mind that these are the main objections most buyers have, but they’re far from the only ones. Consider your target audience, and try to imagine and address the concerns they might have about your product.
What are your brand’s unique selling propositions (USPs)? These factors help you stand out from the competition, which may make your ad stand out in a sea of similar ad copy. If you haven’t already identified your USPs as part of your SEO strategy, do so now.
Because PPC ads are so short, you won’t have much room to boast. You’ll have to be smart about creating a powerful sense of purpose in a compact space.
Things you may want to highlight include:
- Awards you’ve won
- Certifications you have
- Special offers, sales, or discounts
- Industry-leading practices or technology
- Fast speeds
- High ratings or reviews
- Lowest-priced products
- Official or industry organization-backed services or products
- “Not your typical” products or services
Local offerings can also be a great way to stand out, especially when you’re trying to compete with national brands for a specific keyword. Creating campaigns for location-based search terms can set you apart, as can including a local phone number in your ad copy.
After you’ve listed your own USPs, check out what the competition’s ad copy looks like, if you haven’t already. You can use strategies similar to those you’d use for competitive SEO analysis, such as evaluating their content and tracking their progress over time. What insights do your competitors’ ads lack, and what could you highlight to set yourself apart?
Add a Call to Action (CTA)
Using a PPC ad call to action can help you get more clicks, but only if you’re using the right ones. Boring, generic options like “click here” and “call now” aren’t likely to win you any favors, even if these compact clichés save space.
Instead, choose a strong action word and a specific result like the PPC ad copy examples below:
- Book a Free 30-Minute Consult
- Download Your E-book Today
- Join Our Coaching Community
- Start Holding Customers Accountable
- Claim Your Offer Before 2/23
- Get $50 Off Your First Order
In addition, try to put the CTA in the headline whenever possible. Real estate in the headline may be at a premium, but it’s the place with the largest, most eye-catching text. This makes them harder to skip over, which may improve your click-through rate.
Use All the Available Space
For its text ads, Google offers a max length of 30 characters in headlines and 90 characters in descriptions, with 15 characters for each of the paths. This maximum is the same across languages.
Make sure to use every inch of this real estate! Filling the space helps you maximize your ad copy’s punch.
A/B Test Your Ad Copy
Even with all of the tactics above, it can be hard to figure out which of the ads you create will work best from intuition alone. That’s where A/B testing, also called split testing, comes in.
As a crucial part of any PPC campaign management strategy, A/B testing allows you to track the performance of multiple ads at once. This allows you to select the ads that perform better based on the CTR and other results.
Play around with different CTAs, harness different emotions, try adding phone numbers, and adjust the display URL. Small tweaks can help you figure out which strategies work best with your audience, and this may even allow you to improve the ads across your entire campaign.
Get More Out of Your Pay-Per-Click Campaign
Optimized ad copy can make or break your pay-per-click campaign. If you’re hoping to enhance your ROI, ensure you’re using the best practices above!Ready to get powerful results with less effort? At Marketing Powered, our expert team helps brands create specific and tailored PPC ad copy that resonates with searchers. Contact us today to get more out of your campaign!