PPC Ad Copywriting - Six Best Practices

Copywriting is a critical component in Pay per Click Ads. Even though you have structured your PPC accounts, the Headline, Description and Display URL are important elements in inviting users to your products. 

Here are six Best practices for PPC Ad Copywriting

Competitor Research1) Competitor Research

Before you list out the best practices for creating PPC Ads, it would be wise to understand how your competitors are presenting their offer. It not only gives you idea on the jargons and language that they use for each customer segment, but also forces you to differentiate and stand out with your offers. 

Let us say that we are competing in a luxury car segment

A common keyword used in this segment is 

“luxury car for sale”

This keyword is for customers who want to own a used Luxury car. If your client is a Luxury Car Reseller, the competitor Ads gives you a fair bit of an idea about who is following the best practices and who is not.

2) Keywords in Headline

Only one Advertiser has matched the Headline to the keyword. It can be done through Dynamic Keyword Insertion or by carefully creating Ads for each keywords.  As you can see, users are immediately attracted to the last Ad that clearly aligns the headline with the customer’s intent

3) Description

Unfortunately, the points that last advertiser gained with headline are lost with the description. There is no hint of Luxury in the description – “Branded Old Cars Available 4 Sale in your City. All Brands Available”. Although Luxury Cars come under Branded Old Cars, customers would be unwilling to click the Ad and check the old-cars category.

If the “All Brands Available!” had been replaced with “Luxury Brands Available!” the CTR for the Ad would have increased by 4 or 5 times.

Another best practice is to use Call to Action and Numbers in the Description. It tends to get higher CTR.

“Download Whitepaper”

“Download mp3”

The Call to Action should clearly mention what the user can expect.

Numbers in the Description tend to perform better

“More than 30000 Downloads in 2012.

Download X Whitepaper for FREE”

4) URL

Although URL is the last thing that users pay attention to, sometimes you can manage the Ad Copy by splitting words between Headline, Description and URL. For some users, lack of specificity in the URL creates fear that the landing page would be too generic and that they would have to search further to find a solution.

URL best practice PPC Ad


In the above example, the user has buying intentions and therefore searches for “Samsung galaxy s3 price”

The First Ad, uses + sign to combine the Keywords, a hint that the url was automatically created - a better option than the second Ad, where the url points towards the general category – mobiles. The user would hesitate to click the second Ad.

5) Exaggeration 

Interestingly, using exaggerations works if used in moderation. Look at both the Ads – the description has two adjectives

Great – Ad 1

Lowest – Ad 2

Ad2 would most likely get more clicks because of the use of “Lowest Price” in the description. There is a Call to Action too on how to get the lowest price.

6) Benefit > Feature

Before you plug in adjectives, think from the customer’s point of view. Do they really care about the number of features that you have in your product? No! They want one of the three things:

a) Find Information

b) Make Decision

c) Happiness

The three core needs are part of the Customer’s solution. 

Solution -> Find Information -> Make Decision -> Happiness

Humans cannot remain in an undecided state. It affects their sense of well-being. Your Ad should guide the customer to reach the Happiness state. Features increase the anxiety for the users, and they are more likely to click your competitor’s Ad.

Let us look at a “Problem Query”

“online data backup”


Features vs Benefit in PPC Ads

Problem – Risk of losing valuable information

Solution - Safely and Securely Store information online

Step 1: Find Information: What are the characteristics that I am looking for in an online data backup solution?

a) Secure

b) Safe

Step 2: Make Decision

My decision to click an Ad will depend on the match between the Ad Copy and the characteristics of the solution.

Ad 3 – Backup & Protect Your Data (Solution)

Unlimited, Automated & Secure (Match between Ad Copy and Characteristics of the Solution) 

Step 3: Happiness

This state will depend on the actual offer in the landing page but as far as Ad Copy is concerned, Ad 3 satisfies all the conditions for making a decision. Ad 1 states the problem, which the customer is already aware of but no concrete solutions are offered in the copy. 

If you want expert help in setting up PPC Ads, contact us or you can call us at: India (Ph): +91 9497189032, UK (Ph): +44 (0)20-3371-9976 or US (Ph): +1 650-491-0004

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