7 Tips for Writing Effective PPC Ad Copy

Anjali McKenzie, Former UX Researcher

Article Category: #Strategy

Posted on

Lately I’ve been focusing a lot of attention on optimizing our PPC text ads for several of our clients. I’ve read articles on PPC ad best practices, looked at presentations and consulted Google help for advice on how to write the best text ad. My findings were overwhelmingly varied and I realized the best resource was my own tests and results.

Here are my 7 Tips for Writing Effective PPC Ad Copy:

1.  Use actual keywords in the ad copy. Although this may seem like a no-brainer, I often see ads come up that don’t include anything remotely similar to my search query. Using keywords in your text ad will help trigger your ads more often. **An extra tip is to use a keyword in the display URL, allowing there to be one more occurrence of the specified keyword.

2.  Include a strong call-to-action. I like to take the short and sweet route such as “Order Now,” “Reserve Today,” or “Learn More,” which work well for my clients’ campaigns. However, other paid marketers choose to include longer versions, like “Click Here to Buy.” In the end the important thing is to include a call-to-action that grabs the visitor’s attention.

3.  Make the ad relevant to its destination page. Whether it’s a certain page on the website or a campaign-specific landing page, make sure your ad relates to the destination page. If a visitor reads a specific benefit, promotion, or number in your text ad they expect to see it when they click through.  Ensuring that your destination page relates to your text ad will significantly help improve quality scores, conversion rates, and bounce rates.  For tips on designing landing pages read this.

4.  Create ads for smaller ad groups. Rather than dumping several keywords into one large ad group, and then trying to write a few ads that relate to all those keywords, work on creating smaller, very targeted ad groups. By doing this, you will be able to write ads that more directly relate to the corresponding keywords. This will lead to higher quality scores and overall CTR.

5.  Use numbers. Include pricing, dates, or percentages when they apply. Numbers tend to jump out to visitors and attract attention. The more specific ad copy can be the better, and numbers help you get specific.

6.  Emphasize promotions and emotions.  Often, once text ads get left in the dust when product or service promotions roll around. It is critical to update text ads to correspond to current promotions and send them to landing pages if possible (see tip # 3).  Couple these promotions with words that evoke feelings of emotion and you’ve got the basic equation to hooking your audience.

7.  Double and triple check for spelling and grammar mistakes.  I can’t stress this one enough.  Everyone has fallen victim to minor typos and stupid mistakes, but with only 25-35 characters per line there is no room for error (literally).

While these are the 7 tips that I’ve found to be most effective from my experience with PPC marketing, they are not the only ones. As I mentioned before there are several articles out there offering other suggestions. After reading up on and implementing tips and suggestions, the best thing you can do is test. Test your copy, test your urls, test your promotions, test your numbers, test your headlines, test it all! This is truly the only way to determine what is most effective for your campaigns and goals.

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