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The Anatomy of a PPC Ad –5 Ad Copy Elements that Increase Marketshare and Decrease your CPA

Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭



I was just doing an article for a client of mine about essential ad copy elements, and I figured I should post it here.


I'd love your thoughts, as I will probably be sharing this on our company blog later on.


Here goes:



We've found that writing better ad copy increases CTR, Conversions, Ad Positions and Conversions rates while simultaneously lowering CPC's and CPA's.


Anyways, here goes (please ignore the "jargonization" in here, you sometimes just have to impress clients Man Wink).


5 Ad Copy Elements you can use to increase marketshare, make more money, and decrease your CPA (Cost Per Sale/Lead)

(((Perceived Value * Credibility) – Risk) *Call To Action) - Qualifiers= Action (Click or conversion)

There are 5 elements of an ad that will affect your potential visitors decision to take an action on clicking your ad, and then once on your page to convert to a customer.

These elements are:

Perceived Value – Your potential visitor is looking for a “solution” to their pain points. Solving those pain points (support, new products, services) is one part of perceived value. Another part of perceived value is cost / deals. Everyone wants a good deal (or even better, something for free!). So accentuating what your visitor will be receiving is a big factor in getting ad viewers to turn into website visitors.

Credibility – Credibility plays two parts in your potential customers mind. One is a “risk reversal”. Going with someone they have had previous “interaction” or knowledge of, makes them feel more comfortable taking the next step. The other part of credibility is the “branding” effect. Often times, when people know you, they associate a specific experience with engaging with your brand. E.g. buying a Mercedes. People are pre-conditioned to focus on the luxury of driving a Mercedes. Now, does Mercedes really have the most luxurious etc. car? Probably not, but it still feels that way.

Risk – Anytime someone engages with your brand, they are taking a risk. Even clicking on your ad is a risk of a couple more seconds of frustration, or getting suckered in to something that doesn’t work for them. At every step of the way, you want to reduce the “friction” of taking the next step. Convince them of the value of clicking on your ad, while simultaneously reducing the risk will get you more clicks. A good example is “Free Quote”. One of the most established calls to action on PPC ads. There is no “value” to a “Free” quote, what am I going to do, CHARGE YOU?? However, by reminding your visitor is that “all I want to do is tell you what it will take to solve your problem”, you reduce risk.

Call To Action – Your website / ad is your virtual salesperson. Oftentimes, we are so ADD as a people, that we need to be told what to do. Often times, it’s just asking someone to do something that closes the deal. So don’t be shy, shy people don’t get the deal. At the same time, make sure you are “professional”. Provide enough value to get the close without being the used car sales man.

Qualifiers – Often times, you will be bidding on keywords that are a bit broad. Some of the people searching are your target market, and others aren’t. Additionally, you might be positioned to take only a small portion of your market. For example, you may be focused on providing better prices, or on better service etc.

Most business owners are afraid of “not talking to everyone”. So they will not tell a potential visitor how much their product costs, or who is their ideal customer. This is BAD. By using language that resonates with your target audience, you will simultaneously stop wasting money on clicks from people who won’t convert, while increasing the relevance in the eyes of your real target audience. By putting in a qualifier, you spend less and make more, so don’t be afraid!



Would love your feedback!


1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: The Anatomy of a PPC Ad –5 Ad Copy Elements that Increase Marketshare and Decrease your CPA

[ Edited ]
Badged Google Partner
# 2
Badged Google Partner

Nice Post!


I agree with your sentiment 100% - Of course, it's difficult to incorporate all five points in one haiku (ad). There's a great +Brad Geddes article out there somewhere, in which he essentially makes these same points. You are definitely in good company here. Smiley Happy


I think that the value aspect to the ads is the main point. If you know you are not the lowest price, perhaps the value you brand is higher quality, more personalized service, greater selection, more services, etc.


I also think, that sometimes, less is actually more. As you say, we all have some level of ADD sometimes, perhaps pushing a prospect in a certain direction isn't the best way to get them to focus on buying something from you. If you can get a user to express an interest in your product/service, perhaps the more options you give them on site, the more likely they will be to purchase even more product/service then they were intending to. The "hard sell" doesn't always work, but you never know. Smiley Happy


Anywho... It all varies according to circumstance/perspective, but your points are well made. Furthermore, people do seem to like lists. The specific circumstances of each ad don't matter so much as the fact that the client should definitely be impressed. Smiley Happy What they should be most impressed about is the fact that their account manager realizes that the ads are the only part of the account a potential customer actually interacts with. Rather than pushing a QS of X for such and such KW's, or an average CPC, etc. You are focusing on what marketing is (or at least should be) all about. Coneccting your business with paying customers!


Re: The Anatomy of a PPC Ad –5 Ad Copy Elements that Increase Marketshare and Decrease your CPA

Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
Would love to see that Brad Geddes article. This is more of a "conversion" themed article, as there's (obviously) quite a bit of overlap between ad copywriting and landing page design.

On your point about all 5 points being hard to put in. Keep in mind, that these are the things going through the customers mind. Many things (e.g. credibility) are in themselves risk reversals.

Branding could also be an element of value ("I got a mercedes"). Free shipping could be a risk reversal and a value add, and so on.
Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by Karl (Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆)
September 2015

Re: The Anatomy of a PPC Ad –5 Ad Copy Elements that Increase Marketshare and Decrease your CPA

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

I'll briefly touch on the Qualifiers / CTR as a metric thing. In E-Commerce, you may even bid for less broad keywords, and still have to set expectations clear from the moment your ad shows. Yes, people search for a certain plasma TV, you have it, it's a popular product, yet you don't want all the traffic you can get. Because you sell it for 999 USD, not for 899 as some others, who do grey imports, do. And then, besides the price, you can mention something such as "Free 1 yr extra warranty", or something similar. The more segmentation you can do at ad level, the better.


Which is why, in such situations, CTR does not matter as much. What you should be looking at is profit, or margin per click versus CPC. Not profit per impression, because you are willing to let a part of those impressions run away from you, in case people are already familiar with a low price and don't want to pay anything extra.


But these kinds of situations, as the one I'm describing above, will probably be less and less frequent in E-Commerce, as product listing ads take over this area, and there you can clearly see the price (and the only qualifier you can use is the offer line).


However, for any kind of services where you don't want to go under a certain price, or do not serve a certain part of the market (which you cannot segment through targeting), you definitely want to give up CTR in favour of more qualified clicks (and you're looking at RPC versus CPC). 

Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
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