Pay-per-click and paid search advertising

How to write effective copy for PPC ads


Writing good ad copy is critical to the success of your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. You need to attract targeted leads and you have limited space to do this. Your copy must be compelling and attract buyers who want your product or service.

Your ad copy must align with your keywords and landing page. Following this approach will make your ad relevant, which can reduce your costs and increase your conversions (eg sales or registrations).

You can improve your conversion rate by including a strong call-to-action in your ad copy, eg 'download for free' or 'order now'. Make your ad copy compelling by including your unique benefits, eg free delivery.

You can create a few variations of your ad copy and monitor to check which versions are working best.

Text ad structure

A PPC text ad includes the following:

1. headline

2. display URL - your website address

3. description - a few lines of text

Each of these elements must be within a certain word limit.

You can also include 'ad extensions' based on your marketing goals. Ad extensions may include; a phone number or call button, extra links to pages on your site and information about your location or unique benefits.

An example ad might be:

Driving Lessons - Intensive Courses Available
Learn with a friendly, experienced instructor. Book online today.
Block booking discount. Lessons from £15.

Write effective ad copy

Key points to consider when writing your ads are to:

  • include your keywords
  • use phrases that relate to your keywords
  • be specific and descriptive
  • offer benefits - if you have a time-limited offer, say so
  • include a call-to-action like 'find out more' or 'buy now'
  • make your keywords part of your display URL
  • keep your copy simple

Using dynamic keywords

An effective way to improve your click-through-rate (CTR) is using 'dynamic keyword insertion'. This displays the keyword the user searched for in your ad copy. You can do this by including a simple code in the ad copy:

{KeyWord: Driving Lessons}

You can use this code for either the ad headline or its description. Google will try to try to replace the code in the ad copy with the user's exact search term. If the search term is too long to fit the character limit, a replacement phrase will appear - 'Driving Lessons' in this example.