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9 Tips For Writing Effective PPC Ads

May 29, 2018

Making a strong, positive first impression is key to generating an abundance of quality leads.  With PPC ads, you must grab their attention, clearly communicate your message and motivate qualified prospects to act – all within a list of restrictions that include character count limits.

Wondering how? Here are 9 tips that will help you.

1. Solutions.

Focus on your audience, specifically the unique benefits you provide them. The most common mistake is writing about what you offer when your audience is searching for a solution to one of their problems.

For example, in higher education, colleges love to lead with “Online MBA Program” or “RN to BSN Program.”

What about “Advance your career” or “Lowest Cost Award Winning Online MBA in the US” or “1 Year MEd.”

The first focuses on aspirational issues – but how many will search for a degree program based on those terms? Answer – few.

The most common terms will be program name and, if the person prefers online, they will most likely enter [ex] “online degree name” or “online degree name location” (Online MBA Baltimore).

That’s why the second headline works – it includes program name and modality. Having “lowest cost” and “award-winning” helps because it addresses concerns over cost and quality.

The third option works because it has the program name and the reference to “1 year” speaks to another common concern – time to complete the program.  The lack of insight into modality is a concern, however.

2. Clear and Concise

Write in a way that clearly, concisely using words the audience uses and understands rather than the jargon your business loves to use around the office.  This might make things a little tougher to get approved internally because it’s not written in your company’s/client’s terminology but, hey, the ads aren’t for them to read and act on.

3. Repeat. Repeat. Don’t Repeat.

Some repetition helps, too much is distracting and wastes space.  So, if you repeat a key benefit or offer, do so with the knowledge that a little goes a long way and too much of a good thing can kill you.

4. Call to Action/Offer

If you don’t tell them what to do next, chances are extremely high that they will not do anything.  “Click here,” “Learn more,” and “But now” are all strong, clear calls to action – and if you have time-sensitive offers, such as “Act Now! Offer ends at 5 PM,” use it because fear is a strong motivator!

Now, the offer is the fun part. 

What do you offer a member of your target audience that is in the initial stage of “Awareness”?

Or what about the person that is in the “Consideration” stage?

I ask because most PPC ads tend to be “Buy now!” and “Save 50%” – neither of which are appropriate for the people in “Awareness” and “Consideration” stages.

Bottomline, make sure the offer is relevant, unique and valuable based on the stage the individual is in at the present time.

Customer Journey


5. Keywords and Search Phrase


This is all about keywords and search phrases so make sure you are writing your copy based on keywords and that those keywords are used in the first or second headline.


And in the same vein, try to match the users’ search phrase too. (Yes, that does require tremendous insight into your audience combined with a little bit of good fortune – but the more you write PPC ads, and the more you study your audience, you will see this can be done.)


6. Qualify.


This is one that many will argue – but if you want high-quality leads, you better mention any basic requirements in the ad.  This could include price (knock off those price-sensitive buyers) or even age restrictions, experience etc.


7. Progression


You write the headline to motivate the reader to move on to the subhead. And you write the subhead to motivate the reader to move on to the first line of ad copy. And you write the first line of ad copy to…


You get the point. Headlines are crucial so take your time writing them, test them and always strive to improve them.


8. Proofreader


Have someone proofread for grammar and spelling – and then have someone (or a group) with deep knowledge and understanding of the target audience read it from the perspective of the target audience. 


9. Test. Measure and analyze. Modify. Repeat.


Life changes.  What worked today might not work tomorrow. Test. Always be testing.  Always strive to improve. There is no ‘resting on one’s laurels.’


Any other writing tips for PPC Ads?


What did I miss? Have you learned something that you would like to share?  If so, please leave a comment. (And if you think I nailed it – feel free to leave that as a comment too!) 

Tags: Digital Marketing, PPC Ads
Category: SEM

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