Google Ads provides an excellent opportunity for owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to expand their reach online despite having a limited marketing budget. When executed correctly, Google Ads can help your brand develop and be more profitable.
Similar to all PPC (pay-per-click) platforms available today, Google Ads works by displaying relevant ads whenever a user types in certain words or phrases into Google’s search bar. These ads help convince users to click through to your website or landing page where they will be able to complete your desired action (whether this involves buying a product or signing up for a subscription).
When advertising on Google, the quality of your ad is something you should pay close attention to. Besides the bid amount, this is one of the key factors that Google uses to decide whether to display your ad in top spot of the search engine results pages (SERPs). In addition, ad quality affects how your target audience perceives your ads; if they are poorly designed, users are less likely to click on them.
Why Good Ad Copy Matters
One way to improve your ad quality is to ensure you use well-written copy. Many PPC experts agree that well-constructed copy makes the difference between a successful Google Ads campaign and failure. As your ads will be your target audience’s first introduction to your brand, it is only logical that you strive to make a positive first impression.
Good ad copy is crucial to the success of your campaign because it will help you accomplish your goal. If your ads are well crafted, you will successfully grab your audience’s attention, send out the message you want to convey and get them to click, all whilst complying with the character count and other restrictions imposed by Google.
Similar to quality web content, well-written ad copy also allows you to maximize your marketing resources. As you may know, running a PPC campaign requires time, money and effort. If you are using low-quality ads in your campaign, you won’t obtain the results that you expect, no matter how much time, money and effort you invest.
Finally, if you have high-quality ads, you can bid less to achieve the same ranking as an ad with a lower quality score. You will also see better click-through rates, resulting in more traffic to your website or landing page. There will be even more bonus points for you if your landing page is optimized as this will lead to more conversions. So, by creating well-written ads, not only will you maximise your resources, but you will also obtain a better return on investment.
10 Tips for Creating Effective Google Ads
Unfortunately, there is no single formula for crafting the best ad on Google (or other PPC ads for that matter); otherwise, every brand or digital marketer using Google Ads would be cashing in on it by now. The good news, however, is that there are several strategies that you can utilize to make your ads more effective and compelling. Here are just some.
Find out what your target audience is looking for
Remember, users may look online for information about the products or services you offer but not because they are curious about your business. That being said, if you just talk about yourself, your target audience might lose interest.
Before you start creating ads, the first thing you need to do is understand your target market. It is vital that you see things from your audience’s perspective. In this way, you can tell them that you recognize their problems and are able to resolve them.
If you’re stuck in the copyrighting process, here are some quick questions that you can ask yourself:
- What are my prospects’ problems?
- What are their pain points?
- How can I resolve their problems?
- What do they need to know about my products/services?
Speak directly to your audience
To pique your audience’s interest, you need your brand or business to appear friendly and approachable from the outset. Therefore, don’t forget to ensure that your ads are about your customers, not you. Use words such as “you” and “yours” rather than “us” and “ours”. This will make your audience feel important whilst creating the impression that your company is pleasant and amiable.
Take a look at these two headlines:
- “ACME Limo Tours – Explore London and Beyond”
- “ACME Limo Tours – We Service London and Beyond”
Whilst the difference between the two is minuscule, Example A is catchier and more effective than Example B because it makes the user the subject of the ad rather than the advertiser.
Use emotional triggers
Have you ever wondered why heartfelt or funny TV commercials are much easier to remember than run-of-the-mill ones? It is because they play with the emotions of the viewers, making them laugh, cry or feel nostalgic.
The same principle applies to PPC ads. If they are boring and generic, no one will feel compelled to click on them. To make your ads more appealing, you should use words that have an emotional impact on the audience. This should be easy enough if you have done your research and understand what your target audience requires.
For instance, since most people are naturally keen to avoid pain, you can play on negative feelings, such as anxiety, anger or fear of missing out, to create ads that will appeal to your target market. Similarly, you will leverage more positive emotions, such as relief and hopefulness, if your ads are cheerful and upbeat.
According to David Ogilvy, the “Father of Modern Advertising”, it is easier to persuade people if your ads are more informative. Therefore, the more information your ads can provide, the better the chance that your target audience will click on them.
Since Google Ads has a limited character count, you should carefully choose the type of information you include in your copy. Conducting some preliminary research about your audience is strongly recommended. This will give you an idea of what is going through their mind, including the problems they need resolved.
Based on the information you have gathered about your target market, the first draft of your ad copy should address your potential customers’ initial concerns. It should also answer some of the questions they will undoubtedly ask.
Studies have shown that the scarcer a particular item is, the more likely it is that people will want to buy it. This is because scarcity creates a sense of urgency, which motivates us to act. As such, it is a good idea to create scarcity when advertising your products or services online.
There are two ways to make this work: you can either offer products/services in a limited quantity or for a limited amount of time. However, be careful when using scarcity to promote your brand on Google. According to advertising experts, scarcity works only when something is truly in limited supply. It would be wise to use this strategy only when you need to, such as when you’re having an annual sale, a grand opening or a special event with a limited run.
There is a script that you can use if you want to include a sales countdown calendar in your Google Ads. If you are a PPC beginner and you don’t yet know how to use scripts or extensions with your ads, you could always ask Google Ads specialists for help.
Add geotags to your ads
Studies have shown that people find local businesses more approachable and trustworthy than large corporations. Therefore, consider going local by adding geotags to your ads.
Take note that you don’t have to operate in just one location to use this strategy. If you’re serving multiple locations, you should create separate campaigns for each area. Then, use specific location-based keywords or phrases for every campaign in order to target local customers.
Know your competitors
When creating ad copy, it pays to know as much information as possible about your competitors. As the renowned Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu used to say: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
Knowing how your ads compare with those of your competitors can help you identify which product features and benefits you should highlight. Moreover, implementing this approach will allow you to craft your ads in such a way that they will set your brand apart from the competition.
Here are a few questions to ask when creating ads based on your competitors’ data:
- What do you do or offer that is different to your competitors?
- Have you won any awards?
- Do you offer free shipping?
- Do you make special offers?
Address objections preemptively
Always address possible objections to your service or selling points beforehand so your target audience won’t have a reason not to click on your ads. In doing so, you will remove any excuse that your audience might have for not checking out your ad even before they can think of one.
With any potential objections out of the way, your target audience will feel more at ease with your brand and will therefore be more receptive to your offers.
In his 1936 self-help book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, Dan Carnegie underscored the importance of empathy in sales and marketing. Whilst “empathy” has become an overused term in marketing, not many marketers and business owners put it into practice.
Most people tend to buy from someone they trust. As such, to make your ads more compelling, you should write from a buyer’s perspective. Empathize with your target market. Use kind words and tell them that you understand their pain. The more you put yourself in your audience’s shoes, the easier it will be for you to resolve their problems.
Maximize your space
As discussed earlier, you have a limited number of characters to work with when advertising on Google. Therefore, you need to maximize all the space given to you by packing all the information you can into your ad copy. Include an extra detail or two if you have any free characters left, and never forget your display URL.
Take note that your display URL does not have to be the same as the URL of your landing page. Its only purpose is to show people what sort of web page they will be redirected to once they have clicked on your ad. If possible, create a short custom URL to go with your Google ads to make them more relevant and trustworthy. As a consequence, you will achieve better results.
As Google is now the most popular search engine, using Google Ads as one of your online advertising platforms is an excellent way of creating brand awareness and reaching your target audience. To make your campaign more compelling and effective, you should always pay attention to the way in which you write your ads. Whilst there is no magic formula for creating good ad copy, there are best practices and strategies that you can utilize to enhance your ads on Google.
Chris Anderson is an online marketing expert with 15 years’ experience in SEO and Google Ads campaigns.