April 15, 2009
We have covered the basics on writing benefit-driven ads that feature relevant, high-traffic keywords. Today, I would like to focus on writing ads that compete directly with your competitors and that make a conscious effort to stand out from the pack. Or beat them at their own game.
In a crowded PPC landscape, the ads for each keyword can begin to look very similar. Why is this? Often there is a thought leader who figures out how to write PPC ads that are highly effect. Other advertisers begin to notice these ads. As with any good idea, the imitators will follow. This is when the homogeneous, repetitive ads appear.
The first tactic of keeping your ads relevant and unique includes conducting a regular review of the competition and writing ads that are constantly fresh and different in order to scream above the chatter. Even if your competitors offer similar products or services, there has to be a way to make your ads scream by declaring new, exiting, bold statements that gain a user’s attention.
You should already know the unique benefits and value proposition of your product/service, but how can you make a statement within 70 characters that is completely different from the rest? Something new, something fresh? And I don’t mean just using an exclamation point in your ad text.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a universal answer. Each industry is different. The language and phrasing for each competitive space is unique. This is why you can’t write your PPC ads in a bubble. Get out there. See what is being said in all this chatter and say something different and say it loudly.
The second tactic for standing out from the crowd is screaming at the screamers. I was reviewing competing ads for a client that offers a stock investment newsletter. Honestly, our ads were better written than the rest of the ads on SERP. But I noticed that our tone and claims were too mild. We were not being aggressive enough.
In this space, the rest of the ads (even though they were poorly written) stated that their newsletters would help readers grow their portfolios with big gains on stocks. Our ads focused on safe, expert advice but we didn’t mention the percentage of growth or gains from our average newsletter subscriber.
When someone is looking for stock tips, they are looking to make more money in the stock market. We wrote new ads that addressed this concern. We kept our “expert advice” angle (which few competitors were doing at the time), but we also featured actual percentage of gains. You may ask, “but didn’t your ads begin to blend in with the others? Just adding to the chatter?”
The best part is, any claims of we made in our PPC ad texts about possible gains from our stock tips, we backed up on the landing page stating how we generated these results for people. Not only did I review our competitor’s ads but also their landing pages. Often the copy on their landing pages was murky and unclear in regards to their level of expertise. The messaging on our landing page was clear, direct, and gave specific examples of success.
And here’s the best part: you don’t have to committ to anything. Split test your ads and let users decide which messaging works best. In summary, constently challenge yourself to write better PPC ad texts, and use your competition for inspiration. Make sure that your ads are better written and more bold than your competitors – even if you have to whisper or scream to get their attention.