5 Ways to Optimize Your PPC Ad Content

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pay per clickIf you’ve ever run a pay per click (PPC) advertising campaign on a search network, only to have lackluster results, you may be wondering what the big fuss about PPC advertising is. You’re not alone—many companies start off right by developing great products/services and properly segmenting their target audience. But when they run PPC ads, they end up scratching their heads because the ads just aren’t performing.

A commonly missed step is not optimizing ad content for your target audience. No matter how targeted you get, if your ad isn’t compelling to your potential customers, they’ll never become real customers. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple tweaks to make your unclicked and lonely PPC ads more compelling and clickable. Here are 5 of our favorites:

1) A Clear Call to Action
If you’re not telling people what to do, how are they going to know what actions to take? Things like “Save 25%” or “buy now” may sound silly, but calls to action are powerful. As LunaMetrics explains, ”Using the proper call-to-action within your PPC ad copy is critical to optimizing PPC ad performance. A quality paid search ad makes a promise to potential visitors enticing them to click the ad.” By including enticing verbs and pairing them with your best keywords, you could rapidly and dramatically increase the number of clicks you’re getting on your PPC ads.

2) Direct, Targeted Headline
A boring headline that says nothing can be worse than no headline at all. Your headline is your best shot at getting somebody to take a look at your ad. It should offer up compelling information about your product, include targeted keywords if possible, and even include conversion-minded verbs or a call to action. Because headlines are so prominent, it’s worth taking the time to write and test multiple versions to see which one is your best performer. Take a few extra minutes to brainstorm and you might find that your 3rd, 4th, or even 7th idea is the best one.

3) Compelling Copy That Demonstrates Value
Of course, even a great headline needs excellent copy backing it up. This is your time to shine, so make sure you’re putting your concise, unique selling proposition front and center. Explain why your product or service is compelling. While you’ll never be able to include everything, putting in one or two important benefits of your offer can help you gain clicks. If you can, include copy that helps you gain credibility or align with your potential customers.

4) Targeted Keywords Based on Your Customers’ Searches
Including keywords in your copy or even your headline shows that you’re paying attention to what your customers are searching for. Plus, aligning ad keywords with your target audience’s browsing and purchasing behavior gives you a greater chance of capitalizing on that behavior. For example, if somebody searches for “buy cheap purses online”, you may recognize that they’re ready to buy, and you can include an ad with a “Buy now!” call to action and a low-price offer or discount. However, if you sell luxury purses, or if your ads are geared toward people who are just browsing, you may not want to run an ad that focuses on impulse purchase and price advantage. Simply put, tailoring your ads based on keyword relevancy and searching/browsing behavior will perform better in the long run.

5) Proper Testing and Responsive Optimization
Testing your ads is critical, especially because PPC advertising can often be competitive. You need to know which of your ads will perform the best and under which conditions. If you’re just releasing your PPC ads into the wild and letting them roam free, you may never realize that, while some of your ads are underperforming, a few could be driving extraordinarily high quality traffic. Try writing multiple versions of one ad, but change one thing each time. Test the two ads against each other on specific criteria—like headlines, keywords, calls to action, and selling points—and determine a victor. This form of A/B Testing will help you to not only ramp up high-performing ads and clean house on underperforming ads, but also to get more insight into your customers’ online behavior.

If you’re running a PPC ad campaign that seems like a dud, make sure you test out these tips. You may be surprised to find that people actually are interested in your company and your message – just not your current ad. By spiffing up your ads with a few new components, you may just find that plenty of quality customers are out there, ready to be called to action.