Your ad copy is one of the most important components of your paid search campaign. While traditional advertising allows the advertiser to get their message across using multiple lines and paragraphs of text, paid search ads have a very limited amount of character space. Google AdWords allows a total of 95 characters: 25 characters for the heading and 35 characters on each of the two lines.

With such a small amount of real estate for your message it makes it very important that you create very strong ad copy. The following tips will help you to create strong and successful copy for your paid search advertising campaign.

How to Write Strong Paid Search Ad Copy

Use your keywords in the copy

While it may sound quite fundamental, not everyone uses their keywords in the ad copy. Many advertisers use generic ads instead of creating several versions tailored to their keywords. Many will simply write a few generic ads and use the same copy for every ad group. This is the easy way to do it, and taking shortcuts like this will actually produce poor overall results. Not only will the quality score be low, but also the ad will not grab the attention of the individual performing the search.

The following search result for “health insurance” is a prime example of this:

use keywords in ppc ads

You will notice that the keyword is shown right at the front of the ad headline. The phrase “health insurance” is also in bold because it matches the searched keyword, drawing even more attention to it.

Looking at the other two ads you will notice that they do not have the keyword anywhere in their ad copy. Those ads do not feature the keyword in bold anywhere, failing to draw extra attention to the ads. Using the keywords in the ad copy will require you to create many more ads, but the results are well worth the effort.

You need to have a very strong call to action in your ad because they tell the people who see your ad what you want them to do when they click over to your website. Your call to action is your chance to ask the individual for the sale. You can also use extensions in your ad to drive the individual to perform additional actions such as email submits or to make a phone call.

Looking at the same ad as above you will see that they utilize extensions as well as site links:

use cta and extensions in ppc ads

Their extensions allow the individual to enter his or her zip code and also quickly visit particular pages on their site with a single click. The zip code submit will bring the user to a page featuring health plans for that particular zip code, and looking at the site links at the bottom of the ad you can see that the use can quickly go to the health plans section or apply for health insurance with one click. There is also a link to more information about Obamacare and one link for medical insurance in Florida. This copy provides information for those who are looking to enroll as well as those looking for more information. They have all of the bases covered with this ad copy.

Make sure to highlight your USP (unique selling proposition)

Paid search is very competitive, and your ads will be above and underneath your competition. You need to use your copy as a way to highlight the points that make your product and or service unique. This is your chance to take traffic from your competition.

Make sure to include anything that gives you an edge, such as a service or satisfaction guarantee, an exclusive offer, free shipping, or anything else that you offer but the other websites do not. Having a strong USP will really help your PPC ads perform well.

Stand out from the competition

Make your ad copy stand out from the competition. It is always good to be different, but in paid search marketing it can be the difference between an average performing ad or one that receives a very high click through rate and produces a high conversion rate.

Looking at the same ad again, you will notice one thing that makes it really stand out:

make your ppc ad stand out

Out of all the ads that are showing for “health insurance” this one is the only one that has a rating displayed. Those orange stars really grab the attention of the searcher and they make the ad appear to really stand out above the others. This ad is number one so it will naturally attract the most attention, but imagine if the ad were in the number 3 spot – it would still attract your attention because of the bright orange stars that no other ad has.

Utilize symbols to draw attention

Symbols really help an ad stand out (when they can be used correctly) when they are lined up against other similar ads selling the same product or service. In a sea of text, symbols really make an ad pop and stand out more.

Take a look at the ads that show when a the search term “iPad” is entered into Google:

use symbols in ppc ads

The symbols really draw attention and the registered trademark symbol makes the ads command more attention. Test symbols when you can use them and you will often see a much higher click through rate on ads that use these symbols. It is important that you comply with the network’s policies, as some symbols are not allowed in ad copy.

Use these tips to help you create strong ad copy for your PPC marketing, but remember that it takes a lot of testing to develop a winning paid search strategy. If you are interested in a PPC audit or fully managed PPC campaigns contact us today.

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