If you’re a small to medium-sized business that does not have your own in-house marketing team that handles your PPC campaign for you and you’re using an external consultant, make sure you don’t just leave them to it.
They may be the experts at PPC, but you are the experts at your business – you know your products, your services and most importantly your typical type of customers. Make sure you give the marketers this background information and a one-page brief containing your expectations. This will really help your PPC ad campaign to be more effective, as the marketers will be able to lift some of your own words out of this document to create a more accurate description.
Drill deep into your target audience and use personal language
Your ad should be written from the point of view of your target audience. This includes using personal language i.e. using more language about “you” (the client) rather than “we” or “us” (your business). To write your ad from the point of view of your target audience, you need to really understand what problems they experience in their life. Why do they want or need your product? What problems do they think it will solve? What extra questions might they have that they need answers to before they purchase? If you can address these messages and concerns in your PPC ad, your conversion rates will increase. Common things you can include in your ad to pre-empt users’ fears is to mention your licences or endorsements, customer satisfaction ratings, workmanship guarantees, 24/7 customer support etc.
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Use keywords and research potential search phrases
Your keywords must always be in your ad and the higher up the better – ideally within your first or second headline. Do your research into keywords and mirror potential search phrases. The closer you can match your ad text and language to users’ search phrases the better.
Include qualifying elements including price points
If your product or service is on the market at a higher price point than many of your competitors, make sure in your ad you use language to discourage price-sensitive, bargain shoppers. PPC advertising means you are paid per click so you don’t want to spend money on users who click on your ad only to navigate away from your website as soon as they realise what you charge.
You can discourage people with a “cheap” mindset from clicking on your ad by using phrases like “luxury”, “high-end” or “bespoke” etc in your ad which indicate that your products are of higher quality and therefore more likely to have a price tag that matches.
Qualifying elements can be used for things other than price in the same way. For example, you can include language about the types of people you work with so that those groups recognise that you are perfect for them (and you weed out unsuitable candidates at the same time). For example, if you run drama classes for adults, your ad text could say “Drama classes – Melbourne – for adults only”. You’ve now been very specific by identifying the location and the fact that you work with adults, thus discouraging anyone who is looking for drama classes for their children. Another example could be “Luxury Retreats – For Women CEOs”. This indicates a higher price point. It also indicates that you only work with women at elite business level.
Compare this with a more generic title like “Retreats – 6 days, 7 nights, 8 activities”. This doesn’t give the searcher enough clarity on whether it will be the right type of retreat for them. They have no idea whether the retreat will be in their price point, in a location that interests them, if it’s a retreat for seniors or Gen X’ers, or a specific gender or sexual orientation if it will be a healing retreat or a high adrenaline adventure retreat. In other words, it leaves too many unanswered questions which means people either won’t click on the ad at all, or if they do, they may then navigate away because it wasn’t suitable for them, but you’re still being charged.
Clearly outline your USP
Your USP is your unique selling proposition – the thing that makes you different to your competition. What is the benefit you can offer than another firm in the same industry can’t. Clearly spell out your unique benefits. And while we’re on that note, check out some of your competitor’s ads. What have they done and how does your ad compare to theirs?
Use words concisely
Ad text is limited so don’t spend it making the same point three times. If you include text saying “Get 10% off!” in three different places, not only is it wasted space, it also makes your ad look spammy.
Always proofread and test your ad
If you wrote the ad, you shouldn’t be the same person to review it and proofread it. We do not tend to catch our own mistakes and we also can get so attached to our work that we can’t stand back objectively enough to identify missing elements. Ideally, have 3 or 4 proofread or review your ad before it goes public.
Similarly, you should ideally create three to four different versions of your ad with slightly different messages and calls to actions. You can instruct AdWords to rotate your ads automatically and show the best performing ads more often. Over time, this testing process will show you what works best and you might be surprised to find it wasn’t your first choice!
Include a call-to-action
Your ad is not complete without a call to action. Move beyond the clichéd “call now” and “contact us” and try using verbs like “grow”, “become”, “learn”, join”, “save” followed by a noun or more context e.g. “grow your wealth now”, “become a certified naturopath”, “save time” etc.
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