Be Direct: PPC Ad Copy That Drives E-commerce Revenue

Ryan MootHart, PPC Architect

If you’re a paid search advertiser in the e-commerce space, you have one mission: drive revenue and profit. It sounds simple enough but can be hard to do in practice. You have a lot of factors outside of your control when it comes to completing this mission, such as what your competitors are bidding on or what promotions they’re running. However, you have a lot within your control as well, like how much you’re willing to spend on certain campaigns or how you optimize your landing pages for better conversion rates.

One of the biggest factors you have control over is one of the most crucial aspects of paid search: what your text ads say and how you optimize them. Having great-quality text ads is crucial for maximizing your click-through rate (CTR) and your conversion rate (CVR). The more relevant your text ads are to your keywords, your products, and your audience, the more likely you are to increase CTR, CVR, and ultimately profitable transactions.

So, how do you make sure your text ads are up to par?

Mind Your Audience

You can write the most clever, beautifully crafted text ads ever. But if they don’t truly speak to your audience and where they are in their customer journey while they’re searching for relevant keywords, none of them will matter much. You need to meet your audience where they are and utilize content which speaks to them in that space.

Typically, users relevant to e-commerce businesses are using product-related or brand-related search queries. If you’re a clothing retailer who sells rain jackets, you’re far more likely to show an ad impression to users searching for something like “women’s rain jackets” versus a query such as “How do I stay dry when it’s raining outside?”

This means users are aware of the type of product they’re looking to buy and possibly even searching for your brand. Use ad copy that takes this into account!

For example, if someone is searching for a specific product, they’re likely aware of the benefits of using that product. You don’t need to emphasize what they already know in your text ads. Going back to the rain jacket example, a user searching for “women’s rain jacket” almost certainly knows the benefits of having a rain jacket; that’s why they’re searching for one. It would be less-than-helpful to utilize text ad copy such as this:

Example of bad ad copy for rain jackets showing up in SERPs

“Our top-of-the-line rain jackets ensure you stay dry when it’s raining outside.” Yeah, no kidding. That’s why they’re actively looking for a rain jacket.

Instead of emphasizing what they already know, be more direct and highlight the specific aspects of your product that sets you apart from your competitors. For example:

Example of good ad copy for rain jackets showing up in SERPs

Here, you differentiate your brand from the competition with a claim about your product’s quality (durable and lightweight) and an offer your competitors may not be matching (money-back guarantee). You go beyond what the user already knows and give them useful information that helps them take that next step in becoming a customer.

Understanding Impact on CTR and CVR

It’s important to realize what type of content can impact your click-through rate versus impacting your conversion rate. Just because you see improvement in one of these metrics doesn’t mean it will correlate with the other.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is using gimmicks or taking shortcuts with your ad copy. For example, you can make an incredibly bold claim in your ad copy to simply stand out from your competitors:

Example of bad ad copy with a bold claim for rain jackets showing up in SERPs

Or, you could use a tactic like dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) to ensure the specific keyword which triggered the ad impression always shows up in your ad copy:

Keyword: “men’s blue rain jacket”
Headline 2: {KeyWord:Men’s Rain Jacket}

Example of good ad copy that uses dynamic keyword insertion for rain jackets showing up in SERPs

But if your amazing lifetime warranty doesn’t actually exist in the way you claimed in your ad, or if your landing page doesn’t reflect a men’s rain jacket in the color blue, then you could see your CTR increase to the detriment of your CVR. Users don’t see their expectations met once they click-through to the landing page and bounce off your site instead of making a purchase.

In Other Words

Find the right content that produces both a high CTR and high CVR through methodical testing. You have a wide array of content options to try. As long as you’re meeting your audience where they are, giving them enticing information in your ad that peaks their interest, and keeping your content closely tailored to both your keyword(s) and your landing page content, you’ll be well on your way to finding the right text ads which drive more transactions, more revenue, and more profit.

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