Strategy Digital Advertising

Avoid Making 3 Ad Copy Mistakes & Boost Your Paid Search Success

Written by Daniel Kohl
on 21 Jun 2019

Google provides excellent data and insights into keywords and biddable search campaigns. Still, sometimes it is simple ad copy mistakes that leave your search ads at a loose end, missing out on key customers.

Despite what some would like to admit, mistakes happen. From time to time, these simple mistakes make for results that are less than desirable. What’s worse, they can sometimes lose you money. This can be the case for paid search. But the good news is, these mistakes can be found and rectified with a little bit of testing and analysing of results.

When conducting research, Google provides all kinds of data, insights, and metrics into keywords, bids and search volume. However, after picking your strategy and keywords, it’s all up to you. There is little help about ad copy that converts, so you need to take some chances. And sometimes it can go wrong.

Sometimes it can feel like your ad copy strategy is like throwing a dart at a board. When you throw the dart, you hope that the number you land on provides you the best ad copy for your campaign. If you feel this way the good news is that you’re not alone. This is a common feeling among marketers.

Often times, marketers test for the best and most effective strategy when it comes to ad copy. You can usually figure out some titles and descriptions that deliver decent results, but that’s often a painful and timely process. Often losing money in order to find out what works and what doesn’t through ad copy mistakes (not accounting for spelling mistakes!).

If only you could use an ad copy strategy without needing to test and test and test.

Well, after being on the back end of countless campaigns, we’ve identified three common ad copy mistakes to avoid that will boost your paid search success.

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Mistake 1: Keyword stuffing

Back in the day, marketers could keyword stuff and success was guaranteed. Essentially, you could play the system and earn top organic results on Google. Making millions and getting great web traffic in the process.

Unfortunately, Google has become more complex with its algorithms. Meaning this strategy doesn’t work anymore.

As users expecting Google to deliver accurate and valuable results in response to their search queries, the algorithm has had to find ways to provide such valuable information.

So people have since been conditioned to avoid clicking on spammy search results. Regardless if the article is organic or paid. This high radar for spam happened after years of being betrayed by keyword-stuffed search results. Instead, they look for content that actually addresses their needs.

Given that your customers have evolved, your ad copy now needs to evolve, with it.

You may now be thinking that you shouldn’t include your target keywords in your ad copy. This is wrong. After all, including your ideal keywords is really important.

The ultimate issue with keyword stuffing is that after years of being betrayed by spammy search results, our brains have been trained to filter out keyword-stuffed ads as irrelevant.

To put it simply, if your ad copy is (and looks) generic or is overly ‘salesy’, your potential customers will skim past your ad. Without even realising that they’re doing it, they will simply disregard your ad and move straight to the organic content in which has been filtered through Google.

So, in order to get your potential customers to notice your ad, you can’t just sprinkle keywords in and call it a day. Instead, you’ve got to write relevant and interesting content in your ads. That way, your ad uses the best keywords in a compelling, meaningful way.

Stock image of woman searching on her iPhone

Mistake 2: Focusing on the wrong problem

In order to get clicks through your ad, you need to understand what drove the person to search in the first place. Essentially, you need to focus on the correct issue.

This is easier said than done, as many businesses have trouble identifying the underlying issue and the motivating factors behind the search.

Generally, companies focus on a certain selling point or feature. As they believe that their customers care about that selling point or feature, too. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great way to go sometimes, however, it can potentially be a roadblock to actually answering a search query with your ad.

But customers care about whether or not you can solve their problem. Not your new feature… especially if they’ve never heard of your business before. So if your ad copy isn’t focused on their needs and problem at hand, you’re unlikely to get them to click.

Mistake 3: Neglecting ad extensions

It’s easy to focus on the content of your titles and description when you write paid search ad copy. However, whether or not people see your ad extensions, is up to Google.

But a big mistake is to neglect or forget about your ad extensions altogether. This is because your ad extensions can be the thing that sways the searcher to actually follow through with their query. By that, we mean, to actually reach out to you or proceed further down the sales funnel into becoming a genuine lead.

(READ: 3 Ways to Get More Action Out of Your Current Leads)

Unfortunately, ad extensions may not always be visible in your ad. Like we alluded to earlier, this is based on the discretion of Google. Still, when ad extension does show up, they matter. In fact, Google reports said that adding an ad extension typically increases click-through rates by 10-15%.

Ad extensions are typically a fantastic way to increase the potential and scope of your ad copy. Particularly when it comes to callout extensions, sitelinks, and structured snippets.

Callout extensions allow you to place more of your most important keywords in your ad in a natural way. Opposite to what you’d do with your titles and descriptions, Callout extensions don’t need to be need or value-driven. Instead, they are a bulleted list of selling points. Meaning that it’s often a great place to stuff your keywords organically.

Sitelink extensions allow you to build out the content of your ads. They ensure that you can offer extra information within your ads. All the while, including direct links to pages that your potential customers might want to visit.

Another massive benefit of sitelink extensions is that they take up a ton of on-page real estate. Meaning that they’re valuable to include.

When creating your sitelink extensions, you need to make sure your copy is tight. The copy in the sitelink needs to contribute to your overall ad in a meaningful way. If you don’t do this and your sitelinks just repeat what your main ad says, people typically ignore them.

Structured snippets offer a mix between your callout and sitelink extensions. In one way, they are similar to your sitelinks, as they provide you a header and content to work with. However, the content is uniform and organised into a list like your callout extensions.

Hands typing on typewriter

Take Action

Sure, Google provides you a lot of information, data, and insights when developing your ads. However, there is often still a lot of work to be done to avoid making common ad copy mistakes.

Although testing is always great, as it provides you with product specific results for what works and what doesn’t, by applying principles, you can avoid simple mistakes. Since you now know how to implement effective ad copy, go and run your own ads.

Still, if you need a hand with your ads, book an appointment with us. We’re always happy to help you run your ads and create your content in order to see the most benefit. We have years of experience and are looking forward to hearing from you!

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