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PPC Ad Writing 101

PPC Ad Writing 101

So you’re almost done with the perfect PPC campaign.  Tightly themed ad groups and every relevant keyword imaginable. That’s great, BUT your campaign won’t be successful if you’re not running a good ad. A successful PPC ad will answer the searcher’s question “why should I choose you over your competitors”. (Just a side note, writing ads is my favorite part in the PPC campaign setup process. Give me a cup of coffee and I can write ads for hours!)

Be sure that when writing PPC ads (or TV, print, or radio ads for that matter), you’re in the mindset that the ads are supposed to get the reader’s attention as well as their click – not make the sale… as that’s what the landing page is for. Don’t worry the blog post on PPC landing page is coming soon.

Now that we’re in that mindset, let’s get down to some basic ad writing tips from the Forthea PPC advertising team:

  • Use the ad group’s keywords in the ad copy, specifically the headline.
    • If you’re writing a benefit-driven ad, you’ll want to include a benefit or reason why you’re better than the competitors in your headline
  • Sell the benefits of your product or service, not features. You’ve got to remember that in the mind of the searcher, the interest in benefits will almost always outweigh the features (product quality, customer service, prices, product selection,  etc).
  • Use a  strong call-to-action (“act now”, “get free report”, “book an appt”, “call now”)
  • Test at least 2 ads simultaneously – (At Forthea, we like to start with two completely different ads. Then over the course of the ad testing, figure out what approach works best). Not only is it necessary to find out which ad works best, but Google loves fresh ads!
    • A few easy items to test (Be sure to only test one thing at a time):
      • headlines
      • description lines
      • display URLs
      • punctuation
      • benefits
      • calls to action
      • the sky is the limit!
  • Don’t forget to give your ads ample time to run in order to gather enough data to determine a winner.
  • Make sure your ad stands out from your competitors. Do a search for a keyword you’re going after and analyze their ads. What are their benefits and calls to action? Don’t forget to make sure they haven’t already used the same ad text you’re planning to run.
  • Always use a Thesaurus. I’ve always got Thesaurus.com opened up! It’s been able to get me out of plenty of ad writing jams.
  • Content network ads have to grab the reader’s attention. The reader is in research mode, often reading articles, blogs, and news. Ads that sound like lead-ins to other articles or posts often work well.
  • Use exact numbers instead of rounding (e.g., “Save $15,832” instead of “Save $16k”). It’s more believable.
  • Try different approaches to your ad. Some examples of different approaches you could take are: emphasizing immediate or rapid results, phrase the ad as a question, make a time-sensitive offer or give a sense of urgency, challenge the searcher: “Discover the…”, create trust or compare your product/service to another.

Of course this was an abbreviated list because I don’t want to give away all of our PPC ad writing secrets. However, if you want to see what kind of ads we can write for your business, give Forthea Interactive Marketing a shout by calling 713-568-2763 today.


Davis Baker
Davis is the PPC Team Lead at Forthea and a digital advertising veteran of six years. Outside of the office, you can find Davis running, riding his dirt bike, or searching for the perfect cup of coffee (freshly ground and brewed with a French press. Anything less just won't cut it).

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