Tips and Best Practices for Writing Better Ad Copy
- Posted in Copy Writing
It’s often the single, tenuous bridge between your landing pages and all the potential customers searching online for products and services like yours.
How it’s written affects your ranking in paid search results and cost per clicks.
Even if they think it’s really important, PPC ad copy is far more important than most people realize. Seemingly minor differences in the copy can be the tipping point between a very successful campaign and wasting your PPC budget.
(While you can run paid ads on a number of different platforms, including major search engines and many social media platforms, there’s not time or space enough here to cover them all. So we’ll only get specific about Google’s Adwords. Most of the general points will apply to your ad copy on any platform.)
The many benefits of better ad copy, and the fact that your copy can always be improved – so you can always improve each benefit – means it deserves as much attention any other part of your PPC campaign, if not more.
Quality Score: Google actually tells you how good your ad copy is by assigning a Quality Score to each ad. Quality Scores range from 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest quality. Ads with higher scores enjoy greater benefits.
- Lower Costs – If your ad has a higher score, you can bid less to get the same ranking as an ad with a lower score. It might seem odd that Google gives preference to lower bids just because the ad copy is better. But the reason is simple. Better ads are clicked more often, so a top quality ad with a lower bid can actually make more money for Google.Here’s a simple example of how that is so:High Quality Ad Bid: $5.00
Number of Clicks on the Ad per day: 15
Google’s Revenue per day: $75.00Low Quality Ad Bid: $10.00
Number of Clicks on the Ad per day: 5
Google’s Revenue per day: $50.00
- Higher Return – For the same reason that they can enjoy lower bid costs, higher quality ads can rank higher on the page for the same bid as lower quality ads. This means higher value from your PPC budget.
- Increased Traffic – In addition to lower costs and increased ROI, well written ads have higher click-through rates (CTR) which drives more traffic to your site. If you’ve done your landing page optimization, that means more sales.
Writing a Good PPC Ad
Everything you know about writing good ad copy for any other medium, including print, electronic and online, comes into play in the three lines and 95 characters (spaces included) that Google gives you for your ad copy.
(Your ad may also list your address, telephone number and/or customer reviews, depending on the Google features you use, but they are displayed as they are listed in your account details, you don’t get to edit them for each ad)
Done properly, that very limited space can be used to write an ad that fulfills all the criteria of the traditional AIDA marketing and advertising model: create Attention, develop Interest, generate Desire, and call to Action.
The Three Necessary Elements of Good Ad Copy
Instead of writing each ad off the top of your head and hoping for the best, if you breakdown each one into its basic elements and use best practices to execute each element, you’ll be well on your way to writing good ad copy.
- The Keyword – If you’re here to learn about how to write a better ad, you have done your keyword research, right? Your keyword or keyword phrase for the ad should appear as close to the beginning of your ad copy as possible.The keyword phrase is highlighted in bold copy in the ad is displayed in search results. It is the main confirmation to the searcher that your ad is relevant to their search. Searchers tend to scan ads for those that seem most relevant. Those ads that create Awareness of that relevancy by highlighting the keyword phrase in the headline have a higher chance of appealing to the searcher and getting clicked.
- The Benefit – Unless your product is very rare, you face lots of ad competition for your keywords. How do you make your ad stand out? Make sure the benefit and/or value of your offer is very clear, especially if it is unique. It will generate more Interest and Desire.Make sure you highlight the benefits of your offer and not just its features. You don’t have space or time enough to do both.Your competition’s product or service probably has similar features, but you can make your ad stand out by highlighting benefits that your competition missed. A ‘12-volt vacuum motor’ will not stand out as much as ‘clean your home faster’.Often it’s not the feature-based benefits that get the best results, but those that appeal to the emotional needs and/or uncertainties the shopper may have. Emotional benefits can relate your product to better health, increased safety, improved appearance, higher social status, etc..A shopper’s uncertainty about whether or not your product is the right choice can be quelled by listing your ‘no questions asked return policy’.Shoppers are also reassured by social proof; clear evidence that others find your products and services appealing. Depending on whether or not your business meets their AdWords ‘Seller Rating’ criteria, Google will give you the opportunity to list seller ratings on your ad. If they do, take it.
- The Call to Action – Regardless of how close your keyword is to their search term, or how good your benefits are, never expect to get the click without asking for it. While ‘Call Now’ or ‘Buy Today’ are standard CTAs and work well, don’t be afraid to throw in a little emotional appeal into your CTA. For example, instead of ‘Call now for music lessons’ try ‘Start your musical journey today’.Your call to action should appear in description line 2 to capitalize on the interest and desire you created with your benefit statement.
The Sure-Fire Ad Copy Formula. It doesn’t exist. The only way for you to write better ad copy is to always be testing. Try different benefits, appeal to different emotions, use different calls-to-action. But don’t look at it as constant testing, that sounds like work. Instead, think about it as constantly improving your ROI.
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