When it comes down to it, writing good ads can be one of the most nerve-wracking tasks for a successful Google Adwords campaign. And the fear is well-founded. Why? Even if every other element of your campaign is perfect, poor ads will still wreck your ship. So the pressure is on. Kind of like asking a girl out.
Think of your ad as a guy asking a pretty girl out to dinner. He’s got to seem trustworthy, genuine, caring, and put together to win her into saying yes. If he’s rude, selfish, full of himself, and hasn’t put on deodorant for a week, his chances are a lot slimmer. If he has a bad reputation and no references, she’ll probably also be more likely to say no.
Every little detail matters. Be courteous, shave and comb your hair, and put on some fresh clothes. Emphasize similar interests, and show you really care. Genuine human kindness can go a long way. You have to win her over.
Likewise, writing good ads can be a challenge. Remember, you’re trying to convince absolute strangers to consider giving you their hard-earned money. So writing high-quality winning ads isn’t just a good idea. It’s an absolute necessity.
Thankfully, there are several keys to success that can take a lot of stress and uncertainty out of the process. It doesn’t have to be intimidating! There are tried and true strategies that make winning customers a lot easier. With a few proven techniques, you can write winning ads that bring in the customers and help you to stand out from the crowd.
1. Know Your Audience – Think Like Your Customers
Take the time to get into your customers’ heads. Who are you trying to reach, and what are their most pressing needs, concerns and frustrations? Try to understand your customers.
Suppose you are a moving company in a college town, with both a large population of students and a large upper-middle-class business community. What are your customers’ primary concerns and needs?
A college student may be panicking because University policy kicks her out of her dorm the day finals are over, and she needs to move tomorrow. She also may feel anxious about strange men rifling through her things. In an ad directed towards college students, you might emphasize your fast same-day service and the fact that you are a trusted, professional company that does background checks on all your movers.
A well-off local businessman, on the other hand, may be particularly looking for an insured moving company that does complex office moves. For this customer, you would want to emphasize your certifications and business moving experience.
2. Give Your Customers What They Want
A proven method to win customers is to incorporate universal customer needs into your ad copy. What are some common customer needs?
- Fast Service
- Quality Service
- Trusted Service
- Affordable Service
- Real/Genuine Service
- Personal Service
These are broad categories of needs that could manifest themselves differently depending on the business. Show your potential customers how well your business meets these needs. I don’t mean you must meet all these needs in one ad – focus on one or two, maybe three, of these elements in one ad.
For instance, one way to explain “quality service” for, say, a restaurant, would be: “Where Little Details Matter”. But, quality service for a moving company might be “Our Standard Is Excellence”
3. Match Your Ad’s Headline To The Search Term
Relevance always wins. Why? Potential customers are looking for a business that can give them exactly what they need. So, the closer your ad headline is to their Google search, the more likely they are to click on your ad. (Click here to learn more about the importance of relevance, keywords and search terms.)
For instance, say someone in Miami goes to Google and searches “garage door repair”. They see two headlines:
Big Mike’s Garage Doors – Same Day Service
Fast Garage Door Repair – Same Day Service
Your potential customer sees two garage door company ads. Yet one of them has exactly what they searched! Everything else being equal, your ad is more relevant. Thus, your chances of getting the click are enormously higher because you’re giving the search user exactly what they’re looking for.
4. Emphasize What Makes You Unique
What makes you stand out from your competition? What is your claim to fame? Point out what makes you uniquely suited to meet your customers’ needs.
Say you’re a family-owned pizzeria with locally-sourced ingredients, and you serve the typical flavors of pizza. Highlight what makes you unique. Below are two examples of possible headlines you could write.
Local Pizzeria – Get Cheese Pizza
Family-Owned Pizzeria – 100% Local, Fresh Ingredients
The first headline is just about as bland as cheese pizza itself. I mean, duh, everyone serves cheese pizza. Seriously, why would I want to click on that ad?
But oh my, that second headline is tantalizing! It’s different, family-owned, and seems off the beaten track. And it makes me feel good about myself for supporting local business. Fresh ingredients makes me feel like I can splurge on pizza and still be *healthy*, too. Each of these unique elements make getting the click more likely.
5. Practice Empathy
Basic human empathy goes a long way. Say your business is a small local bank, and you know your potential customer is frustrated that their bank never picks up the phone. Try an ad that says, “We actually pick up the phone!”
Or if you’re a local CPA, and you know your potential customers are sick of being pushed into buying more services than they need, you might try ad copy like, “Exactly What You Need – Nothing More, Nothing Less, Nothing Else.”
Empathizing with your customers’ frustration builds trust and goes a long way towards them making a click. Just like listening to a girl unload about her hard day will make her feel listened to and loved.
6. Focus On the Customer – Use “You” Language When Possible
Let’s face it – customers are entitled. Few of us realize it and no one is immune – I think I just deserve short waits, incredible service, and quality products. In the world of customer service, it’s the unfortunate but natural human tendency to put ourselves at the center of our universe.
As a general rule, we gravitate towards those who make us feel good about ourselves.
Every customer who searches Google is subconsciously (or consciously) asking the questions, “What can you do for me?” and “How do I benefit?” Thus, tailoring your ads to emphasize the customer is a proven strategy. For example,
Example Business – Rated #1 For 3 Years
Example Business – The Splurge You Deserve
The first ad isn’t terrible, but wow, the second one really makes me, the customer, feel good about myself and excited about checking your business out.
7. Numbers & Special Characters Capture Attention
Case in point: this article is a numbered list! Numbers and special characters arrest attention and draw the eyes in a sea of text. See below. Which ad captures your attention?
Example Lawyer – 20+ Years Experience
Example Lawyer – Get A Consultation
8. Capitalize Every Word In Your Ad
Capitalize every word in both the headline and body of your ads. Doing so adds a distinct level of polish and professionalism. Subconsciously, you seem more trustworthy, careful, and conscientious – the kind of business your customer could see themselves giving their hard-earned money to.
On that note, be sure to polish your grammar and spelling also. Every little bit helps!
9. Add A Quality Display URL
Another proven way to boost your ad is to include a unique display URL. Fortunately, you can customize your ad’s URL for that distinct ad. The difference between your final URL and your display URL path is: your final URL is absolute and doesn’t change; it’s the actual URL that you want to use as a landing page. Your display URL path, however, is connected to your final URL; thus, you can add whatever descriptive phrase you’d like to add at the end of the domain.
For instance, say you own a auto insurance company. Your final URL for all your ads is www.example.com, and you have two ads offering a free quote that direct to that address, one for car insurance, and one for motorcycle insurance. Here’s how to dress up the display URL path for each ad:
Improving your display URL boosts the relevance of your ad, thereby improving the click-through rate.
10. Include A Clear Call-To-Action
Going back to our dating metaphor – intending to ask the girl on a date, a guy strikes up a good conversation with her, but loses his nerve and can’t muster up the courage to actually ask her out. The conversation ends, the girl is confused about his intentions, and he loses his chance for a date.
Don’t confuse your customer with a vague ad. Tell them what you want. What particular action do you want them to take? The problem with the below ad is that it lacks a clear call-to-action.
Example Business – Fast, Affordable Service
We Put Our Customers First. 30+ Years Experience.
Ambiguity hurts you here. Tell your customer what you want! “Call Now.” “Get A Free Quote Now.” “Get A Free Consultation.” “Browse Today!” etc. Let’s fix the above ad.
Example Business – Fast, Affordable Service
Putting Our Customers First For 30+ Years.
Call Now For A Free Quote!
11. Bonus Strategy: test, test, test!
Experiment with different ads. Try different ways of pitching your business. What works best? What ads get the most clicks and conversions? Consistently experiment and you’ll constantly improve.
The Bottom Line
Build a relationship with potential customers. Care about their needs and show them how you meet those needs. These tried and true strategies will help you charm your customers – and maybe get the girl to say yes.