Creative PPC Text Ads

PPC is a delicate balance of creativity and technicality. And let’s face it: many of us lean more towards one side than the other. For some, coming up with what you’ll say in your PPC text ad can be a challenge; but, there a balanced approach to writing ads that marries both the technical approach to PPC with the creative side of advertising. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Start Brainstorming

Behind every good ad is research and brainstorming. Before you put your fingers to the keyboard, look at the following checklist:

  1. Think about the overall goal for the ad. Is it to drive leads? Sell products? Promote an event? Once you know which category it falls into, that’s your starting point.
  2. List out all the important aspects of the product, service, event or promotion. Here’s your chance to do some brainstorming without any limitations – we’ll worry about the length of the ad later. If you could have a 200-word ad, what would it say? What are the most important characteristics of the thing you’re advertising? What makes it stand apart?
  3. Refine your list using an old tactic that journalists use to convey the most important information to your audience: Who, what, when, where and why. For example, let’s say you’re using PPC to promote an in-person event. What is it? Who’s going to be there? When is it? Where is it? Why is it important? Also run through important aspects of the promotion deal itself, if one exists, for example, early bird specials, promo codes and so on.

And don’t forget to use keywords, and to tie your PPC text ad nicely to the landing page the traffic is going to. More on that here.

Know What Your Audience Wants

If you’re marketing a product or service, look at that list of descriptive words and sentences that you used when you were brainstorming. Were any of them features of the product or aspects of a service?

Now, use an old marketing tactic to turn those product features or service characteristics into solution-focused statements. It can be very tempting to throw up an ad that talks about a feature (for example, “6-foot handle mop”) – but it’s the solution that the feature offers that is the goldmine (for example, “clean hard-to-reach places”).

Here’s an example of an ad for a mop that gets to the heart of what people want when searching for mops – to clean! Which ad stands out to you?


Get the Most of Your Ad Space

While AdWords offers all sorts of bells and whistles to make your ad stand out (for example, sitelinks), here, we’re going to be talking about getting the most from the basic text PPC ad.

In a PPC ad, you have a headline and two description lines to convey all the important information. That makes it especially challenging to be creative and concise all at once. But here are a few tips:

  • Do use action-oriented words. Word like “join,” “learn” and “buy” are all examples of this. Think about what it is you want the user to do as a result of the ad, and tell them. Leading with a question can also be an effective hook.
  • Don’t include arbitrary information that doesn’t have to do with the thing you’re advertising. Statements like, “In business for 25 years” or, “29,000 product in inventory” aren’t relevant to an ad for dog sweaters, for example.

Have Fun with It, Test

Finally, have fun with it! What you say is an opportunity to stand out from the crowd. We love the following ad for outdoor speakers because it blends action and a play on words nicely:

PPC Advertisement

And don’t just settle for what you think sounds good. If you have an idea, test it. We ran the ad above against another ad that said something like “best outdoor sound around,” and the one pictured above had way more success.

Remember, you don’t have to be a creative ad genius to come up with clever PPC ads that get results. Just follow the steps outlined in this post, and you’re on your way to a great approach.

For more information on creating great ads, check out this help file from AdWords, and here’s a video, too: