How to Write a Winning Pay Per Click Ad

In paid search, no matter how well an account is structured or how aggressively you bid on keywords, it still may not be enough to get that click if you aren’t writing engaging and relevant ad copy. In this post we highlight essentials for writing a winning pay per click (PPC) ad.

Every pay per click ad has certain elements that make it meaningful and relevant to your target audience in order to get that click. In general, your ad should address the needs of your target audience, focusing on their pain points.

Differentiate from Competitors

According to David Jaeger in the Search Engine Watch article, “How to Write the Best PPC Ad Copy…” Jaeger suggests that researching and noting what your competitors are doing is a great place to start when writing pay per click ads. Generally, the top spot signifies an ad that is performing well. By identifying what points are being stressed, as well as, what’s being offered, you’ll be able to figure out what makes you different and/or better than your competition. Once you do that, you can incorporate your advantages into your ads making you stand out among the crowd. It’s also a good idea to use Auction Insights Report within the Google Adwords interface, as well as the Ad Preview Tool to see who your competitors are, as well as the different ad copy they’re running for each of your targeted keywords.

Qualify Customers

What do we mean when we say qualify your customers? As Sam Mazaheri states in his article “5 Tips for Creating Effective PPC Ads,” “It’s not hard to get a lot of clicks, but it is hard to get a lot of clicks from qualified people that are willing and able to become your customers.” You don’t want to waste money on clicks from people that won’t ultimately convert. For example, if you offer a product that only serves a niche group, it’s good to include that info within your ad. Perhaps your customers are price sensitive. Mazaheri suggests including prices in your ads. If a visitor clicks on your ad with the price as advertised, they should be much more qualified. “It may limit your traffic, but the clicks you do get will be from customers that are willing to pay that price,” says Mazaheri. As a general rule, be clear about what you’re offering so that people aren’t surprised when they get to your site.

Reflect the Keyword

Research has shown that adding the keyword into the headline and copy of your ad will increase the likelihood of it getting clicked. If the searcher’s query matches your targeted keyword, the keyword will actually show up bold, as Bryan Watson stated in his article, “PPC Ad Copy Writing for Beginners,” within the ad copy making it stand out even more. For more advanced users of Google Adwords, Dynamic Keyword Insertion is a great tactic to help ensure the user’s query always shows up in the ad headline. By adding Dynamic Keyword Insertion into your ad headline, Google will dynamically insert the users query to fit into the ad headline therefore increasing the relevancy to that user, hopefully resulting in a click.

Have a Call-to-Action

The call-to-action is an important aspect, if not the most important aspect of your pay per click ad. It’s particularly important because you want people to complete a desired action and know exactly what to expect to see on the landing page. Whether you want them to make a purchase or start a free trial, you should include it in your ad. Adding call-to-action phrases like “Sign up Now,” or “Buy Now,” is not only inviting people to complete your desired action, but qualifying them at the same time.

Create Relevant and Consistent Landing Pages

Just because a user has clicked on one of your ads doesn’t mean that a sale is guaranteed. It’s important to take customers to an appropriate and relevant landing page that directly relates to your keyword and ad copy. By staying consistent in your messaging as well as providing meaningful content, you have a higher chance of closing that deal. It’s also a good idea to group your keywords into closely related themes so that your ad copy and landing pages remain highly relevant.

Test Your Ads

Remember not to underestimate how important it is to test your pay per click ad. It can be hard to get your ad copy right the first time, and even if you’re lucky enough to nail a great ad on your first round, things can always be improved. By testing different messaging and calls-to-action, you can determine what resonates with your potential customers, as well as the perfect combination of pain points and CTAs.

These six tips should give you a head start on creating a winning pay per click ad. Remember to keep in mind secondary factors such as perceived value, credibility, and risk reduction, such as a free trial, when writing your ads. And use Google ad extensions in order to take up as much real estate on the results page as possible.

Have any tips to add to our list for writing winning pay per click ads? Share them in the comments!

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