6 Things that May Be Missing from Your Copy for Paid Ads

Pat McKay

06/15/2017

It’s about time that you to shake things up with your headlines and descriptions for AdWords! Find out how you can raise your click-through-rates by writing more compelling, precise copy.

With two 30-character limit headlines to work with, one of which usually includes your brand, and a description with an 80-character limit, we know there’s not a lot of room to work with.

That’s why you need to get your hands dirty and perform surgery on these short—yet potentially influential—segments of text. Dissect each word until you believe that you’re delivering your message in the quickest, most effective and organized way possible.

By doing so, you’ll begin to stand out against the competition and draw more users to your website for better leads. Here are 6 things that may be missing from your copy for paid ads:

1. Numbers in Your Headlines & Descriptions

Everyone loves numbers, right? Well, maybe not everyone—we take that back. But unless you’re a creative type that’s bored out of your mind while sitting in a lecture on pre-calc, numbers typically come across as friendly and straightforward.

After reading the subheading, you may have assumed that we would insist that you include your phone number in your description, which isn’t a bad idea. There’s no reason to play hard to get when you’re running a business.    

However, what we’re really trying to say is that numbers resonate with people. No matter how large or small they may be, they work to capture the attention of users and deliver powerful messages fast.

Are you available for 24/7 IT support? Can a new logo design be 100% custom-made? How many hours of back pain relief will customers receive after purchasing a new heat wrap? Over 30+ years of experience sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Will your customers save money if they buy new sunglasses today? If so, how much? Are you currently offering a discount on AC repair services? How many satisfied customers does your moving company have?

These are all examples of questions that you should ask yourself to help make your paid ads stand out among the rest. In advertising, it’s all about getting your point across as quickly as possible—and using numbers is one of the simplest ways of doing so.

2. Relevant Keywords in Your Copy

If your copy doesn’t include important keywords that you figure people would use to search for the products or services you provide, you’re missing a huge piece of the puzzle. If you’re the owner of an HVAC company, for example, you should make sure you include the terms “Installations” and “Repairs,” among other services. 

Similarly, if you’re marketing for a plastic surgery center, you should include terms like “Face Lift,” “Cosmetic Procedures” or “Board Certified Plastic Surgeons.” These search terms won’t necessarily increase your search rankings since you’re working with paid ads. However, they’ll increase your quality score and lower your cost-per-click.

Google needs your headlines and descriptions to be relevant to the search terms you’re targeting and also the landing pages the ads direct you to. The text in the keywords, ad copy and display URL should all be closely related. This is an effort from Google to ensure users enjoy a satisfying experience while searching online.

By including industry related search terms in your copy, you’ll connect all the dots for the artificial intelligence reading the text, and also users who expect an accelerated journey to their destination. Don’t forget to make sure that it all reads naturally. If it appears stuffed with search terms and is structured awkwardly, sacrifice a couple of them until it’s a user-friendly read.     

3. Compelling Questions   

How’d we do at trying to spark your imagination with questions? Our goal was to have you imagine yourself running a few different businesses, so you could brainstorm ways in which you could attract customers using shiny numbers in your ads. Did we do alright?

We’ll never know for sure.  

But what we do know is that questions stimulate the imagination. You know those pain points that you like to press so much in your web copy? Well, do your best at converting them into questions. And, of course, make sure relevant keywords are included.

Trust us; it’s easy—all it takes is a little creativity. Here are a few examples of how you can take general statements from your landing pages and transform them into compelling questions:

  • Cosmetic dentistry will restore a beautiful smile. ➝ Embarrassed of crooked teeth?
  • Transform your health with personal training. ➝ Need a Personal Trainer?  
  • Protect the infrastructure of your home with a new roof. ➝ Does your roof need repairs?
  • Improve your credit score quickly with credit counseling. ➝ Bad Credit Holding You Back?
  • Our staff will renew your office with a fresh coat of paint. ➝ Looking for office painters?

Screwing in that hook at the end of a sentence is a perfect way to connect with users on a personal level. You’re letting them know that you understand the problem at hand, and then are following up with the solution in the description below—which is to visit your website and pursue your services.  

Let users know that you’re picking up what they’re putting down while searching. By asking questions, you’re essentially saying, “You’re facing that problem? No worries; we got your back.”  

4. Conversational, “Non-Salesy” Language

Instead of trying to reel in customers with exaggerated sales language, your descriptions should focus mostly on the needs and benefits of potential customers. Make it a point to show value without coming across too pushy. It’s a shopping experience, so make sure it’s a pleasant one. Start taking notice to which ads appeal to you the most and you’ll likely find that they tend to be subtle yet sublime.  

You probably don’t enjoy when a salesperson follows you around and tries to sell you on everything that you stop and look at in a store with over-the-top claims. Maybe you’re ready to buy, maybe not. Either way, you need a little space to wander around, discover what you like and learn genuine information about the products on your own.

A lot of sales language is far too promising or unrealistic, and extreme deals and offers generally make you feel like something has to be wrong. It also comes across as being desperate. And there’s just something about the whole desperate thing that repels people in more than just a few areas of life.

Instead, a confident approach of letting customers know that you recognize their needs and you’re prepared to deliver a solution is much smoother than appearing as if you’re hopelessly trying to get someone to visit your site (even if you actually are).

Confidence—which is not to be mistaken for cockiness—goes a long way when writing ad copy. Focus on describing your reliability, for example, trustworthiness, accreditation, quick response times, versatility or your “Wide Selection.” Tell users what you believe separates your company from the rest of the pack.

How can you assist them in resolving an issue or satisfying a need? Hand it over to users realistically and in layman’s terms. Remember, leave outrageous claims and over-the-top sales tactics behind. Be transparent to your online audience, and let the people decide the winner.  

5. A Consistent Style & Structure

Being consistent with the style and structure of your headlines and descriptions is crucial to making solid first impressions on users when they initially view your ads. If you want your headline to read like a traditional headline, then capitalize the first letter of each word, except for the smaller words like “the,” “for,” “at” and “of,” just to name a few.

Also, if you want the words in your description to stand out, go ahead and capitalize them as well. However, if you’d like everything to read more conversationally, capitalize the letter of the first word and maybe a few important terms, but let the rest flow along smoothly as brief statements.

You can separate them with a colon, comma, period, ampersand (&) or one of those simple dots that you’ll see in most copy for AdWords, like in this excerpt from an ad for a roofing company, “Free Estimates · Over 40 Years Experience · No Trip Fee”

No matter what style you decide to roll with however, make sure it remains consistent throughout the entire ad. It’s not a good idea to fluctuate back and forth, as it simply doesn’t look nearly as polished and refined as it would if you had stayed true to your own individual tone and approach to writing copy.

We’re not trying to stop you from writing with your own flare. In fact, that’s what you should be doing— but remember that the two main components of ads, both the headline and description, look a lot cleaner and are easier on the eyes when you emphasize a consistent and organized write-up.

6. Concise Calls-to-Action (CTA)

After telling users about your business and shooting them straight on what you have to offer as they move towards pinpointing who or what they need, pack a punch with your calls-to-action. You don’t want to get caught up dancing around the ring and never going in for the strike. It’s your time to shine! Seal the deal and lead the user where you want them to go.   

And you have to consider that if they’ve searched something relating to your ad and skimmed over your copy, but you aren’t letting them know about the next step going forward, there’s a big problem. Realize that this is your shot! Will they make the move or not? It’s up to you—and, of course, a little bit of luck.

Figure out what you think would entice people to click your ads the most, and consolidate these offers or suggestions into the least possible amount of words. When your ad reads naturally and is compelling, a strong CTA is the icing on the cake. The user might have their hand on the doorknob, but it’s this line that will determine whether or not they turn it and walk inside. 

Here are a few examples of quick and effective CTAs:  “Call Today for Free Website Audit,” “Discover 300k+ Deals,” “Secure Booking, Free Cancellation,” “$49.00 Tune-Up Special,” “Free quotes.” Perhaps you include a few statements like these throughout your copy, which is common. Just always strive to narrow down big ideas to the shortest amount of digestible words.         

Want to learn more? Scroll through our blog or visit our pay-per-click advertising page for more insight.

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