SEO & Paid Media

How to create SEM ad copy: the do's and don'ts for success

8 min read


How to create SEM ad copy: the do's and don'ts for success

In this article, we'll explore the art of SEM ad copywriting, focusing on the essential do's and don'ts that can drive success in your campaigns.

In the dynamic world of digital advertising, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has emerged as a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their target audience. 

At the heart of any effective SEM campaign lies compelling ad copy. Creating SEM ad copy that resonates with your audience and encourages them to take action can make or break your efforts. 

It's important to note that we won't be delving into the best practice instructions provided by advertising platforms like Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, or Facebook Ads. 

Instead, we aim to equip you with strategic insights that transcend platform-specific guidelines.

Before we dive into the do's and don'ts, here are some valuable resources from leading advertising platforms for those who seek platform-specific best practices:

The Do's of SEM Ad Copywriting

Now that we've explored the foundations of SEM ad copywriting, let's delve into the essential 'Do's' that can elevate your PPC campaigns to new heights.

Do address your audience’s pain points

One of the most effective ways to capture your audience's attention is by addressing their pain points. Nothing attracts potential customers more than the belief that your product or service can solve their problems. 

Your ad copy should empathize with their struggles and offer a solution.

For instance, if you're promoting a piece of software for accounting, don't just say, "Find out more about our accounting software". 

Instead, address their pain points: "Put an end to stacks of paperwork with our accounting solution." This clear messaging informs users of how your product solves their problem.

Do create variety and keep testing

Successful SEM campaigns require continuous optimization, and ad copy is no exception. To discover what resonates most with your audience, create as much variety as possible in your ad copy. 

However, don't throw everything at once into the mix. It's essential to maintain a systematic approach to testing.

A/B testing is your ally here. Test one or two variables at a time, preferably one. 

This approach allows you to gather meaningful insights that you can apply in future campaigns. Keep a vigilant eye on what works and what doesn't, and refine your ad copy accordingly.

Do focus on honesty and clarity

In the digital age, honesty and clarity are not just virtues but prerequisites for effective communication. 

Your ad copy should be honest about what your product or service can deliver. Avoid exaggerations and misleading claims, as they can damage your credibility.

For instance, if you're promoting a productivity app, don't just say, "Download our guide and improve your productivity." Downloading a guide alone won't magically boost productivity. 

Instead, be precise and honest: "Download our guide and benefit from our productivity tips." This clear messaging informs users of the value they'll gain.

Do be different

Standing out in a crowded digital marketplace is a formidable challenge. To do so, you need to offer something different or, at the very least, word it differently than others in your niche. 

This isn't just about creative differentiation; it's about highlighting your unique selling points.

Consider this: if you sell VPN services, most providers claim to be "The Best VPN," "The Fastest VPN," or "The Cheapest VPN." 

If you echo these claims, you're blending in, not standing out. Why would someone choose to click on your ad? 

Instead, focus on a distinct aspect, such as "Reliable VPN" or "Easy-to-Use VPN," to pique curiosity and set yourself apart.

The Don'ts of SEM ad copywriting

While it's crucial to understand what you should do when creating SEM ad copy, it's equally important to be aware of the pitfalls and common mistakes to avoid. Let's explore the "Don'ts" of SEM ad copywriting to ensure your campaigns are on the right track.

Don’t run all ad variations at once

Testing different variations of ad copy is essential for refining your SEM strategy. However, a common mistake is running all your ad variations simultaneously. 

This approach can lead to confusion and muddled results.

Instead, focus on testing one or two variables at a time, with a preference for testing just one variable if possible. 

This deliberate approach allows you to gain clear insights into what works and what doesn't. 

By isolating variables, you can make data-driven decisions for future campaigns, ultimately improving your ad copy's effectiveness.

Don’t be afraid to leverage AI

AI has become a valuable tool in digital marketing, including ad copywriting. Many paid media platforms and AI-powered tools can generate ads based on your content, keywords, and industry. 

While AI can be a powerful asset, some marketers are hesitant to embrace it fully.

Don't be afraid to leverage AI in your SEM ad copywriting efforts. 

These AI tools can analyze vast amounts of data to create compelling ad copy that resonates with your target audience. Additionally, AI can help you personalise your ads and refine your messaging based on user behaviour and preferences. 

By embracing AI, you can stay competitive and gain a significant advantage in the ever-evolving digital advertising landscape.

Don’t underestimate your audience

One of the most significant missteps in ad copywriting is underestimating your audience's intelligence and discernment. 

It's a mistake to assume that stating you're the best at something without providing proof will drive clicks and conversions.

Your audience consists of thinking individuals who assess the value of your offer critically. To compel them to click on your ad, you must provide a compelling reason. 

Show them that you not only understand their needs but also have the expertise and credibility to fulfil them.

For instance, if you claim to be the "best," back it up with facts, testimonials, or awards. Provide evidence that demonstrates your commitment to delivering value. 

Your audience is discerning; don't underestimate their ability to distinguish between empty claims and genuine offers of value.

How Huble can help you optimize your SEM ad copy

In the world of Search Engine Marketing, crafting compelling ad copy is an art and a science. The success of your SEM campaigns hinges on your ability to create ad copy that captures the essence of your offerings and resonates with your target audience.

If you find yourself in need of expert guidance to optimize your SEM ad copy and drive better results, speak with our team

At Huble, our PPC consultancy services are designed to help you navigate the intricacies of SEM, ensuring that your ad copy not only adheres to these do's and don'ts but also maximizes your campaign's potential.

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