5 Copywriting Rules to Improve Your Search Ads and PLAs

Are you struggling with writing ad copy for your business? With so many new platforms for advertising online, it can be a daunting task to adhere to different guidelines, manage multiple product lines, and run your company at the same time. To help you out, we made this list of 5 Copywriting Rules specifically for product listing ads (PLAs) and search ads. These tips are applicable across platforms and are sure to boost your clicks!

1. The First 3 Words Are Key

Authentic Italian Pizza. Adidas Basketball Shoes. Profit-Driven Digital Marketing

The first 3 words of your search ad or PLA let the reader know if the content is relevant to what they want, and will determine whether or not they click on your ad (your ultimate goal!) Since most websites don’t display the full title, that means added weight to those first three words — and on mobile, even more of the title gets cut off! Additionally, a lot of ad platforms have a limited character count (which we’ll address later on).

So how do you make those first three words count?  Include at least 2 of the following:

Product – What is the article or product?

What do you sell? Examples: Pizza, Shoes, Digital Marketing

Brand – Is your brand well-known and important to your audience?  

If it is, include it in the first three words — “Adidas Basketball Shoes. If it is not, consider putting your brand a little later in your title — “Basketball Shoes – by BestShoesEver”

Description – What 1 adjective is most important to your audience?

Decide what descriptor is a game changer for your audience! Is it Italian pizza or Chicago style pizza? Are they basketball shoes or soccer shoes? Do you want to work with a profit-driven agency? or another agency? Read more about what it means to be profit-driven here.

2. Sweet and Simple

What’s the point of this sentence? It makes you want to read the next sentence! As a good rule of thumb, always keep your first sentence sweet and simple. According to a 2015 study, the average human attention span is only 8 seconds (Time, 2015).  Make those 8 seconds count.

How do you do it?

• Cut out words that don’t enhance your writing (ex. very, great, extremely)

• Don’t say the same thing twice. What I’m saying is, don’t repeat yourself.

• Map out the core message of what you want to convey, and build your copy around those ideas.

3. Solve the Equation

Make sure you don’t leave your audience guessing in your product description. While you may see the obvious benefit to your customer, make sure you state your value bluntly by solving the equation.

In this example, the customer is left to guess what the benefit of these two offerings could be:

  • A + B = ?  (A)At Omnitail , we can upload hundreds of products to Amazon and (B) adjust thousands of keywords.

Whereas in this example, we’ve given them the answer:

  • A + B = C! (A)At Omnitail , we can upload hundreds of products to Amazon and (B) adjust thousands of keywords in minutes— (C) a process that would normally take hours manually, saving you time and making you more money.

Drive home your message with the specific value your company adds, such as free shipping, how long you’ve been in business, how many happy customers you have and so on. Additionally, think less about what the item does and more about what problem the item solves for the reader. Thinking about your product this way, increases the chances of connecting with potential shoppers. For example:

Product: A bike lock

What It Does: Locks up Bikes

Why You Care: Gives you peace of mind, protects your belongings

4. Include Keywords

Know which keywords your customers are searching for and include those in the copy of your search ad or PLA. Of course, you don’t want to stuff random keywords into your title or description. Not only will it make your listing look messy and unprofessional, but some platforms will penalize you for keyword stuffing. Try to only include keywords relevant to your product and your customers.

You can find your keywords in Google Adwords or Google Analytics. To most effectively target your keywords, use Google Adwords to segment them out by category and write ads for each specific grouping in order to have maximum affinity for your terms. Using Google Analytics you can break down your data and find the highest ranking keywords. From there categorize them from broad to item-specific.

At Omnitail, we’ve streamlined the process for over 60 global clients. Using Google Adwords and Analytics can be complicated, but we make it easy for you. Learn more about how we segment PLAs here.

5. Follow the guidelines

Take a look at the rules for the platform you’re using. How many characters can you have in the title? How is ad copy displayed on mobile? What is the suggested format for the description? All of these questions can be found in the content guidelines for ads for individual websites. Sticking to these guides will make your copy appear better on desktop/mobile, ensure your ad isn’t taken down, and that it’s easy to read for potential buyers.

Here are a few common website guidelines:

If you’re not sure where to start, get in touch! Some sites, such as Google, have a ton of requirements for advertisements. Character count for the title, no punctuation in certain places, image guidelines, the list goes on and on. Our team is 100% Google certified at Omnitail, and well versed in the guidelines for Google Shopping, Bing, and more — so you can focus on your business, and we can focus on making you more revenue and managing your accounts. Get a FREE analysis of your account today! 

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