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Writing great ads doesn’t always come from the same formula, but there are some important guidelines to consider, especially when aiming for conversions. PPC advertising pretty much abolished the “it just feels right” attitude to creating advertising content.

Strategy now trumps creativity, and data trumps preference-based opinions. In this post, I’ve put together a few simple guidelines to get started. So do your homework and there’s no reason we can’t all be copywriting stars.

1) Relevance: Keyword In The Ad…Twice!

One way to improve your conversion rate is to eliminate irrelevant clicks.

By making sure your keyword is both in the headline and elsewhere in the ad – assuming your keyword is highly relevant to what you are trying to sell – it is way more likely that person will

  1. Be interested in your page
  2. Take your desired action

Why twice? Having the keyword in the headline is essential for maintaining a high ad relevance & quality score. While ad descriptions are notorious for being overlooked by users, if your keyword is in the description, Google will automatically bold the keyword drawing attention to your 80 character description, so use it wisely

Google AdWords descriptions

For example, with one particular client who sells beauty products, we saw a significant increase in both click-through rate and conversion rate by including the keyword in both the headline and the path.

Keyword repetition in AdWords

The more informed someone is before clicking your ad, the more valuable that person is and worth your precious PPC budget dollars. Not to mention, ad relevance is a key component of quality score and helps get your ad that coveted #1 spot without sacrificing CPC.

2) WIIFM – Tell The Consumer What They Get

Once that you’ve grabbed the searchers attention with a highly relevant ad, you need to tell them exactly what they will get once they click through to your site. Wordstream’s recent study on top performing ad texts provides some interesting insight into which words tend to generate better performance.

With “Your” and “Free” being the top two, it’s safe to say searchers are generally in the “what’s in it for me?” mindset (WIIFM). So make it a priority to get these words in your headlines where suitable.

Particularly for generating leads, it’s usually most effective to draw them in with an offer such as “Get Your Free Consultation & Quote.”

3) Put The U in USP – The Bizarreness Effect

It’s no secret that users often don’t convert on the first click. You can increase the value of those clicks by generating recall using the bizarreness effect. This cognitive bias is simply the fact that people remember bizarre content more often than ordinary content.

The Bizarreness Effect AdWords

For advertisers with longer conversion paths and lags, recall helps generate assisted conversions. If the user remembers the ad, they are likely to reach the site directly or organically when they are ready to convert. So don’t be afraid to steer away from the same old advertising language, get weird!

Not sure how to come up with unique copy? Just ask your client what makes them different from their competitors, you would be surprised at what you can come up with.

4) Understand Your Target (Clicks come from real humans)

We can all be guilty of neglecting our targeting mindset once we’ve established keywords and campaign setup, but if you don’t think about your target audience while writing the ad copy, you’re definitely going to miss out on some key converting traffic.

Demographics and location targeting can be done via settings, but when it comes to psychographics, ad copy is the key. Have a look at the search terms generated from generic keywords to get insight on the minds of the consumer.

For example, if you’re bidding on the keyword “hair brush”, you might see large number of clicks for search terms like “durable hair brush”, or “hair brush always breaks”. You can identify durability as a pain point and use it to your advantage when writing the ads.


AdWords ad copy

5) Use Variations & A/B Test

Why trust anything you read in a blog post when you can see the results for yourself? Write multiple ads and A/B test them over time to see what works for your circumstance. Using labels in AdWords makes it easy to see what works and what doesn’t.

Set up your campaign in a hurry and forgot to use labels? No problem! Campaign drafts and experiments make testing easy, even after the initial setup is complete. Simply create a draft of your existing campaign and select ‘run an experiment.’

Experiments allow you to split your budget and run two campaign variations at the same time. The experiment data will be displayed next to the original data for the duration of the experiment so you can easily compare performance. Once your experiment has collected a significant amount of data, you can choose whether or not to implement the changes.

Whichever method you chose, be sure to know your variables. Try to limit your tests and experiments to one variable for the most accurate results. Data speaks louder than words!

Get Creative and Experiment

With so much freedom to experiment, there are hundreds of different strategies for writing quality AdWord copy. Marketers are special because they tend to have a delicate balance of creative and analytical skills, both of which really shine when it comes to copywriting.

The key takeaway from this would be that while ads are short and sweet, the ad copies should be written strategically, and then tested to ensure you are getting the most out of your AdWords budget.

So use these tips to guide you, but let your creative side come through and experiment!

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