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5 Copywriting Secrets to Improve Your Paid Search Clickthrough Rates

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Google AdWords / August 11, 2017

Your potential customers don’t see your keywords. They don’t see your metrics. And if they don’t click, they don’t see your site either. They do see your ads. Learn pro tips from one of our best copywriters on how to dramatically improve the clickthrough rate on your paid search ads.


Many of us are well versed in metrics. We can measure, track, tweak and optimize a campaign like nobody’s business. But when it comes to writing and optimizing SEM ad copy, we sweat and squirm. We hate doing it. Or we simply don’t want to devote the time to it.

The sad part about this is: your campaigns suffer.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve audited an AdWords campaign that seems to be well managed… until I get to the ads. Sometimes the ads are so flat, it’s like they were written by a robot. Other times, the tone is cheap, cheerful, and totally empty. I get it. You’re an AdWords specialist, not an ad copywriter.

But you need to remember that ads are the only thing your potential lead or customer sees when they search for your products or services. She doesn’t see your keywords (nor does she understand why you appeared in her search results). Nor does she understand your lovely conversion metrics. All she does is enter a keyword and see your ad copy. Which is another way of saying: compelling and well-written ad copy is critically important to capture the attention, hearts, and minds of your future customers.

We are sharing five tips from our lead copywriter on how to write and optimize paid search copy that will improve your clickthrough rate.

  1. Use copy from the website you’re advertising.
    Strive to create a tone that is consistent between your ad and the website. If ad copy resonates with a searcher and she clicks, chances are she’ll relate to the website copy too. What’s more, it’s likely that the website’s copy was written by a bonafide copywriter. Use this to your advantage, by repurposing content however and wherever you can.
  2. Regularly add top-performing keywords to your ad copy.
    Incorporating strong keywords is one thing that consistently and reliably improves paid search ad copy clickthrough rates. Periodically review your keyword metrics. Based on your KPIs, identify the top-performing keyword for each AdGroup and incorporate this keyword into your ad copy variations for that AdGroup. Check back regularly to make sure the keyword you’re using is still your top performing keyword… it can change over time.
  3. Make sure your copy has a soul.
    Another thing we see too often: copy that lacks a human touch. Sometimes ads are cold and robotic. Other times they’re generically cheesy. Write copy that is real, playful and engaging. I know this is difficult if you’re not a real copywriter. Ask yourself: would this ad make me click? Write something that would.
  4. Focus on benefits, not features.
    We’re going to teach you a copywriter trick. It’s easy to flip a product feature so it sounds really sexy. For example, instead of writing: “sheets made from 100% cotton”, turn the feature into a benefit, like this: “Get cozy between soft, 100% cotton sheets.” Focus on what is awesome about a benefit, not on the benefit itself.
  5. Always run three ad copy variations.
    Every AdGroup should start out with at least three different ad copy versions. When your ads have collectively accumulated more than 100 clicks, pause the underperforming ads, and write two more variations. You can iterate on the top performing ad, or try something completely new. The key: keep your ad copy fresh, and always be testing.

Make ad copywriting your secret weapon

Paid search campaigns are as much about your ad copy as they are about your keywords… even more so when you are competing against multiple advertisers. By learning some simple copywriting tips and tricks, you can turn your reluctance to write copy into a superpower, giving you more marketable skills and an edge on the competition.

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