Three Keys to PPC Ad Copy You Should Be Aware of

Ryan Moothart

Google processes nearly one billion search queries every single day. If you estimate that an average of four ads show per search query, it would mean Google shows around four billion PPC ads in a 24 hour period. Needless to say, that’s an absurd amount of online advertising being broadcast out to the world. With all that paid advertisement competition, you really have to shine to get some attention and grow your business.

I’m relatively new to the industry. But after studying rhetoric and persuasion for four years in college, I came to the world of internet marketing with a solid understanding of how advertising and copywriting works. After joining Portent’s PPC team, absorbing tons of information, and managing multiple accounts, I’ve come to learn three important keys to effective ad copy that you need to know if you want a leg up in the world of pay per click marketing.

1. Look Great, Sound Great

An ad gives you a total of three lines and 95 characters (including spaces) to work with, not including the display URL. There is only so much you can say with a dozen or so words. However, if you want those clicks, you better make damn good use of those 95 characters. Copywriting tricks to grab visual attention can only do so much. If you want that click, you need assure your ad “looks clean” and uses proficient, appropriate wording. Put it this way: If your ad is a potential date for users to ask out (click), you want to make sure that date is a “10.”

charlies chocolates ad

2. Be Elite


I grew up in Massachusetts and we have a saying in the Boston area: “I’m not arrogant. I’m just better than you.” Yes, this is a large part of the reason those of us from the Bay State are known as “mass holes,” but I’ve found this applies to advertising as well.

Let’s say you own a company that makes dining room furniture. If you sell more dining room tables than any other company in the state, you might want to include that in your ad. Maybe you don’t have the most sales, but you make dining room chairs that are used in the White House; brag about it. If your dining room furniture company has won awards recently, let users know that. If you walk the walk, don’t be afraid to talk the talk.

3. Light the Way

One of the most important rules of internet marketing people neglect is to give a clear call to action.

You can go the safe route and make it inviting:

“See our latest offers for spring.
Receive 10% off until March 1.”

You can make it punchy, clever, or even a little rude:

“Seriously? You’re wearing that?
Not OK. Visit us and fix it now.”

Or you can make it blunt:

“Best-selling shoes nearly gone.
Buy now before it’s too late.”

Whatever it is, make it as clear as an order from a Marine Corps drill sergeant.

No ad you write will be perfect. In addition, ad copy is not the only factor in the success of a PPC campaign. But if you have ads that don’t have these components, or if you’re thinking about PPC and are doing research, take these keys and use them to your advantage. I’m still learning how to use these to their full potential and make the campaigns I plan and/or manage optimal. I will continue to learn for as long as I work in this industry. Always strive to be better. And, as exhausting as it is keeping up with everything marketing and advertising demands, the best advice I can give is don’t settle for those two business-killing words, “good enough.”

Ryan Moothart
PPC Architect

Ryan is a PPC Architect and has been with Portent since 2010. He has over seven years of hands-on PPC experience including large-scale e-commerce, international B2B lead gen, and everything in between. Graduating from Willamette University with a BA in Rhetoric and Media Studies, he became a published author in 2016 with the release of his book, Towards Cascadia, which is a non-fiction exploration of Pacific Northwest identity, bioregionalism, and nationhood. He and his husband, Paul, enjoy traveling and are avid followers of Sounders FC, Seattle’s Major League Soccer club.

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