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10 steps to writing better PPC ads

Writing good PPC adverts is tough. There are very strict criteria and you have only a few seconds to make an impact. PPC ads contain:
• a headline of 25 characters or less
• a description consisting of two lines of 35 characters each
• a display URL of 35 characters or less.
Writing an effective PPC ad is a skill well worth mastering, as ads with a higher click-through rate win better quality scores, and so cost less to run. Here are our 10 steps to writing better PPC ads.


Better PPC ads step #1 – use keywords

This might sound obvious but a surprising number of PPC ads don’t use relevant keywords. Google will automatically bold any keywords within your ad, making it stand out amongst your competitors. Try to use the keyword at the start of your headline.


Better PPC ads step #2 – research the competition

Type your top six keywords into Google to see what PPC ads come up. Remember that your competitors online will be more numerous than your brand competitors. This is because there may be companies offering cut-price versions of your product for instance. Don’t forget to do a vertical searches via Adwords Auction Insights Tool. This will show you which competitors are consistently higher than you. Make a note of their headlines, calls to actions, urls, extensions, qualifiers, credibility statements and risk reduction statements.


Better PPC ads step #3 – shout about your USP

Analyse what your competitors are offering to find out where you can assert your difference. So for instance, if they’re all offering low prices, you might want to offer greater credibility or a lower risk offer via a bonus such as free packaging or a free quote. Whatever your USP is, shout about it.


Better PPC ads step #4 – identify your market

As any copywriter will tell you, it’s better to craft copy for a specific market than to risk writing broad and bland copy which appeals to no-one. Don’t be afraid to craft copy that will appeal to your target market, adding qualifiers to your copy if necessary.


Better PPC ads step #5 – craft emotive copy

PPC ad writing can get so technical that it’s easy to forget that your ads needs to appeal to your audience. Use tone of voice to your advantage. So while copy aimed at executives will need to be fairly formal, a PPC advert for children’s toys can be much more upbeat and fun. You’ve only got a few seconds to convince so use emotive/emotional language.

“Address your customer’s pain points, reduce risk, prove your credibility and your click-through rates will soar.”


Better PPC ads step #6 – address your customers’ needs

Remember your customers are searching not for a product or service but to a solution to their problem. They are wary of wasting time or money and want to feel that they’re making the right choice when they click on your PPC ad. Address their pain points, reduce risk, prove your credibility and your click-through rates will soar.


Better PPC ads step #7 – include a call to action

You must tell your prospects what to do. Often, this will be something simple like ‘Buy now!’ but sometimes it’s better to use a softer sell. You might appeal to their imaginations, show off your testimonials, show off your number of customers or appeal to their softer side. Can you offer something extra or some form of instant gratification? If your ad is designed to appeal to prospects at the start of the buying cycle can you offer advice or insights which they’ll perceive as valuable?


Better PPC ads step #8 – use extensions

PPC ad extensions can be used as part of enhanced campaigns. They don’t cost any extra and they increase the amount of real estate your ad takes up on the search page, improving click-through rates. You can add links to specific pages on your website, app extensions, call extensions, location extensions and offer extensions. Consider which ones are likely to appeal to your target audiences. So include a location extension where a customer will need to visit you, and an app extension if most of your customers search for you using mobiles or tablets.


Better PPC ads step #9 – use a dedicated landing page

It’s well worth creating a landing page for your PPC ads which uses the same keywords. This stops your customer feeling disorientated and as though they’ve clicked through to the wrong page. Include convincing copy and a call-to-action on your landing page to make it a no-brainer for them to buy.


Better PPC ads step #10 – keep testing

The best way to improve your PPC ads is to keep testing all the elements. Use split testing to check you’re on the right track and to make sure your conversion rates stay high over time.




Are you finding it hard to craft effective PPC ads for your business? Call 0845 2606 255 to let our expert copywriters do it for you.


Steve Lodge :Steve trained as a NCTJ journalist and is an experienced copywriter. He has over 15 years in agency, and started Oxygen in 2002.

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