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He just needed some time to think …
So Larry Kim packed up his laptop computer and headed off to the local Panera Bread, a place that had become his second “home office.”
At the time (in 2007), Larry was running a small marketing and consulting firm called WordStream. He had a total of six clients and was helping them with their Google AdWords advertising campaigns.
If you’re not familiar with AdWords, it’s an advertising system Google developed internally and then made available to companies to use. Companies embed the most common words (called keywords) people type into their internet search bar in their online ads and websites.
This way, when someone does an internet search using those keywords, the company ads show up as part of the search results. Of course, AdWords isn’t a free service. Companies pay Google a fee each time someone clicks on those keywords they embed in their ads. It’s most commonly referred to as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or paid search.
Now, as you might imagine, people search on all kinds of keywords. And the keywords are different for each client, product, and service. So managing all of those varying keywords becomes quite challenging.
That’s the challenge Larry was trying to overcome. Having a tech background, he started tinkering around with software that not only would automate the whole keyword process, but also make it more accurate.
That’s when he had a big “a-ha” moment: What if this software is something other businesses might want too?
His hunch was right. He raised enough money through venture capital firms to hire an entire team of computer engineers and marketers to help create the perfect keyword search software.
Now, WordStream is a multimillion-dollar company with over 2,000 customers across dozens of industries.
But here’s the thing. Although software might help automate a company’s Pay-Per-Click campaigns, the one thing that can’t be automated is the copy.
And that is where you come in, Dear Copywriter. Knowing how to write copy for Pay-Per-Click ads has become one of the most in-demand copywriting projects.
Much of the success of PPC ads has to do with copy. Since you already have the copywriting training part, it makes perfect sense to use those skills and write PPC ads for your clients.
Writing a PPC ad makes use of things you already know, such as writing a compelling headline, engaging body copy, and a strong call-to-action. It could be the easiest copy you ever get paid to write for clients.
The trick is doing all of that in a limited amount of space. The current rules for Google AdWords are that headlines must be 30 characters or less and description text must not exceed 80 characters.
So, how do you write a compelling PPC ad? Glad you asked because I have some pointers to share.
- Use numbers and discounts in your headline. A recent study of 3.3 million headlines showed that ones with numbers got better results. And odd numbers are better than perfectly round numbers.
- Create urgency with power words that grab attention. Words like you, now, fast, and best are emotional trigger words. A study done by OptinMonster showed trigger words increase conversions by 12.7%.
- What’s different? Highlight what makes your client’s product different from competitors. What value does it provide customers? Include those in your body copy.
- Keywords in your ads. Don’t forget to include the keywords in your headline.
Keep this in mind. Because you are given a limited amount of space, each word used in your PPC ad requires more thought and research. But because of that, as a PPC copywriter, you can charge as much as writing emails for clients.
Of course, fees vary by project type and client. But it’s an area worth pursuing because PPC ads aren’t going away anytime in the near future.
In fact, new data shows that more companies are using PPC as part of their overall marketing efforts. And they’re allocating big budgets for it too.
For instance, according to WebDesignDepot, GoDaddy spends over $5 million a year on PPC ads. Statista.com says Amazon.com spent roughly $41 million a month on paid search. HomeDepot spends about $6.3 million. And that was just two years ago. We can only imagine how these companies are spending on PPC ads these days.
If you are working with a client, ask them about their PPC ads. You might be surprised to learn they need help. And since you’re a copywriter … well, you get the point.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
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