Online advertising is tough, and writing a strong PPC ad for your product or business is even tougher. Creating a strong relevant headline, optimizing keywords, and having a specific call-to-action helps. It can increase your conversions, click-through rate, and overall performance. But to get your customer's attention, you need to stand out from the others.

Here are five tips to help you write a better PPC ad:

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1. Write an Awesome Headline

adwords ad copy

The examples above are okay. They use the keyword, “Backpacking Boots,” but could they be more effective?

You have 25 characters in your headline; use them wisely. For common keyword statements, like our boots, make it descriptive, if possible. If you’re targeting a specific brand of backpacking boot – like Oboz or Ecco – don’t forget to include the brand name in the headline.

It’s important to include your keyword not only to make it clear what you’re advertising, but also because the keyword will be bolded, making your ad stand out just a little bit more. But remember that if you have extra characters left, a descriptor or two can make a huge difference in campaign performance.

ppc headline chart

Look at those examples. The headlines in the first column all state the product being advertised. But that’s it. In the second column, boots, taxes, and frames are all mentioned. So they’ll be bolded and noticeable. But the focus is on the benefits of the product instead of the product itself. That focus will help tap into the user’s motivation for searching in the first place.

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2. Create Your Differentiating Characteristic

This is where knowing your industry, the keywords associated with it, and your buyers, will come into play. Your copy has to captivate your audience, while also drawing in the right searchers. For instance, you know you have a “Backpacking Boot,” and clearly several other brands do, too.

But what is your differentiating characteristic? Is your backpacking boot the #1 choice by members of the Professional Hiking Guides Association? Does it have a high rating from customers like the searcher? Then flaunt it! I’m not sure about you, but if I see my peers give a product 4.7 out of 5 stars, I’m encouraged to see what all the rave is about.

ppc differentiating characteristic

In these ad descriptions, we get detailed. They’re not just picture frames, they’re one-of-a-kind picture frames handmade by your staff. That differentiator is why someone would choose your company over frames at the nearest Target.

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3. Craft a Compelling Call-to-Action

Have you heard the age-old prompt WIIFM – “What’s in it for me?” I know, your product is amazing, and everyone is dying to “Buy It Now” or “Submit Now.” Submit what? My info? Hey, get to know me a little first, please!

What value are you providing me? With our examples, the value is money saved with ‘Free Shipping’ or ‘Up to 70% Off Retail Prices!’ There’s something in it for me. I can get my backpacking boots and save some cash. Ring me up!

ppc calls-to-action

Again, the key here is getting detailed. The user isn’t just shopping, they're shopping for boots. Any step you can take to make the searcher’s experience feel more personalized, take it.

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4. Add Pricing to Your Ad

Now, this isn’t an absolute must, but one that can work for some retailers, especially those that are B2C.

pricing in ad copy

An instance where this might be helpful is cell phone repair and having recently shattered my phone's screen, I can relate. Looking for “iPhone Repair in Delaware” resulted in several ads, but these two grabbed my attention. Why? They told me what it would cost.

The first ad is good, with prices “from $29” and a warranty, but the second ad is even better. It tells me what to expect. Sure, $99 stands out because it’s in a bigger font, but reading the ad description indicates it should be $79 to fix my iPhone 4S. Eureka! It’s cheaper than I expected and certainly less than buying a new phone all together. I click on that, and off I go to schedule my repair.

iphone ad copy

We can’t pretend price isn’t a factor when shopping. The pricetag is the quickest way to rule out one of your choices when shopping. If someone absolutely can’t spend more than $20 on fixing their phone’s screen, having that $29 indicator in your copy will actually save you money. That person may rule out your product, but before they clicked on an ad you’re paying for.

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5. A/B Test Every Time

“Always Be Testing.” You’ve got tremendous copy, leveraged your keywords, refined your audience, and launched a killer campaign. It’s doing well, but can it be doing better? Probably. You can A/B test any of these four variables:

  • Headline.
  • Body Text.
  • Link.
  • Keywords.

Does tweaking one of these variables result in a better conversion rate? Do your ads better reach your intended buyer? A/B testing is a great way to determine what works best for your business, since every campaign is different.

a/b testing suggestions

Paid search can be tremendously beneficial to businesses big and small, so long as you optimize your campaigns correctly. Optimize your messaging here, and on other marketing channels, to increase clicks, conversions, and closes.

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