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PPC Ads Need Convincing Copy. How Do You Write It?

Pay-per-click (PPC) ads have evolved to become one of the world’s most popular digital marketing strategies. You can get started with minimal training, take advantage of some of the most popular platforms on the Internet, and see an ROI that trounces the ROI of most other digital marketing strategies.

PPC Ads Need Convincing Copy. So how Do You Write It?

People have built lucrative careers out of targeting the right audiences and putting together the best ad bidding strategies. But one of the most critical factors for success is the quality of your copy. Your ad copy needs to be persuasive and compelling if you want your strategy to succeed.

So what does it take to create that compelling copy?

Why Copy Is So Important

You probably have an intuition for why ad copy is so essential for PPC ads. But let’s examine the issue in more detail, because there are many facets to the function of PPC ad copy.

  • Standing out. Millions of online stores and other businesses compete actively for consumer attention. These companies are bidding for ad space, and nearly every SERP is loaded with at least a few obvious ads. If your ad is too similar to these competitors, your would-be customers are barely going to notice. Convincing copy is your best tool for standing out — and immediately claiming their attention.
  • Persuading an audience. More obviously, copy is necessary to persuade your audience to take action, and on multiple levels. How do you convince them that you’re a trustworthy brand and that you’re going to stay true to your word? How do you convince them to take the next step, which is usually clicking the ad? Finally, once they get to your website, how do you convince them that your product is worth buying?
  • Maintaining your quality score. Don’t forget that Google and other PPC ad platforms maintain a backend “quality score” so they can notice when an advertiser spams or attempts to swindle an audience (and remove them appropriately). Writing good copy isn’t just about making your audience happy; it’s also about appeasing these platforms and keeping your quality score as high as possible. This will give you more consistent access to the platform and potentially help you in your bidding strategies.

Elements of Convincing Copy

So what is it that makes PPC copy persuasive?

  • Proper audience targeting. If you write an ad meant to appeal to literally everyone, I can personally guarantee it’s going to fail. That’s because such broadly targeted ads ought to be relevant to any particular audience. Instead, it’s better to focus on a specific target audience and write your messaging specifically for them. You will inevitably alienate some portion of your audience that might be interested in your product, but the benefit of being highly relevant to that audience far exceeds the costs.
  • Uniqueness. Remember, there are literally millions of companies competing with you. On top of that, I’ve seen literally millions of ads in their time for most Internet users. So if you’re saying the same things as everyone else, or if it seems like you just copied and pasted someone else’s work, people are going to overlook your ad and move on.
  • Specificity. Don’t be vague with your advertisement. This is a trap that many new ad copywriters fall into; they think being noncommittal and intentionally vague draws people into the advertisement. But in reality, this is disorienting and alienating. Instead, be as specific as possible. Instead of saying something like, “Improve your life starting right now. You’ll never look back!” Instead, say something like, “Get better sleep with this 10-minute nightly routine.” Phrases like “improve your life” could mean almost anything.
  • Simplicity and conciseness. Your ad can become bloated and unmanageable in your effort to add more specifics. It’s usually better to focus on clarity and conciseness. Simple ads are more likely to persuade people in concise ads are much faster to process. Write out a few ad copy variations, then start trimming them down. Which elements are most important to include, and which ones can be abandoned? Chances are, you’ll have a lot of fluff to cut.
  • A reasonable promise. We’ve all seen sensational ads that promise the world to us. They claim they can help us earn millions of dollars or get a job working from home just two hours a week for a full-time salary. Most people see an offer like this and know instantly that it’s not real. Even if your offer truly is this good, somehow, you’ll turn people away by describing it. Instead, focus on a reasonable promise that you can offer and make good on.
  • Honesty and transparency. You don’t want to sound like a robot. So inject more honesty and transparency into your PPC ads; only make claims that you can realistically verify and showcase your own personality.
  • Emphasis on low risk. The internet is home to countless legitimate and ethical businesses, but it’s also home to a ton of scams, despite Google’s best mitigation efforts. If you want to persuade more people to click your ad, emphasize its low risk. You can do this in several ways, such as by mentioning a money-back guarantee, or offering a free trial for a specific number of days.
  • A sense of urgency. Procrastination runs deep in human DNA. If you give people a reason to delay their decision, they’re going to take it — and possibly delay their action indefinitely. Don’t take this risk; instead, convey some kind of urgency. Stating that the offer is limited time or implying that there are limited quantities of product available will often motivate people to take action.

Writing Copy

Now for the actual “writing” part. What does it take to write this persuasive copy?

  • The solopreneur approach. You’ve already learned some of the fundamentals just by reading this guide. If you have past experience in copywriting or any kind of background in writing or communication, you might be able to manage a small account on your own. As your brand scales, and as you run into more issues, this will become more and more difficult.
  • Internal workshopping. If you have a team of marketing experts or creatively minded people, you can internally workshop some of the ads you’re planning. It pays to have a diverse collection of minds working on this problem; you can come up with some genuinely original angles this way.
  • Freelancers. Working with freelancers is easier than ever, thanks to the prevalence of remote workers. With a simple search, or by using a freelancing platform, you can find thousands of copywriters and PPC experts willing to write ad copy on your behalf for a small fee.
  • A PPC agency. If you have a massive campaign to manage or if you just want to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money, a PPC agency is probably your best bet. PPC agencies are stacked with digital marketing professionals from different backgrounds and with other specialties, so you’ll always have amazing people on your team.

The Importance of Experimentation

Here’s another important note about PPC ad writing: it demands experimentation. You can read up on the best PPC ad campaigns in history or study the best work of the best copywriters, but there’s no guarantee that your lessons will translate into an effective strategy. Consumers are too unpredictable, and the markets are too fickle for a one-size-fits-all ad writing strategy. Instead, it’s essential to try out many different variants of the ad copy you’re writing.

Only through experimentation will you be able to determine the most relevant and most persuasive copy elements for your audience. Measure and analyze your results consistently, and you’ll be in a much better position to optimize your copy.

Image Credit: RODNAE Productions; Pexels; Thank you!

PPC Ads Need Convincing Copy. How Do You Write It? was originally published on ReadWrite on December 6, 2021 by Timothy Carter.

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ReadWrite is the leading media platform dedicated to IoT and the Connected World. We work with the industry's top technologies, thinkers, and companies to tell the stories that drive this world forward.

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