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How To Write The Best Google Ads Copy & Back It Up on Landing Pages

How to Write Good Ad Copy on Google Ads

Crafting strong ad copy on Google Ads isn’t hard, but to do it right, we have to flex both art and science muscles. We’re only given a small number of characters on search engine results pages (SERPs), so we have to make them count.

When writing copy, it’s important to think about the experience your visitor is having from query, to ad copy, to landing page.

If there’s a hiccup along the way or they feel like they might be going down the wrong path, they’ll hit the back button. Worse, they might conduct another search and find another company ready to meet their needs. Additionally, as much as we would like it to, no ad can convert a prospect without a strong accompanying landing page.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to ad writing, but following some best practices will help make us more successful. With that in mind, below are eight tips for writing the best ad copy (backed up with landing pages) for Google Ads:

1. Leverage Keywords Where Possible

A staple best practice of ad copywriting is to include keywords in ad copy to mirror the searcher’s query. By parroting back phrases similar to what they searched for, we’re telling them that they’re in the right place.

Keywords in Ad Copy

In the real world, if you order something from a coffee shop, you expect them to call out exactly what you ordered when it’s ready. If you order an Americano and the barista yells out “Coffee!”, they’re technically correct. But it’s not immediately clear to you that it’s your coffee or someone else’s.

Adding keywords to ad copy is fairly simple, but it’s important to make sure the keywords are being used well. Don’t just stuff in as many as you can. An ad that’s saturated with keywords likely doesn’t convey any message and could be worse than an ad with no keywords. It’s more important to accurately articulate what you’re selling.

Keyword placement in ads can also play a large role. I highly recommend you test keyword placement within your ads to see what works best. Sometimes it’s best in Headline 1. Sometimes Headline 2. And sometimes it’s best used in a sentence in a description. You won’t know until you test!

That’s just the ad copy component. What about the landing page?

Keywords in Landing Pages

Using search keywords in the headlines and/or text at the top of a landing page tells the visitor, “You’re in the right place. We have what you’re looking for.” (“This is your caffè Americano,” if you will.)

Unfortunately, swapping text on landing pages isn’t quite as easy as doing it in ad copy. If your landing pages need to be hardcoded, then logic might suggest that you need to create a new page for each different keyword phrase you’re targeting.

In my opinion, though, unless you’re driving extremely high traffic through those pages, this isn’t necessary.

Instead, choose some common phrases, likely the most highly searched variants of your keywords, and turn them into headlines. Ideally, the number of pages you’ll need to create will go down depending on the number of keyword phrases you have in your account.

Let’s take an example: I’m advertising scheduling software for hourly employees.

A basic headline could be “Employee Scheduling Software,” a typical query in the account. Easy and to the point. But the page that uses this headline could easily be used for phrases that are close to, but not exactly, that phrase: scheduling employees, tools for employee scheduling, schedule hourly employees, etc.

Try to write headlines that can work for multiple phrases to limit the number of pages you need to make. And do this while also getting as close as possible to the initial search query.

PRO TIP: If you build your page with Unbounce, you can also use Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR) to help you match your landing page copy to your ads, saving you bundles of time that you can spend more effectively.

2. Be As Specific As the User’s Query

Every time a person conducts a search, their query holds a degree of specificity. It’s important that you match their specificity as much as possible.

If they’re not being specific, in other words, you can keep your ad copy relatively broad and cover the basics. If they are being more specific, you should try to match whatever their query is.

Let’s use the example of shoes. Here are some ways you could adjust your copy based on differing degrees of searches:

Query and copy match
An example of how ad copy matches a search query.

The only piece adjusted is the first headline, but it creates a much tighter theme with the query and lets them know they’re in the right place.

The same principle holds through with the landing page and is potentially even more important than the copy itself. One of the keys to conversion rate optimization is giving your prospects what they need. Continuing the shoe example above, here are potential pages that you would want to direct people to:

  • “Shoes”: www.example.com
  • “Women’s shoes”: www.example.com/women
  • “Women’s Nike shoes”: www.example.com/women/nike

Obviously, this is a fake website, but the landing pages used match as close as they can to the query. Each time we add a word—from “shoes” to “women’s shoes” and from “women’s shoes” to “women’s nike shoes”—we learn more about their need and can match that with a more specific landing page.

Each time someone searches, they’re telling you what they want. Listen to them and deliver results with as much specificity as you can.


3. Always Include a Call To Action

When it all comes down to it, we’re running ads because we want the visitor to take a specific action. For some, that might be making a purchase. For others, it might mean filling out a lead form. No matter the action, it’s important to either use that phrasing in the ad copy or give them a clue as to what you want.

Using a call to action in ad copy helps frame the visitor experience. It can operate similarly to the Prequalifying ad copy mentioned in the next section. Once they understand what you want them to do, it can help weed out people who aren’t interested. This practice helps save you the cost of the click.

Once a visitor has had their expectations set with the ad copy, they should click through to a landing page that mirrors that same call to action. If you’ve asked them to “Buy Now” in your copy, they should be given the opportunity to buy on the landing page. If you’ve only asked them to “Learn More” in your copy, then be sure the landing page houses the information they need to decide whether to make a purchase down the road.


4. Test Psychological Approaches to Find the Right Fit

The messaging used in ad copy can be a critical selling point, but it need not be boring. If anything, SERPs are getting overcrowded with the same type of bland messaging for all ad slots. That’s an opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd.

It’s important to test the different psychological approaches to ad copy to know which performs best with your target audience. Here’s a quick rundown of the major types of ad copy approaches:

  • Features: highlighting the physical or intangible aspects of the product/service. (Memory foam)
  • Benefits: calling out the positive outcomes the visitor will have from the product/service. (More restful sleep)
  • Problem: focus on the actual issue at hand to relate to the problem the visitor is trying to solve. (Tired of Wasting Time?)
  • Solution: focus on the solution to the problem the visitor is facing. (Save Time)
  • Testimonials: using actual feedback/testimonials to leverage social proof. (“This product has changed my life.”)
  • Reviews: third-party reviews of the product/service, not from customers.
  • Top of the Class: calling out any awards, ratings, etc. to show you’re the best. (Best in category award, 2018)
  • Prequalifying: weeding out people who might not be a good fit for your service before they click. (“Luxury Tours,” attempting to weed out bargain travelers)

Once you’ve tested what works best, mirror that on the landing page to create a cohesive feel from start to finish. Choose images and calls to action that mirror those approaches where possible.


5. Don’t Sell a False Bill of Goods

I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating, and so it’s own line item on this list:

Your landing page should back up what’s in your ad copy.

Ad copy and landing pages need to work together. No matter what copy is used, it’s important that the message and offer follow through to the landing page for a cohesive experience.

When this connection breaks down, it could look something like this:

A prospective customer conducts a search, clicks on an ad that says “20% off” only to get to the landing page a find out the offer is expired—or, worse, there’s no mention of it whatsoever. That’s frustrating!

As we discussed earlier, it’s important to get the visitor thinking about the call to action at the ad copy stage. If that call to action isn’t on the landing page, then those precious characters in the ad copy, as well as the price you paid for the click, were wasted. They are no longer primed to complete the conversion action you asked.


6. Use Ad Extensions Like Crazy

Ad extensions are pretty much exactly what they sound like: they’re additional areas of text that can extend the size of an ad. There are many different kinds of ad extensions at our disposal. Here’s the full list from Google Ads:

A list of Google's ad extensions
Take advantage of every extension that fits your business, but don’t forget the main reason for your ad.

Each has its use and purpose, and I’m not going to go into detail on each one. The ones that lend themselves to nearly every business are Sitelinks, Callout Extensions, and Structured Snippets.

Sitelinks

Sitelinks are simply additional text and links that can show up with ad copy. Ideally, you should leverage these to add supporting information to the primary ad copy in the ad group. These are essentially functioning as in-site navigation, but directly in the SERPs.

Nike search results
In the image above, the Sitelinks direct users to currently popular products and sections of Nike’s website.

Callout Extensions

Callout extensions are even easier than Sitelinks. These are simply a line of text, no longer than 25 characters.

Callout Extension
Callout extensions are easy to implement.

This text can be used to put just about anything that helps support the ad. Similar to Sitelinks, however, it’s best if this text can be complementary and not repeat what’s in the original ad. These can be a quick list of features, benefits, or more information (like “Free Shipping”) if it didn’t fit in the ad text.

Structured Snippets

Lastly, Structured Snippets let you create a list within an ad extension. Simply pick the Header you want to start the list, then add in values below with 25 characters each.

Structured Snippets
Callout extensions are easy to implement.

There are a number of other ad extensions that can be added to any campaign. More often than not, it’s best to have as many ad extensions types in place as possible so any of them can be called up at any point.

However, there is one caveat to this. Don’t forget about the main reason for the ad. Sometimes one ad extension can be throttled and another type will be shown more often, potentially causing performance to drop. Keep this in mind when setting up ad extensions. Have as full of coverage as you can, but don’t sacrifice performance for ad real estate.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more about how extensions can help your ads stand out from the competition, you’ll want to read Ryan Gould’s latest post on quick ways to breathe new life into your Google Ads.

7. Leverage Dynamic Ad Features

In addition to ad extensions, there are other features we can use to ensure that our ads are as impressive as possible. Below is a screenshot of the three dynamic ad features offered on the Google Ads platform. You can trigger this dropdown by typing in a { into the ad creation screen.

Dynamic Ad Features in Google Ads
Typing a { brings up the dropdown for Keyword Insertion, Countdowns, and IF functions.

Keyword Insertion

Keyword Insertion (formerly Dynamic Keyword Insertion or DKI) is the most basic version of dynamic ads and is best used if your campaign structure isn’t strongly segmented. Keyword Insertion allows advertisers to substitute a search keyword in place of default text in your ad copy. However, the text with the keyword will not be used if the combination of the text plus DKI is too long. Take a look at the example below:

Keyword Insertion
Using Keyword Insertion.

Here, I added “Women’s Shoes” as the placeholder text. If the keyword that triggers this ad is fewer than 13 characters long, then that keyword text will be added in place of “Women’s Shoes.”

For instance, if the keyword was “Tennis Shoes,” the headline will now read “Great Prices on Tennis Shoes.” But if the keyword is too long, like “women’s running shoes,” then the headline will read “Great Prices on Women’s Shoes” because the placeholder text will stay.

IF Functions

This dynamic ad feature lets advertisers create “if, then” statements within ad copy based on a user’s device or the audience they belong to.

IF Functions
Using powerful IF Functions is simpler than it seems.

IF Functions can be amazingly powerful if you have a different call to action for someone on a mobile device versus desktop (“Call Us” versus “Fill Out the Form”) or if you want to offer discounts to users within specific audiences, like existing customers.

IF Functions have some really powerful uses. You can read more in this post by Joe Martinez to get more ideas on how you can use them.

If you leverage IF Functions to create a different call to action or make a new offer depending on device or audience, it’s essential to make sure it’s carried over to the landing page. Be sure you’re not teasing a 20% discount in the ad copy, then not offering it once they get to the landing page (more on this below).

Countdowns

Lastly, Countdowns can be an amazing way to create urgency in ad copy without needing manual ad shifts for each day, hour, or minute until the offer expires. All we advertisers have to do is fill out the builder widget and Google will do the rest!

Countdown feature
Countdowns add urgency to your copy.

With Countdowns, it’s imperative that the time in the ad copy and the time on site match up as closely as possible. Pay attention to time zones to be sure the offer isn’t ending too early or running too late in the ads. Each of these could cause performance changes or bad brand association depending on the error made.


8. #1 Rule: We’re Always Talking to People

Follow as many of the best practices above that you can, but don’t forget the reason we’re here: potential customers!

In every ad and on every landing page, we’re always talking to people. The final thing we should do before launching any new copy or landing page is to give it a gut check:

  • Is this something I would click on?
  • Does this sound appealing?
  • Does this ad make sense or is it just a bunch of keywords jammed together?
  • Does the landing page answer the promise set in the ad copy?

Conclusion

Writing ad copy for Google Ads is a combination of art and science. It requires that you look beyond the ad itself to the landing page. There are some technical best practices to follow that I’ve outlined here, but we also need to tap into our artistic side when speaking to other people. If ad copy were purely algorithmic, after all, everyone would be rich by now.

Give these best practices a shot and let us know your results! What tactic was the biggest help to you? What have you seen work best in your ad copy? Share with us in the comments!

Looking to boost your PPC ad results even further?

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

Check Also

The Next Level of Influence: 30 Essential Influencer Marketing Statistics

30 Essential Influencer Marketing Statistics

30 Essential Influencer Marketing Statistics

Pop Quiz: When influencer marketing is done right, who wins?

a) Your brand
b) The influencers
c) Your audience
d) All of the above

In case you missed the last few classes, the answer is D. In the ideal influencer marketing engagement, your brand gets a boost in credibility, authority, and exposure to a new audience. The influencer gets a cool content asset to promote, association with other thought leaders, and is able to grow their influence in their niche. And the audience gets awesome content neither the influencer nor the brand could have produced on their own.

Getting to that “everyone wins” stage requires strategic planning and execution, though. You can’t just throw money at someone with a big Instagram following and expect results.

Our agency was a pioneer in B2B influencer marketing, and we’re invested in taking it to the next level. Our approach has seen amazing results for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike.

To help you reach the next level of influencer marketing — what we call Influence 2.0 — this post combines our experience with original research from other thought leaders in the industry:

  1. Influencer Marketing: Science, Strategy & Success (Zine)
  2. An Evaluation of Brand Influencer Partnerships (Onalytica and Smart Insights)
  3. Two Sides of the Same Coin: Exploring the Brand and Influencer Relationship in Influencer Marketing (Activate)
  4. State of Influence 2.0 2018 (Traackr & Altimeter Group)
  5. Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing (TopRank & Altimeter & Traackr)
  6. The State of Influencer Marketing 2017 (Linqia)
  7. Sponsored Spenders Survey (Collective Bias)

Read on to upgrade your influencer marketing and get ready for what comes next.

30 Essential Influencer Marketing Statistics

Influencer Marketing Works

  1. Over half of brands say influencer content outperforms brand-created content. Only 6% said it underperformed brand content. 6
  2. 78% of consumers will buy when recommended by someone they feel they know and trust. 1
  3. 67% of consumers have no negative reaction to sponsored content. 7
  4. 58% of brands have seen improved brand awareness and perception from influencer marketing campaigns. 2
  5. 54% saw an increase in leads and revenue. 2

Influencer marketing works because the message comes from people your audience already trusts. It also works for awareness and brand positioning, but also for driving revenue.

As our CEO Lee Odden defines it: "Influencer marketing activates internal and industry experts with engaged networks to co-create content of mutual value and achieve measurable business goals."

[bctt tweet="#InfluencerMarketing activates internal and industry experts with engaged networks to co-create #content of mutual value and achieve measurable business goals. - @leeodden" username="toprank"]

Very Few Influencer Marketing Programs are Fully Mature

  1. Only 10% of organizations are fully mature with influencer marketing; that is, running a cross-functional program. 4
  2. 46% are using influencer marketing tactically, but have not integrated it across marketing. 4
  3. 57% of marketers say influencer marketing will be integrated in all marketing activities by 2020. 5
  4. 62% are going to spend more on influencer marketing in the year to come. Only 4% will spend less. 4

Marketers have a ways to go with influencer marketing sophistication. Investing more time and budget is a good start, but sophistication really comes from integrating influencers across your marketing initiatives on an ongoing basis, from strategy to content to promotion and beyond.

[bctt tweet="#B2B #influencermarketing is still in its infancy—which means there are plenty of opportunities to begin implementing it today. @azeckman" username="toprank"]

Sophisticated Influencer Marketing Involves Deeper Relationships

  1. Nearly half of marketers are working on long-term campaigns w/influencers. 2
  2. 40% of influencers say they’re in long-term partnerships. 2
  3. 48% of B2C influencer programs are ongoing, but only 11% of B2B are. 5
  4. Only 29% of influencers are asked for their opinion on content direction. 1
  5. 55% of marketers say content strategy and direction are decided well before influencers are added. 1
  6. Only 25% of influencers said brands shared engagement goals with them. 1

Building long-term relationships with influencers is crucial for sustainable influencer marketing. The relationship-building should include working with the influencers on content strategy, direction, and engagement goals.

As Rani Mani, Adobe's Head of Social Influence Enablement, recently told us in an interview: "We at Adobe pride ourselves on cultivating and nurturing long term relationships with our influencers. We look at it as dating with an eye towards long term commitment which means we are always looking to establish a 'give to get' exchange where all parties come out ahead."

[bctt tweet="We look at #influencermarketing as dating with an eye towards long term commitment, which means we are always looking to establish a 'give to get' exchange where all parties come out ahead. - @ranimani0707" username="toprank"]

Influence Is More than Follower Count

  1. Only 25% of consumers are more likely to buy a product when someone with over 1 million followers recommends it. 1
  2. As reach grows, engagement tends to drop. 1,ooo-10,000 is the sweet spot for engagement. 1

It’s time to rethink what makes a good influencer, especially for B2B brands. Reach is only one part of the equation; resonance and relevance are even more important than size of audience.

Not long ago, our own Ashley Zeckman, Senior Director of Digital Strategy, wrote: "Social reach should be a consideration for your B2B influencer marketing program, but not the only one. Sometimes the influencers with the largest reach may not be engaging their audience in a meaningful way that leads to more users connecting with your content."

Look for people who are actively engaging with their audience, and are talking about topics relevant to your brand.

[bctt tweet="#Social reach should be a consideration for your #B2B #influencermarketing program, but not the only one. @azeckman" username="toprank"]

Aim for Content Co-Creation, Not Sponsorship

  1. 73% of influencers said they put more effort into content when they’re passionate about the brand/product. 1
  2. Only 27% said they put in more effort when the campaign involves financial compensation. 1
  3. Only 34% expect financial compensation. 1
  4. However, 65% expect some form of reward. 1
  5. Only 14% said being paid well was the most important reason to work with a brand. 2
  6. 52% say building their influence on key topics is most important reason to be an influencer. 2
  7. Top criteria for influencers choosing brands? Most important is “I love the brand and already post about them organically.” 3

While financial compensation can be part of your influencer marketing strategy, it shouldn’t be the whole strategy. Money can’t buy genuine enthusiasm and emotional investment. Look for influencers who are already excited about your brand, are eager to share their thoughts and expertise on a relevant topic, and work with them to create content you both can be proud of.

[bctt tweet="While financial compensation can be part of your #influencermarketing strategy, it shouldn’t be the whole strategy. Money can’t buy genuine enthusiasm and emotional investment. @NiteWrites" username="toprank"]

Level Up Your Measurement

  1. 78% of marketers surveyed use influencers to build brand awareness. 3
  2. 45% cite sales conversion as their primary goal. 3
  3. 5% of marketers surveyed are tracking engagement rate, while only 45.92% track sales conversion. 3
  4. 37% of influencers cite brand awareness as their goal, while 22% cite sales conversion. 3
  5. 74% of marketers surveyed said sales conversion was one of their top goals for influencer marketing. 5
  6. 76% of marketers surveyed said determining ROI was their top concern. 6

Influencer marketing isn’t just for brand awareness. Like every other marketing tactic, your influencer efforts can contribute to revenue and that impact should be properly attributed. It’s important to make revenue measurement part of your initial planning and goal-setting.

[bctt tweet="#InfluencerMarketing focuses on the entire customer journey, driving demand, leads and to help with nurture. @AmishaGandhi @SAPAriba" username="toprank"]

The Next Evolution of Influence

As these statistics show, it’s time to rethink what influencer marketing is and what it can do. It’s more than one-off sponsorship deals with celebrity contributors to boost brand awareness.

Influence 2.0 means finding the true influencers for your audience. It means developing long-term relationships to co-create valuable content worth getting excited about. And it means setting goals throughout the marketing funnel and being equipped to measure them, from engagement down to revenue. When you can do all of that, everybody wins.

Is your B2B organization just getting started with influencer marketing? There are six things you absolutely need to know.

The post The Next Level of Influence: 30 Essential Influencer Marketing Statistics appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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