5 Tips to Improve Your Ad Copy

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

market-researchOne of the benefits of Pay Per Click (PPC) ads is that you pay for results. When marketers use PPC ads, they know that their ads will be seen by the target audience. However, this doesn’t mean that there is no reason to concerned about ways to make ad content more appealing to viewers. Marketers are up against steep competition for the best keywords and the attention of their audience. Here are five tips that marketers can use to improve their ad copy.

  1. Maximize Utility of Headlines
    Headlines are extremely important for online ads, because in most circumstances, it’s either the ad image or ad headline that grabs the person’s attention. There is obviously a limited amount of space for headlines, but that doesn’t meant that shorter is better. Headlines should include enough words to get across main idea of the ad. How users find the ad should affect the headline choice. Ads that are targeted to keywords should include headlines that explain the service or deal a company is offering. For branded searches that lead to ads, including the company name in the headline is appropriate. Include keywords in headlines when possible. Headlines are bolded so keywords, and vicariously, the ad stand out

  2. Use Link Bait Carefully
    Thinking of compelling headlines that get people to click can be tricky. Using link bait tactics can be effective, but when used improperly, it can be very off-putting and counter-productive. For example, a headline that promises to talk about one thing, but the article talks about something else, may do more harm than good in the long run. Similarly, an ad that promises something free, but then adds unreasonable terms when the person goes to the link is an example of the wrong way to get people to click. First and foremost remember that people don’t like being tricked. And even if people click the link, eventually people will begin not to trust headlines and content from a source that is constantly baiting them. Ad content should be compelling enough that people should want to click, not click because they were tricked.

  3. Be Careful with Automated Ad Generating Tools
    Some ad platforms like Bing make it possible for users to create parameters that build ads automatically. These dynamic ad creation tools are useful for creating a large amount of ads that can be highly targeted based on keyword searches and recent internet browsing history. However, if not managed properly, these programs can generate ads that don’t make any sense due to poorly defined, or improperly defined parameters. Bing gave examples of ads that ended advertising half off sales on bird flu symptoms or airline ads that offered to fly people to the same city. These ads are normally rejected by the ad platform, but if not, it means wasted money and opportunity for business owners.

    In a blog post for Bing, Gwendolyn Kestrel said, “In my 5 years with Microsoft Search Advertising, I have rejected ads for many inappropriate or illegal products or services. Some were funny, some puzzling, but the thing they all had in common was non-existent potential for a user to click-through.”

  4. Know Your Competition
    Business owners and marketers need to consider how the internet changes the nature of their competition when creating ad content. For example, a retailer has to contend with other store owners who sell the same products as them, “knockoff” dealers, wholesalers, and more. When creating an ad, marketers need to be sure they are highlighting the ways their products are different and superior to all of their competitors. A brand that is trying to sell their products through ads may want to include words like “Authentic” “Genuine” “Original”, etc. to distinguish their products and ads from those of their competitors.

  5. Use Capitalization and Punctuation Best Practices
    Just because you’re writing copy for an ad doesn’t mean that anything goes in the way of capitalization and punctuation. Ads are not Tweets, even if they both have limited number of characters. Not using complete sentences, proper punctuation, and odd capitalization makes an ad look juvenile and makes a poor impression on the viewer. When it comes to capital letters, the ad title needs to be capitalized, as does the first letter of the text. Avoid using ALL CAPS whenever possible. Capitalizing the first letter of each word is a good alternative.

    When used properly, punctuation can make a message or call to action stand out. Asking a question of the viewer may work better than just stating the message. Exclamation points should be used sparingly. Too many exclamation points take away from the character count and diminishes their value for when readers see them later.

Creating the best possible ads is essential for businesses who want to use internet marketing as an advantage over their competition. Simply having an online ad isn’t enough. Use these tips to make sure your ad has the maximum effect on potential customers.


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