How To Write High-Performing PPC Ads That Convert
As of 31 January of this year, Google updated their Adwords PPC ads to expanded text ads. This was the biggest change Google has made to text ads in 15 years and these ads work more effectively across mobile and desktop to improve your visibility and click-through rate. These ads are 2x bigger than the previous ads and give you much more ad space to talk about your products, services and benefits to turn more browsers into buyers. Take a look at how the extended ads look on desktop and mobile with these example preview ads I made for Bowler Hat:
Extended Ad Desktop View Extended Ad Mobile View
As can be seen in the examples below, the extended ad consists of a headline, display URL, description, and ad extensions. This post looks at how to best write each of these components to create an ad that gives you a higher click-through rate, quality score, and conversion rate so that you can maximise ROI from your PPC budget.
Your ad headline is the most important element of the ad and will play the biggest part in attracting browsers to your PPC ad, so make it scannable and attention-grabbing to persuade them to click on it. The headline comprises of two 30-character headlines separated by a hyphen, giving you a total of 60 characters to play with.
The headline should be reserved for the most important messaging around your targeted keywords. Speak directly to the customer using ‘you’ and ‘your’ and write in title case as you would a headline for a blog post. Keep your messaging relevant, including unique benefits of the searcher going to your landing page over your competitors’ pages.
Where possible, include specific stats and numbers such as ‘get 50% off’ or ‘from just £9.99’, and create urgency by adding a call to action such as ‘buy now’, ‘sign up today’ or ‘shop for a limited time only’ to draw prospects in.
Our Bowler Hat ad above uses the headline to draw browsers to click on the ad. The first part of the headline portrays the main message by using keywords to match what the searcher is looking for – PPC in Birmingham. The second 30-character headline uses a call to action to communicate the benefit of clicking on the ad – a free PPC audit.
The display URL is the URL that users see in your ad and may differ from the destination URL, which is the URL of the page your ad takes you to. The domain of your display URL is pulled from your final URL domain and allows you to include two 15-character path fields after the display domain. This allows you to make your domain more engaging and relevant to the searcher.
Utilise these path fields to add text so that people can get a clearer idea of where they will be taken to if they click on your ad. Optimise your display URL by including keywords relevant to the specific desired page and relevant to what users are searching for.
Our example above utilises the display URL by using relevant keywords to tell users where they will be taken by clicking on the ad – our PPC service page.
The description gives you 80 characters to add more information to persuade browsers to click your ad. Your description should complement your headline and add value, so avoid repeating information already featured to truly utilise the space.
Use this space to highlight the most valuable benefits of your product or service and what makes you unique as opposed to your competitors. Think about what the searcher is searching for and how you can best meet their needs so that when users click your ad they find exactly what they’re searching for and their needs and goals are met.
Again, use ‘you’ to personally speak to your prospect and use keywords that are relevant to their search. Triggering positive and negative emotion can be effective here to impel customers to click, as are stats and calls to action.
The description used in the example above further persuades browsers to click on the ad by highlighting valuable benefits which meet the searcher’s goals – converting browsers into buyers with performance-focused display campaigns.
Ad extensions give you the opportunity to add even more valuable benefits to your audience and give them more reasons to click your ad and inspire them to take action. This also extends your ad and makes it even more visible to browsers. Each extension is 25 characters and there is a variety of different ad extensions to choose from to provide your audience with all the extra bits of information they need to know.
Ad extensions range from sitelinks that link to pages on your site, callouts which add extra bits of information, to adding reviews, your company’s locations, your phone number, customer ratings, prices, and structured snippets which allow you to describe features of a product or range of services you offer. Choose the extensions that are most relevant to your ad and will provide the most value to your prospect.
Our example ad uses a number of ad extensions, including a call extension to get in touch, sitelinks which link to relevant pages on our site like ‘PPC Case Studies’, callouts which highlight extra benefits like ‘Google Premier Partner’, and structured snippets of our services, like ‘PPC Audits & Management’. You do not need to use all these extensions in your ads, you simply need to ensure you keep them relevant and valuable. Most of the time the minimum extensions we use are callouts and sitelinks, I’ve used so many here to demonstrate what a fully extended ad can include and look like.
Create Higher-Performing Ads
Write each of these elements of your ad to fully utilise the potential of Adwords extended ads and turn browsers into buyers. Begin with a headline that grabs the attention of browsers and persuades them to click on your ad, optimise the display URL using relevant keywords, write a description that highlights the unique benefits of choosing you over your competitors, and add ad extensions to provide more value to your prospects.
Remember to have multiple ad variations in each ad group and A/B test which ads work best for your target audience. Follow these simple tips and create higher performing ads with a greater click-through rate, greater quality score, higher conversion rate, and truly maximise ROI from your PPC budget.