Recently on Inside PPC we looked at how to research and develop a killer keyword list[link to] for your campaigns. Today we’re moving on to ad copy – the tiny snippet of text you have to convince searchers your ad is the one to click on.
Wow, that’s a lot of responsibility for so few words; which means you need to pick them wisely if you want to generate traffic. Sadly, there’s nothing simple about crafting great ad copy so let’s go over some key pointers to set you in the right direction.

As always, start with research
The first thing you want to do is check out your competitors to see what ad copy they have. Type in the keywords on your list and see who you’re up against. Analyse the copy from every ad that comes up for your keywords and distinguish the good from the bad. You want to get ideas from the best and avoid making any mistakes you spot from the worst.

Decide what makes you different
With your competition in mind it’s time to decide what makes you different (ie: better) than them. In search marketing you have to stand out from the pack and show people you can offer something others can’t. It could be a better deal, a better product or simply a better service, but whatever it is, you only have a headline and two lines of copy to make it clear.
At this point we should take a moment to talk about best practices. For the most part you want to know your best practices and follow them. But PPC is a little bit different when it comes to guidelines because, when everyone follows them, all ads end up the same. So always be prepared to break the odd best practice if it means your ads can stand out from the pack.

Put in a call to action
One best practice you probably always want to follow is putting a call to action in your ad copy. Be as creative as you feel the need to be with headlines, but the last line of your ad copy really wants to tell people why they should click on your ad.

For example, if you’re running a campaign for a summer sale on camping gear, you would want a call to action that says something like “save money on your camping gear now!” And you can add a sense of urgency by making it clear users need to click now, by including “Offer Ends Soon!” or something to that effect.

Measure, test and improve
To know whether your ad copy is working or not you need to run tests. We’ll go into this process in more detail in a later post, but for now just know you’ll need to follow some key metrics – and it’s not enough to simply follow the standard data in Google Analytics. You’ll need to create some custom metrics, commonly known as Conversions per Impression (CPI) and Profit per Conversion (PPI).

Luckily it’s not all that hard to do with a helping hand so keep an eye out for our guide to testing PPC ads in the future.

Next time on Inside PPC
Before that we’ll take a closer look at landing pages and why they’re so important when it comes to turning ad clicks into profits. See you soon!