A Beginners Checklist for Writing Benefit-Focused Ad Texts
October 22, 2008
Continuing our series on PPC basics, we now find ourselves at a monumental juncture in our PPC adventures. That might be an over exaggeration, but ad texts can really drive home clicks and conversions for your campaigns. In order to write the best ads possible, you need to write benefit-focused ad texts.
Simply put, ads that are benefit-focused do exactly what the name implies – show customers why they should choose you over the competition. Our jobs in the PPC industry would be infinitely easier if customers intuitively knew that our clients were better than the competition, but unfortunately we don’t live in such a glorious fantasy world.
No need to worry however, as we have compiled a handy checklist for you to follow – ensuring you will write those perfectly-constructed, benefit-driven ads you so desire. Follow these tips and the PPC world will be your oyster.
- First and foremost, you need to determine why someone would choose you over the rest. There are countless benefits that you can highlight – product quality, customer service, prices, product selection, and so on. If you can think outside the box on this and come up with some specific benefits that your client offers and your competitors do not, great! Create a specific list of your benefits.
- You now have your list of benefits, and you’ve checked it twice. Now you must determine what your competitors are up to. To do this, enter some of your core keywords into search engines. Look at their ads and results. Determine what benefits they are trying to highlight. Ideally, you will have some benefits that your competition doesn’t highlight.
- Write your ads. Remember your benefits! If you can highlight more than one benefit in your ad, that’s great. However, do not just insert as many benefits as possible into your ads, such as “Great Products! Best Selection! Free Shipping!” and so on. You need to be succinct, but try to use comprehensible phrases that your readers will understand. You are obviously constrained by character limitations, so don’t go overboard with too many benefits in one ad. This is a fine line that often comes with experience and testing.
- Write a headline that will grab the reader’s attention, explain why you are better than the competition (benefit-focused), and top off the ad text will a call-to-action. This will make your ad stand out!
- Test! Test, test, test, and then test again. You may think you have written the killer ad that will destroy your competition. There is only one real way to tell, and that is testing your ad with others. What we try to do is write an ad, and then try to write an even better one. Challenge yourself here. You can split test ads that focus on the same benefits, or you can test different sets of benefits against each other. The key word here, as you may have figured out by now, is test!
- After some thorough ad testing, you will realize what benefits really drive clicks and conversions. There’s a good chance that your target audience did not behave entirely as you initially expected, and now you know what benefits really help achieve your goals.
To help visualize this checklist, I have created a sample ad that encompasses these tips:
In this example, we are writing this ad for a well-known self publishing company, pseudo-named ‘Our Awesome Client’ to protect the innocent. Our Awesome Client has a great reputation for helping authors through every step of the publishing process, which is highlighted in the first line of this ad. As you can see, this particular ad is focused on poetry.
Further, our client offers a free publishing guide to answer any questions a potential author might have. As such, these are the benefits that we focused on. Also note the attention-grabbing headline and the call-to-action at the end, ensuring a recipe for success! And of course, this ad has been continually tweaked and tested, and will continue to be as time goes by.
Follow these steps, and you will find yourself with targeted, benefit-driven ads that will be sure to differentiate yourself amongst your competitors. You will be increasing clicks, conversions, and ultimately revenue.
Do you have any other tips for writing benefit-focused ad texts? If so, we would love to hear them!
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