When Did You Last Review Your Ad Copy?
So, you are already sold on the fact that online ads with platforms such as Facebook or Google and you know they are going to bring a great benefit your business.
You set up the campaigns, select audiences, keywords and write some compelling copy that is going to pull people through to your site. You hit the go button and start to see some fantastic results…great, now you can relax.
After some time, you notice that the results from your ads start to dwindle, you aren’t getting the great return on investment you originally saw and you hit pause…maybe these ads aren’t all they are cracked up to be.
This is a story we hear all too often at Search South, and one that breaks our heart. Reviewing your ad copy can make a huge impact on the success of your campaigns, knowing how can mean the difference between success and failure.
Read on to discover why ad copy is so important and how you can review it to make your ad work harder for you.
How important is ad copy?
Ad copy is an often overlooked but crucial part of your online ad campaign strategy. This is for a number of key reasons.
First, the copy you use on your ad is often the first and most important touch point you have with your customers. Take for example that someone Google’s one of your keywords, but have never heard of your business before. Those couple of lines of copy that appear on your ad are all you have to convince that searcher that they should click your link over others.
Although we do not know the exact algorithms used by platforms like Facebook and Google, it is widely accepted that concise and relevant ad copy is likely to boost the stature of your ad and will likely land you a better positions as a result.
Why do I need to review it?
It is all very well knowing that ad copy is important, but if you get it spot on in the first case, why do you need to change it?
Like everything in the digital world, social media and search engine ads move at a rapid pace. By ensuring you consistently monitor and review your copy you can identify when that copy becomes irrelevant and update it to increase the performance of the ad.
Auditing your ad
Keeping an eye on your ads performance will help you to identify when you should be editing the copy. You should be looking at the data behind the ad in order to make judgements on its need for change.
For example, if your Facebook ad suddenly sees a big jump in Cost Per Click (CPC) and a lower ‘relevancy score’ it is likely that your ad needs reviewing in some way. Although in this case altering the audience may have some impact, changing the copy should also be explored.
When you originally launched your ad you likely went through an extensive keyword research process, seeking to understand the best performing keywords for your target audience.
Although some of these are likely to remain the same, your keyword research should be an ongoing process. The findings of these processes should then be built into your ad copy.
Keywords may change for a number reasons, such as a change in accepted terminology and trends within the industry. You should also conduct keyword research to look for up and coming keywords, seeking to utilise them before competition becomes too hot.
One great way to do this is via the Google Trends tool. This tool can be used to give you a list of the top related keywords and search terms related to your keyword, but by selecting the ‘Rising’ tab on each section you also get a list of up and coming terms which can be used to gain a competitive advantage.
Make yourself clear
Data isn’t the only reason you should review your ad copy regularly. You should also constantly be trying to making your messaging clearer and easier for customers to understand.
Despite the prime position you receive by adopting online advertising, it is likely that your ads will initially only receive a few seconds of attention, within which time you will need to capture the attention of the reader.
With this mind, constantly altering your copy to be more concise and compelling will help your ad get better results. If possible, have some of your favourite customers look over the ad and ask them their opinion on whether they find it compelling and what copy you could add or change to make it better.
Remember that the first few lines of copy may be the only touch point you get with a potential customer so it is important to both grab their attention whilst also qualifying them. For this reason your copy should be very specific to answering your customers’ needs in line with the products/services you are offering.
Reviewing and changing your ad copy will not always generate immediate results. For this reason, continuous experimentation with the copy is the key to success. By using various copy formulas, mixing different messaging, sentence structure and even keywords you can start to build a picture of which are the best performers.
However, it is important not to write certain formulas off too quickly before you have managed to gather substantial data to make a judgement. How long this takes will widely depend on your industry and budget, although 2 to 3 weeks is a minimum reasonable experimentation phase in most cases.
On some ad platforms you can actually run A/B tests to assess ad performance. When using this tool it is key to only change one variable so you can judge what impact that one aspect has on overall performance.
When judging performance, don’t just base your decision on clicks but try to work out which ads turn the most clicks into customers. Google Analytics and Facebook Business Manager both offer functionality that can easily track customer journeys to purchase for ecommerce businesses.
One way that you can alter copy to ensure that your ads turn clicks into customers is by assessing the customer journey.
Your ad must set the expectation for the landing page. If this isn’t done correctly the bounce rate on your landing page is likely to be very high. This means you are effectively paying for clicks that bring no actual benefit to the business.
Using the same keywords and themes in your ad as you find on your landing page will help to achieve this. With reference to landing pages, Google recommends that you “make sure that the promotions or products in your ad are included there. People might leave your website if they don’t find what they expect.”
Eradicate common mistakes
The other reason you may want to revise and edit your ad copy is to ensure that you are not making any common mistakes that may lead to the ad platform penalising your campaign.
For example Google advise that you make sure your ads are high quality by avoiding mistakes such as extra spaces between letters and words, ‘strange capitalisation’ of words or unclear URLs.
Although your copy needs to make your ad stand out from the crowd, the majority of platforms will not approve or penalise ads which do not comply to normal and widely accepted formatting.
Introduce new selling points
Finally, as your competitive position as a business changes you should also change your ad copy to suite. This can be done in a number of ways and for a number of different situations.
For example, if you are a new business and establishment in the market is key to success, you may include some industry awards or accreditation in your ad. In the same case, social proof may also be an important aspect. This can sometimes be remedied via the use of ad extensions, but can equally come in the form of a short quote from a key influencer supporting your position and offering.
Other new competitive advantages and offers may also be included in your ad. For example, if you are running a discount on your products, free delivering or have improved your products and services in any way then use your ad to shout about this fact.
Your ad should tell people how you can help, but also why you are a better option than your competition.
It is clear that online ads are a great way to gain exposure for your business. However, it isn’t simply a case of hit the go button and leave the ads to do their job. They need constant monitoring, reviewing and editing to ensure they remain relevant and providing a good return on investment.
By using the tips we have highlighted in this article you will be able to optimise your copy, not just to get more clicks, but turn those clicks into paying customers.
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