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Consider the Competition when Writing Ads

Some of the first things we are taught when learning to write ads are to highlight special offers, unique selling points and sometimes even the price of the products or services we are advertising. While these can be effective strategies to attract traffic, it can alternatively have a negative impact on click through rate averages if we aren’t conscious of what our competitors are promoting.


Let’s say we are a local hairdresser offering a special rate of $15 for men’s haircuts for example; we feel this is a competitive offer and decide to promote it in our ads. Our average click through rate and number of appointments actually drops immediately after running these ads however. On further inspection, it appears that a local competitor is also running a similar promotion, except they are only charging $10 for a haircut. Their ad instantly looks more attractive than ours, meaning that potential customers are much more likely to click straight through to the competitor website without even considering ours.


In this example, if we can’t afford to match their rate of $10 then we shouldn’t be looking to mention prices in our ads. Instead, other unique selling points should be mentioned in an attempt to compete in alternative ways. Perhaps we have better customer ratings for example, something that many people might value a lot more than a $5 saving when it comes to the appearance of their hair.

This is just one example of many but shows you the importance of analysing what the competition is saying in their ads. If you can’t beat them on one aspect of the business, then look to be creative and find other areas of your business model that might attract new customers!

about Scott Dunroe

I have been managing AdWords accounts for over 8 years now at an international marketing agency level and also as a freelancer. I am very passionate about Google's PPC platform and pretty much anything else that is Google related. My theory in life is to learn something new every day and this community is definitely a good place to do so; I would recommend anyone reading this to stick around as it's an excellent source of information with great people contributing to it.

Fred V
May 2016

How much does this cost and what am I supposed to sell?

ScottyD Top Contributor
May 2016

@Fred V, the costs vary depending on various factors such as industry, competition, location, etc. The ideal situation is to use AdWords to promote a product or service you are already selling; or alternatively you create a business based around a niche that you could use with AdWords for example.