What Keeps Someone From Clicking on Your PPC Ad?

Sure, paid search ad copy contains only 25 characters for the headline (in AdWords) and 70 characters for the body copy, but this small space can be very complex to utilize optimally.

Within the confines of a PPC ad text you need to be relevant to your keywords, list as many benefits as possible, be unique and stand out from your competition, and include a clear call-to-action. As you strive to to incorporate all of these tactics into your ad texts you shouldn’t loose site of the fact that you’re trying to connect with real people.

While monitoring your click-through rate and conversion rate, also the time-on-site, pages per visitor, percent of new vs. return visitors and a plethora of other available stats, you need to remember that these numbers represent people. These stats are numerical representations of how well you have connected with your target audience, and the individuals who make up your audience.

Paid search marketing, and marketing in general, is all about making the right connections with the right people. People have hopes, dreams, needs, fears, likes, dislikes, and the list goes on and on. Your PPC ad texts should address these core concerns.

Often, when writing PPC ads, we focus on why some should click on your ad. A core concern/emotion that is often neglected is fear (or perhaps apathy). You should also take into consideration why someone wouldn’t click on your ad. What keeps someone from clicking on your ad?

This is the great thing about search marketing: someone is searching for you (or someone like you). Don’t take this for granted; you have to take the next step to convince them that they’ve found exactly what they’re looking for.

When optimizing your ad text performance you should think about this: if a user searches on a keyword that is relevant to your products/services, and they see your ad copy (which is keyword-focused and benefit-driven) but they don’t click on your ad. Seems like everything should be in place. So, what fears or concerns is holding a user back? Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic ball to tell you why a specific user, or group of users, aren’t attracted to your ad.

Of course, the best to way find out what works is to split test your PPC ad copy. However, before you write copy to test, you need to meditate on what your audience is looking for. How does your product/service solve their current problem and what can you say in your ad text that will talk to your audience’s core concerns?

The answers to these questions will be different for every advertiser. However, once you have developed a few ideas, molded them into new PPC ad texts, then I wholly suggest that you split test your ads to see if you’ve addressed these issues.

This brings us back to stats. Yes, that which I earlier suggested you step away from to get some perspective, I suggest that you turn to when learning if you’ve improved ads. This is the best way to know if you’ve enhanced your messaging. So, this is a rough outline of the process:

  1. Think about your customer’s core emotional concerns
  2. Review the ad texts you have running now
  3. Meditate on why certain ads have the best response rate
  4. Meditate on why certain ads are failing
  5. Think about why someone would *not* click on your ad
  6. Review your competitors’ ads
  7. Write new ads that address these concerns
  8. Launch your new ad texts
  9. Monitor the performance of your ads
  10. Repeat the process and continue to refine your messaging

And the same goes for your landing page. We haven’t even touched on landing pages! You should think in similar terms for your landing pages as well. But that is another article for another time.

It could come down to the fact that your competitors are talking to your audience with more success. Reviewing your competition to see what they have to say could be very enlightening. And it could be that the majority of users aren’t finding what they want at all.

The 95 characters within a PPC ad text (not including the display URL) can be very complicated. The success of your campaign hinges on your ability to appeal to your audience on numerous levels. Be the solution to your audience’s problem/query, address their concerns, and you’re well on your way to success.