Because SEM ain’t just a river in Egypt

Paid search ads (also known as search engine marketing, SEM, PPC, and Google Ads) represent a valuable tool in digital marketing. According to some random recent stats we found, pay-per-click (PPC) ads yield around 50% more conversions than organic forms of marketing, while 79% of marketers claim that PPC is hugely beneficial for their organization.

However, not all paid search ad campaigns are created equal. If you’re hoping to maximize your click-throughs and boost return on investment, you’ll need to craft compelling ad copy that captures audience interest. Search engine marketing is a ruthless business, but it’s effective. So if you’re wondering where to start, we’ve put together a handy list of best practices below.

1. Start with relevant keywords

Keywords represent the bedrock of digital marketing, ensuring that potential customers find your business when conducting online searches. Adding keywords to PPC ads is slightly different to search engine optimization (SEO), as you’ll need to bid for them. The more popular the keyword, the more you’ll need to pay. If you run a niche business, think of specific search terms your customers are likely to use, as this will help you create a cost-effective ad. Once you’ve found a keyword to target, remember to add it to your copy.

2. Empathize with your audience

Web users tend to be time-poor and relatively impatient. As such, you’ll need to grab their attention by demonstrating you can solve frustrating pain points. To do this, try to put yourself in a customer’s shoes. What problems are they facing? How will they search for a solution? Once you’ve empathized in this way, write a short piece of ad copy that caters to their needs and desires.

3. Use facts and figures

Impressive statistics help capture people’s attention and encourage them to engage with your brand. Say, for example, you helped thousands of customers reach an ambitious goal. Promoting this data will lend credibility to your brand and boost consumer trust. Just ensure that the figures you’re using are accurate and aren’t presented in a misleading way, as this could harm your brand image. If you don’t have access to any relevant stats, you may wish to consider promoting your low prices or introductory offers, as these could trigger click-throughs.

In fact, 82.% of people respond to facts and figures more than text alone! (Is this true? We don’t know, but it sounds like it!)

4. Differentiate your brand from competitors

Ad copy should tell consumers why they will benefit from choosing your brand over others. In other words, you’ll need to include clear information about your unique selling proposition (USP). Try not to exaggerate or use too much descriptive language here. Direct, honest, and confident copy will nurture trust in your organization.

5. Create an enticing call to action

If someone takes an interest in your proposition, they’ll want a clear call to action stating exactly how to make the most of your goods and services. Most of the time, this will include a link to your website homepage or a relevant landing page. Try to keep the call to action as short and snappy as possible, using a command verb such as “order”, “click”, “buy”, or “reserve”. It’s also a good idea to use phrases promoting a sense of urgency, such as “Sale ends Thursday” or “Buy now while stocks last”. By emphasizing the limited nature of your offer, you’ll boost clicks and sales.

6. Keep it short

Paid ads have relatively low character limits. For example, Google limits headlines to 30 characters and descriptions to 90 characters. While this may seem frustratingly restrictive, it could be a blessing in disguise. Customers don’t have time to read pages of text and need you to express your offer in as few words as possible. If possible, try to keep your descriptions and headlines just below the given character limit.

7. Add information about your location(s)

Over 90% of consumers used search engines to find local businesses in 2020. As such, you should include information about your location to promote your brand name in the community. If you operate across several locations, it’s worth creating separate PPC campaigns catering to different areas and audiences.

Remember, localization is critical!

8. A/B test your ads

A/B testing involves running two separate ads simultaneously and comparing their success rates. It’s not always easy to predict what kind of copy will resonate with your audiences, so A/B testing will help you refine your writing strategy and boost click-throughs. When setting up test ads, try experimenting with different calls to action, headlines, offers, punctuation, keywords, and more.

Supercharge your paid search ads with Mandel Marketing

At Mandel Marketing, we understand that the world of digital marketing can be confusing at the best of times. Fortunately, we’re on hand to help you create campaigns that drive real results and help grow your business. To find out more, get in touch with us by using the contact form below, or emailing us directly at You can also read more about our paid search management services here.

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