If you’ve significant amounts of time online, you have likely seen thousands and thousands of PPC ads. And I’d imagine that you actually clicked on a few of them on purpose. Likewise, I imagine you’ve seen some terrible PPC ads, whereupon your first gut response was “no thanks!”

But what is difference between a quality PPC ad campaign and a dismal one? A purist might say that the only differentiating factor is the numbers, measuring whether or not it actually worked and enticed users to click. Sure, the efficacy can be measured, but I would claim that there’s something below the surface that determines the quality of any ad: psychological and emotional appeal.

Spend Valuable Characters to Mitigate Perceived Risks

Have you ever decided to try a new product or service, knowing full well that there’s a chance you may not like it? It’s scary for consumers to try something new, especially if it costs them their hard-earned money. You need to be very upfront in your ads regarding things like return and refund policies, because calming the fears of a bad experience and getting ripped off will encourage more people to, click on your link, and hopefully, make a purchase.

There are a couple ways this can be achieved. First of all, assuming you have reputation of keeping your word and following through on refunds, you can add copy to your PPC ad, such as the following:

  • 100% satisfaction guarantee, or your money back
  • 30-day risk-free return policy
  • Free shipping
  • Price-match guarantee

There are plenty of varieties of these types of claims, but I think you get the idea. Secondly, if you have high social esteem, why not use that to your advantage? Google PPC ads can display a star rating, identical to the Amazon star rating system. Of course, this only works if you have a high rating, but first impressions mean a great deal and showing off your social proof is a great tactic..

Align the Value of Your Offer with Customers’ Needs

You also need to communicate the value of your product or service, and align the value with your customers’ needs. The needs and problems of your customers can often be gleaned from the keywords you’re targeting. Sure, some keywords may not show an obvious underlying need the user is trying to fulfill, but many keywords do.

For instance, most keywords starting with “how to” often show a direct query for steps towards solving a personal problem, such as “how to get rid of acne.” You need to directly address this underlying problem with copy in your PPC ad for better efficacy. For instance, after the name of your business in the PPC ad, you could insert copy such as, “Quick and Painless Acne Solution.”

Typically, people who need remedies for blemishes want it as fast as possible with as little pain as possible. This copy is superior to a simple description of a product, such as “Acne Cream,” because it aligns your value proposition with the users’ actual needs.

The Fear of Missing Out

As always, you should encourage users to take action and click on your link by motivating them with the fear of missing out. The fear of missing out (sometimes written as FoMO) is a type of anxiety caused from the fact that peers get a reward while an individual is left out. Not only can you use FoMO strategies in website copy, but you can (and should) use it your PPC ads as well.

Temporal savings event not only drive sales, but also clicks. Copy like the following examples will help motivate users to take action:

  • One-day sale
  • Offer expires soon
  • Sale ends tomorrow

Of course, there is an endless number of ways to communicate the urgency of your sale, and it is largely determined by the actual terms, savings amount, and length of your offer.

Strong CTAs

Your calls to action need to be even stronger in your PPC ads than other sources, such as blog copy, because you only have a few seconds if your lucky, or less than a second if you’re unlucky, to grab the users attention and guide them to perform an action. If your PPC ads don’t include a CTA, they simply won’t perform as well as they could.

Naturally, you’ll want to tailor your CTAs to your product, service, and audience, but the following outlines examples of CTAs to include in your PPC ad:

  • Sign up now
  • Claim my free ____
  • Save X% in the next 24 hours
  • Order now

If you can incorporate some temporal copy into your CTA to stir up FoMO feelings, even better. Also, do note that you can add exclamation points to the end of your CTAs, but be careful that you use exclamation points sparingly. Otherwise, it will seem like you’re constantly shouting at the reader, or that the exclamation points will lose their punch due to overuse.

Keep Copy Extremely Concise

PPC ads are a bit like Twitter in that you are restrained by a fixed character limit. Expanded text ads now allow up to to two different fields of 30 characters each. Needless to say, to get the best ROI, you’re going to want to make every single character count. Obvious substitutions include replacing the word “and” with an ampersand symbol, but do try to be as concise as possible.

The goal here is to write like Hemingway, and be as simple, short, and sweet as possible. Otherwise, needlessly long words will burn through your character limit. If you think there’s a short synonym for a word you’ve selected but can’t quite put your finger on it, it’s time to crack open a thesaurus. Remember, every character counts!

Final Thoughts

If you don’t know your way around PPC advertising and need a hand, it’s time to consider seeking the aid of a professional. Red Canoe Media is a Google Certified Partner for search ads, and can help you drive traffic to your website to increase revenues and assist with building an audience. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.