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Crafting great copy for your ads is one of the most important components of a PPC advertising campaign, as well as one of the trickiest.
Traditional advertising methods can offer paragraphs of text or awesome visuals to help you sell, whereas Google AdWords allows just 2*35 character headlines and a 90 character description. It’s not a lot of space to impress in.
Though creating and testing the perfect PPC ad can take some time, it’s worth the effort, as businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. Those are some pretty good odds!
The following tips will help you to create persuasive and clickable copy for your next PPC campaign.
While you are here — check out our PPC do’s and don’ts.
Mirror the users desired outcome
Remember who you are writing the advert for. A potential customer for your new product line wants to accomplish something by making purchase, so the first step is to figure out what that is. Let’s say, for example, you’re selling a range of dandruff shampoo and you were considering these two headlines:
- Embarrassed by dandruff?
- Stop dandruff fast
The first headline tells the potential customer how they already feel about their predicament, whereas the second one offers to solve their problem, and quickly.
This mirrors their desired outcome in plain and simple language, removing any ambiguity and making it very easy for them to make the crucial decision to click on your ad instead of another seller’s.
This is all about being direct and actionable with your language, not going off-piste with a crazy metaphor.
Keep it simple
It isn’t just the headline that needs to be simple and clear. The whole ad is premised on the end goal of getting click-throughs and conversions, so don’t put any barriers in the user’s way.
You may have thought up the most hilarious bit of wordplay or a clever cultural reference for your ad, but convoluted or complicated copy will only serve to tax a potential customer’s mind when they are looking for a simple answer to their query.
However, don’t be so concise in your ads that people can’t understand what they’re reading. For example, using acronyms is a way of conveying more information in fewer characters, but it tends to only work within niche industries (think SEO or PPC). If a potential customer has to pause to decipher an acronym, you’ve probably lost yourself a valuable click.
Use emotional triggers to hook attention
Just because your PPC ad copy needs be short and direct, that doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. Humans feel first and act second; so if you can stir an emotion in the people reading your ads, they’ll be more likely to click on them — the most shared ads of 2015 relied heavily on emotions.
Trigger-driven ads can be created by asking yourself the following questions:
Who is the customer? Are you trying to appeal to a tired commuter? A fitness obsessive? A paraben-free nature lover?
What persona do you want your company to have? A supportive friend? A wise imparter of knowledge? A tough love teacher?
Write from persona to customer. Once you have figured out these two roles, craft your copy from the standpoint of your company persona that will trigger the appropriate emotions in the customer.
How to effectively differentiate
When doing PPC advertising for new a ecommerce product, you have to have a good idea of what the competition is already doing so that you can stand out. Do some competitor research — and don’t just focus on PPC either. Look at both branded websites and marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy to get a full picture of the current market.
Then hone in on spying on the competition’s PPC ads (a tool like SpyFu can help here). Look at branded and popular key terms and see what features and benefits other brands are highlighting.
Could you maybe one up them by offering free delivery, or a more personalized experience? Is your product more genuine?
You can highlight different things in your ads, from quality and provenance to popularity and social proof. It all depends on what will work for your niche, and what will help you stand out.
You will probably find that a lot of competitor ads are pretty formulaic, so you can always test out a wildcard ad with more personality. You will also want to highlight any local elements — it’s a big conversion driver for customers.
As you are in the process of launching, a special offer or campaign may be a way to get people clicking and through the virtual door.
Create irresistible CTAs
A call to action, or CTA, is the part of the ad that tells the potential customer what do to. A simple example of a CTA is ‘Buy now!’, but the more information you can provide, the more likely they are to click: ‘Buy now!’ could successfully be amended to ‘Buy now and receive 50% off!’.
There are some simple things you can do to create compelling CTAs:
Use words that provoke enthusiasm. For someone planning a vacation, ‘Plan your dream trip today’, will elicit a much more excited response than ‘Book now’.
Give them a reason to click. Adding a reason for doing what you’re asking them to will make them more likely to do it, for example ‘Sign up now and receive a free sample!’
Create some FOMO. Fear of missing out is one of the most powerful emotional triggers at your disposal. Retailers use it all the time when it comes to sales – how many times has a sign reading ‘Shop now! Sale must end Monday’ propelled you into a store?
And once you get users through to your store — don’t disappoint them with a lackluster store experience and design. You will want to build an online store that feels fresh and modern throughout, or create individual landing pages for your PPC campaigns that are laser-targeted.
Make use of ad extensions
Ad extensions allow you to show additional information on your Google AdWords ads, and are a quick and easy way to improve ad performance: Google found that implementing an ad extension can improve a click-through rate by 10-15%.
Call out extensions. These help you highlight valuable features of your business, for example free shipping or overnight delivery.
Site link extensions. These link directly to a specific page of your website such as opening hours or contact details.
Location details. Enable customers to find your store by telling them your location or specific address.
Call extension. Make it easy for them to call your business by adding a call button to your ad.
Managing your ad extensions correctly will get you more bang for your buck by making your ad bigger and adding more copy – and all for free!
Test and test again
It’s said that the most important part of writing is rewriting, and this also applies to your PPC ads.
Testing your campaigns will help you refine your ads, so don’t just settle when you first start seeing positive results: keep adjusting your ads and push for greater success next time.
Develop a concrete set of objectives so you know what you’re testing for and why: for example, for a specific customer segment — do you want your ad to convert into sales, or for people to sign up to an email newsletter which could result in sales later? A brief grounding in A/B testing is vital if you’re running a PPC campaign, as being able to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to your ads will save you money and drive sales.
Utilizing these tips and testing them thoroughly will soon make it clear which ads work for your audience and which fall flat. Every tweak you make to your copy and every test you run to see how well it’s going will bring more people to your new product line. A structured approach combined with some emotionally triggering copy will create an irresistible campaign, so get creative and make some ads that speak directly and convincingly to consumers.
This is a guest post by Victoria Greene
, a brand consultant writing for Victoria ecommerce
. Her blog offers advice to entrepreneurial people looking to launch their online businesses. A big fan of visual content and a customer experience advocate.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily bgTheory. If you would like to write for Certified Knowledge, please let us know