02.12.2019 - Paid Media

Writing PPC Ad Copy: How to Stand Out and Convert Your Audience

Writing ad copy for a paid media campaign might sound easy, but with limited space, catching people’s attention is challenging – and that’s before you’ve encouraged them to click.

And yet, while there’s no magic formula to writing paid ads, there are things you can do to increase engagement and eke as much value from them as possible. Here, we’ll be sharing our tips on how to write paid ad copy that converts your audience and helps your brand stand out.

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Directly Address Your Audience

A common mistake when writing ads is to focus on what your business is offering, rather than what visitors want to see. Add to this Google Ads’ short character count, and it can be tricky to find a balance between self-promotion and user engagement.

A good way to make paid ads more personable is to directly address the reader. Using ‘you’ and ‘your’ will show the audience that you’re offering them benefit. It also makes your brand look friendlier, personable and helpful – traits which can positively impact conversion rate.

Use Strong Calls to Action

A call to action (CTA) is essential in a paid ad. It prompts the reader to take action, encouraging them towards the next step in the conversion funnel. But there is a knack to incorporating CTAs in paid ads, and they’re easy to get wrong.

When using CTAs, consider what your audience wants and how close they are to making a purchase. Don’t rely on clichés like ‘call now’. Be creative, consider your audience and choose messages which will resonate.

Tip – verbs, like ‘get’, ‘join’ and ‘save’, work well at the start of a CTA. Experiment with different combinations and use split tests to find the most effective options.

Man with a yellow jacket working on a computer in his own glass cubicle.

Play on Emotional Triggers

Playing on people’s emotions is a powerful way to help your paid ads convert. Writing compelling ads which make your audience feel something can impact the success of your campaign – leveraging their emotions to gain more conversions.

To approach this the right way, first consider the problem that has brought customers to your ad. Negative emotions, like anxiety or fear of missing out (FOMO), can be the best triggers in encouraging clicks, so incorporate phrases which play on these feelings. Here are a few to try:

  • Sale ending
  • Don’t miss out
  • Sale ends tonight – don’t miss it
  • Take 30% off when you book a stay today

Add Numbers and Figures if Appropriate

Successful paid ads draw the eye and stand out from competitors. While imagery can help with this on display and social ads, for Google ads, words are all you have to get your message across and encourage users to click.

That said, there is one thing you can incorporate to draw attention, and that’s numbers. Numbers tend to get people’s attention, drawing the eye towards a statistic, price or other figure that helps promote your brand and offering. Write numbers in their numerical form, and try to be as accurate as you can – people are more likely to trust exact figures over round numbers.

Create a Local Image for Your Business

Highlighting your location in Google ads is an effective way to take advantage of valuable local search intent. Users trust businesses with a local presence over big corporations, so you can capture more clicks by emphasising your locality.

The great thing about Google ads is that you don’t have to operate in a single location. If you have multiple branches, offices or locations, you can create ad sets that target their geographic locations.

When writing ads for different locations, be mindful of regional variations which could affect engagement. You should also use local phone numbers to reinforce your image as an approachable local business.

Use All the Ad Space to Your Advantage

With Google Ads, you get three 30-character headlines plus two 90-character descriptions. That equates to 270 characters in which to engage the user and capture their click.

Because Google ads are pay-per-click, you’ll want to maximise the ROI of every ad. That’s why making the most of the ad character limit is important.

Pack as much information as you can into the character limit, for both the title and description. If you’re coming up short, try different variations and come up with another approach to use all the space. It’s better to create ads which are too long at first, so you can chop and change the wording to fit the character limit.

Focus on What Makes Your Business Standout

Paid ads are an opportunity to promote your business and what makes it unique. Consider why a user should click on your ad over your competitors – what do you have to offer that they don’t?

Incorporating USPs into paid ad copy is one of the most powerful ways to increase engagement and conversions. Areas to consider when coming up with USPs for your paid ads include:

  • A unique product or service offering
  • Notable advantages over competitors (be it price, quality, service etc.)
  • Has your business won any notable industry awards?
  • Current sales periods or offers which may attract users
  • Recent promotions or campaigns

Prioritise the Headline

In the words of Google themselves: “People are most likely to notice your headline text, so consider including words that people may have entered in their Google search”. Headlines are absolutely critical when writing high-converting paid ads, so don’t move on to the description until you’ve nailed this element.

Headlines need to be 30 characters – that’s half this sentence. However, you can string three headlines together, often using a pipe (one of these |). Here’s an example:

Screenshot of a SERP example for Scenic

In this example, the first headline gives the name of the brand, the second outlines the product offering, and the third clarifies that the ad links through to the official Scenic UK homepage. You’ll see this format used regularly.

So, the reality is, when writing headlines for Google ads, you have 90 characters to play with, but 30 of these should be used to give the brand name. Use the other 60 characters wisely to boost engagement and get people clicking on your ad.

Research Competitor Ads

Competitor research forms the basis for all digital marketing strategies, and it’s no different when writing ad copy. Gaining an understanding of your competitors’ paid media strategies will provide invaluable insights, so you can refine your campaign and make yourself stand out.

Start by searching for the keywords most associated with your brand. Take a look at the competing ads at the top of the SERPs. If rival businesses are competing for similar terms, you’ll need to tweak your paid strategy to differentiate and one-up the competition, so that your ads provide as much ROI as possible.   

Provide Reassurance to Common User Objections

What might stop a user from clicking on your ads? Their budget? Expectations? Maybe the fact they simply haven’t heard of your brand? There are lots of reasons why users can be put off clicking on a specific ad, but there are things you can do to put their objections aside and provide the reassurance they need to click.

Think about what you like to see from your own browsing habits. Maybe you want a guarantee of price, or to see that a business has earned reviews from hundreds of happy customers? Or, maybe you want to see a brand take a responsible approach to the environment, with their green credentials laid out in their ad descriptions for all to see?

By thinking of ways to allay your customers’ doubts and fears, you’ll increase the clickthrough and engagement of your paid ads.

Do you need help managing a paid advertising campaign? At Banc, our paid media specialists provide comprehensive solutions to help you optimise your campaigns, for maximum ROI and performance. Click here to learn more or call us on 0345 459 0558.