With all the optimization work that goes into PPC, sometimes we lose sight of the actual ad copy.  Even though it is the only thing the searcher sees, ad copy often stagnates as the ad testing plan winds down and the enthusiasm brought about by a new project subsides into the steady hum of routine tasks.

PPC Display

This is especially true for long running tests with clear-cut winners. As you begin to optimize based on the best ad copy, you loose sight of the large areas you are missing. When something works very well it take effort to break that cycle of complacency and find something new. While the ideas in this article were generated by e-commerce, they should work for any client with a few tweaks.

Highlight Sales Volume

The general goal of this tactic is to establish the value of you Brand, a form of social proof (I mean that sincerely but if you feel the need to show how Alpha your account is, go ahead I won’t stop you).

Try highlighting the number of orders you had last year. You don’t have to scour your invoices but if you have a powerful message such as “We shipped 500K Blue Widgets Last Year”, implement it in your next test.

It not only says tells the searcher that you have the product they want but that it is also very popular. Many other customers have used your service so you must be doing something right, operations wise.

Challenge The Status Quo Benefits

When you are advertising industry with similar return/shipping policies its tempting to use them. So much so that everyone advertises it. It’s a great value for the customer but the questions arises “do searchers start to ignore it if every single advertiser offers this?” In effect if users assume this offer is available, are you wasting ad copy space by highlighting it?

In one example, a talk with the client revealed that their shipping system had some key advantages over competitors. Due to the way they stocked products, they not only had this great shipping policy but also were able to process and ship items within a certain period of time. Other sites had great shipping deals but were slow when it came to processing.

Compared to the standard benefits and values, we saw a major boost when changing the messaging, a 30%+ increase in click through rates. The best thing is, this does not have to be anything ground breaking. A client may not think much of the policy – as it is nothing special to them – but if you can turn this into a consumer benefit you can start reaping the clicks.

Focus on Both Online and Physical Locations

This can be especially valuable if you are advertising for a client who is not a major brand at the moment. By highlighting that you not only have purchases online but also have a number of physical locations gives that extra bit of credibility to the business and allows the possibility for in-store purchases as well. While we, in the industry, take online orders for granted, not everyone is comfortable with purchasing online. Alternatively the search may want to see the product in person before purchasing. If you think this might apply to one of your accounts, give it a shot!

Use Multiple Key Terms In Ad Copy

This won’t work all the time but if you have a generic keyword or a searcher appears to be looking at a range of items. Try mixing up your ad copy by including the most popular types of items or their respective variations. This can work better than the standard “large selection”, “huge inventory”, and bland messaging of that sort.

This also qualifies the buyer, as they know what kind of item they are clicking through too. Rather than go through the ad and find the product was a cheaper version or one that was too specialized for their needs, you can both save yourself a little money and save the searcher a little time. If you want to take this even further, you can add site links with additional inventory signaling to bolster your offerings.


Have you found any ad copy that both differentiated you from competitors and increased your click through rates? If so feel free to leave a comment. If you’d like to still keep your advantage, I’m sure other readers would appreciate even your fifth best tip.